The election of Donald Trump as the United States President has injected fear into a nation, and the world for that matter. The election has to my surprise, been incredibly interesting for me, so I have decided to produce my fear artefact around the topic.
From being on social media alone, I have seen the mass fear which is currently taking place in the States. Live streams of debates/arguments and reactions of American civilians who are against Trump and what he stands for are never ending, and everyone has an opinion on the subject.
Speeches from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton have enlightened me as the themes of power, memory and spectacle run through the entire campaign and election process. Although Obama and Hillary are standing up and supporting Trump as the next president, there are still news stories rolling on the bottom of the screen in regard to the changes in America in order to induce/reinforce fear into the nation. For example, as Hillary did her concession speech, speaking out to young girls telling them they should ‘never give up on what they believe in’, the negativity of Trump’s election is still being projected through the headline: “Trump gains presidency even though he has no military or political experience.”
All I see on the internet is fear, videos from news outlets letting people know that immigrants and their families are petrified from the result. Some have even taken their disappointment and fear to the extreme, by trying to escape the country; to the extent that the Canadian Immigration website supposedly crashed during the vote.
“Officials have confirmed that the cause was a higher level of traffic.”(BBC.co.uk)
This is an example of how power can be unseen. how do we know that there was an overload and that the “officials” didn’t just make false truth to create a moral panic (I will be going deeper into the theory of moral panics in another post), thus keeping people from leaving the U.S. by using a technique called deception. Radical protests have already begun, with student walk outs and protests taking place across the States.
“This issue was not the only glitch linked to the U.S. elections.” (BBC.co.uk)
Other stories have also surfaced along the way, including accusations towards Trump’s inappropriate and grotesque behaviour towards women. For me, this accentuated my belief that Donald Trump would never make it to Presidency, which is exactly how I felt about Brexit during the summer of 2016. A vast majority of us Brits were convinced rear Britain would not be voted to leave the European Union…but look what happened!
My immediate feeling towards this outcome was discomfort as I had no idea what was to come for my country. The same fear effect occurred with the confirmation of Brexit, with social media and news outlets going crazy, again creating a panic amongst the Brits.
For America, “there was too great a belief that demographics would lead to a certain outcome… The reality turned out to be much different that”, Jonathan Barnett, a Republican National Committeeman said. This brings me to the race aspect of things, which I have a lot of interest in. The race statistics from the vote were released almost immediately, circulating around social media for everyone to see. This related to Debort’s “Society of the Spectacle”, whereby he wrote that what we are told is used as a distraction from what is really happening.
“The spectacles main social function is the manufacture of alienation.” (Youtube 2:54)
The election is just a huge speculation for regular civilians, so the release of these figures could be a way of distracting us from the workings of power. This single image has the power to shift the blame from those with power and authority, to the civilians who votes for Trump. These figures could well be altered, plus most people don’t even know how the election works…just a thought!
Additionally, the difference in what whites wanted from blacks and latinos already shows that the United States of America is a broken nation. Trump says he is going to “make America great again”, but the fear that has already been imprinted in the minds of those of a minority demographic (and the non-racists) has made me wonder exactly what it is trump has in store for them.
Therefore, I will be examining the way in which different ethnicities have taken the news, as well as looking more into what it is about Donald Trump that people fear and hate so much. However, my main focus will be on the effect this will have on certain demographics. I will again be linking this artefact to similar topics of previous research in order to gain more inspiration for my FMP.