Is Donald Trump a byproduct of our shifting culture or is he a twisted visionary of what we will become?
I’m not talking about his racist, sexist and money-over-everything values. Those have always been present in our society and it has been a struggle for hundreds of years to make progress purging them.
I’m referring to the nature of “reality” style entertainment entering our political realm. Let’s not pretend that politics has always been a noble pursuit. It draws idealists, but it also draws a lot of power hungry sociopaths into its ranks, as well as people looking to personally profit from our political system. Legalized bribery (lobbying with cash gifts), corruption and personal scandal have been associated with political figures since the dawn of American democracy.
Trump’s different though. He’s truly unqualified and not even close to fit for the duties of the presidency. He’s morally and financially corrupt and looks out for only his own best interests, not those of the country.
But he has sold himself well enough to enough of the American population to be elected, despite his vacuous intellect and resumé.
This isn’t the first time this has happened in our society, that we’ve been sold or have bought into figures like Trump.
The Kardashians are such a figurehead family. They’ve managed to remain in the spotlight as socialites in a variety of mediums including smartphone apps, songs, spinoff shows and more despite questionable charitable schemes and a penchant for marketing themselves with pornography.
As this year’s NCAA tournament begins we find ourselves introduced to another such figure: Lavar Ball, the father of basketball talents Lonzo Ball, LiAngelo Ball and LaMelo Ball. Not unlike Trump, he has been in the news lately for making a series of preposterous claims and showing off an absurd lifestyle. I’m not sure which fact in this story is more absurd:
- The fact that two of his sons drive over $100,000 bought either through triple-mortgages on the house (or bags of cash thrown on the Ball porch from slow moving vehicles, perhaps payments for LaVar Ball’s sports dad consulting business).
- The fact that he thinks he could “kill” Michael Jordan in a game of one-on-one despite averaging 2.2 points for Washington State in the same year that Jordan was putting up 35 points a night in the NBA.
- The fact that he has seriously demanded a billion dollar shoe deal for his three sons.
- The fact that LaVar Ball has an entourage that is helping him develop a reality TV show.
- The fact that he claims that he showed up to a Washington State football practice, was offered a spot on the team and turned it down because “out of (every) four downs, I need the ball twice. If I don’t have it twice, I’m gone.”
Are these the people we want to shine our national spotlight on? Trump? The Kardashians? Lavar Ball?
As a country, we can do so much better. And it can start by ignoring these jokers before they become dangerous.