What Does Trump’s Popularity Say About Conflict?

22 Oct

Every morning, I start my day like most Americans–by checking my cell phone for the latest news and weather. I especially like the AP wire, probably because it’s my old friend from my newsroom days. And, although coverage has “died down” a bit lately, for a while, all I was reading about was Donald Trump.

Now, I don’t dare get into politics in this blog, but I found myself fascinated by all the coverage focused on Trump (good AND bad). Every day, it seems, he was creating a conflict with SOMEONE, be it an individual, group, or entire population! How? By stating his opinion and doing it unapologetically. Some people found his candor refreshing. Others found it offensive. But, either way, most people paid attention.donald-trump

And, you know what? I was one of them.

From a purely research-based perspective, I was intrigued by the media’s reaction to a politician who had the audacity to say how he felt about the issues without regard to whom he offended or how. Because Trump is beholden to no one (thanks to his billions), he has the freedom to say what he wants–when he wants–to whom he wants. And, the media didn’t know how to react: Do we hate him? Do we love him? Do we care?

His maneuvers also got me thinking about our tolerance for conflict. If, as a general rule, people don’t like conflict, then why were we so intrigued by Trump, who creates conflict wherever he goes? Do we have a higher tolerance for conflict than we previously thought? Or, do we just like conflict when watching it from the sidelines?

I can’t stop watching and waiting for Trump’s next move–not because he has my vote, but because I can’t wait to see how the media and the public react to him. So, keep on keepin’ on Mr. Trump. My research isn’t done yet!


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