CHARLOTTE, NC, November 5, 2018 – All political wrangling aside, should Donald Trump be thanking World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) for much of his ability to stay one step ahead of the press? On the surface, this may sound like a far-fetched premise. But in reality the WWE and its billionaire founder Vince McMahon may indeed have been Donald Trump’s greatest natural resource. Trump and McMahon may somehow have transformed Tuesday’s highly-contested Election 2018 midterms into the President’s political version of Wrestlemania. Call it the WWE Paradigm.
The WWE Paradigm
For decades, professional wrestling lived under the microscope, the subject of constant debates over whether or not it was real wrestling. Today, wrestling entertainment shows make no bones about their illusion of reality. They don’t even call their athletic showmanship a “sport” any more.
The WWE Paradigm all boils down to its colorful characters. Good versus Evil. The more absurd the contrast, the better, as far as most WWE fans are concerned. Professional wrestling today is the hypekinetic soap opera of the athletic world. And from this world, most colorfully exemplified by the WWE, Donald Trump learned his lessons in competition during the early part of the 21st century.
Sure, Trump was a villain in WWE. But so was McMahon. The difference was that Trump allowed his persona to claim that he was in the “people’s corner.” If that sounds similar to the Hillary Clinton v. Donald Trump political campaign of 2016, it should. The only difference was that the 2016 election was real. It was like Wrestlemania writ large.
The Battle of the Billionaires
Using loud, abrasive language while fighting fire with fire, Trump honed his political skills in wrestling’s “squared circle” in a scenario that eventually became the “Battle of the Billionaires.”
Trump called out McMahon for “rigging the system” and being antagonistic toward the very fans who had made him mega-rich. In the end, each combatant selected a wrestler to square off against his opponent’s wrestler. Both would fight to determine who was the mightiest billionaire of them all.
After the big bout, Trump appeared on WWE’s Monday Night Raw program, triumphantly brandishing the storyline that he had just bought out McMahon and taken control of the enterprise. A boastful trump was at his quintessential, hyperbolic best.
“You never really showed your appreciation for the Raw audience. I’m gonna do stuff that’s never been done before, never been seen before…My first act as owner is to do something unprecedented. Something you were too cheap and selfish to make happen, Vince. For the first time in its 17-year history, next week’s Raw will be presented live on USA, commercial-free… And guess what, Vince, I’m personally going to be at Raw next week to run things the way I want to see them run, meaning the right way,”
If the words sound familiar, they should. That’s because Donald Trump learned his lessons well from the bigger-than-life competitors starring in the world’s largest non-sport sport.
Monday Night Raw = Tuesday Night Raw?
Staring McMahon in the traditional pugilistic face-to-face face-off, Trump shouted at the wrestling mogul,
“I’m taller than you, I’m better-looking than you, I think I’m stronger than you. You’re a rich guy; I’m a richer guy.”
In the process, Trump became the self-appointed anti-establishment people’s champion. It was the highest rated Monday Night Raw program in over 7 years. But more than that, this scenario became the core of Trump’s presidential personality, a personality that continues to defy logic and confound his opponents and the media at every turn to this day.
Combined with his boundless energy, Donald Trump created a magic formula for himself that, like it or not, keeps him one step ahead of his opposition at all times. He has brought the WWE Paradigm to The Swamp. And it works.
“Getting over.” The WWE Paradigm travels to The Swamp
In wrestling parlance, what Trump is doing in the political arena is known as “getting over.” It doesn’t matter if a WWE character is a bad guy or a good guy. The most important thing is to make your audience truly believe in who you are. Whether the goal is to evoke cheers or boos, the convincing illusion of reality is a WWE superstar’s key to success. Once the character “gets over” his image to the audience, there is no stopping him in the eyes of his adoring fans.
It’s all about showmanship. It’s simply a matter of selling the sizzle instead of the steak. Barack Obama did the same thing, but he wasn’t as good at the game as the man who followed him into the White House. Donald Trump has perfected these skills into an art form. In so doing, he’s transformed politics into Wrestlemania.
Politics has always been been concerned with the evolution of hollow promises and empty words. Listen to political ads during each election season and they all sound the same. Only the faces and names change. Many promises are routinely made. But few, if any, are ever kept. Disappointment amongst the electorate has become routine. Until now.
The confounding thing for Trump’s opponents is that once ensconced in the driver’s seat, he has delivered on many of his boldest promises. Opponents may disagree that these are accomplishments. But if you are a Trump supporter, you have to be delighted at the results he’s achieved thus far.
Trump’s Wrestlemania Grand Slam
A short list of those accomplishments shows that the president is eliminating regulations as rapidly as possible to free up the private sector to innovate, prosper and create more jobs for Americans in all walks of life. It’s like a Wrestlemania Grand Slam.
- President Trump opened pipelines, expanded drilling activities and built up coal and fossil fuel businesses Obama put out of business or left for dead.
- The “Trump Dump” has scrapped the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade agreement without serious repercussions from countries who will no longer trade with us.
- Trump and the GOP Congress lowered tax rates and doubled the standard deduction for individuals, thus simplifying filing for most Americans. In so doing, Trump and the GOP also reduced the need for a fast-growing army of tax auditors and bureaucrats.
- Trump and the GOP drastically cut corporate tax rates as well.
- Trump and the GOP downsized the foundations of Obamacare. In so doing, they reduced some of the troublesome, unexpected burdens the previous occupant of the White House either downplayed or ignored. Better yet, they also eliminated the hated “individual mandate.”
- Unemployment is lower. In fact, that number has achieved a record low. Meanwhile, Trump and the GOP helped create record numbers of new jobs. The U.S. economy is thriving.
The Wrestlemania of Election 2018 is here
Finally, Obama’s advocates may claim it was The Lightworker’s policies that are only now coming into effect. But on a best case basis, it took eight years for them to evolve into what became a continuing regime of flat growth and persistent joblessness in the trades. In contrast, in just two short years, the Trump administration turned Obama’s entropic economy around 180 degrees. He quickly achieved the kind of growth rate Obama and the Democrats declared gone forever. Obama may claim the current economy was his doing. But Trump gets the credit for our current economic resurgence.
President “Tweet” may be playing a political character, just as he learned to do during his WWE foray years ago. But so are most of his colleagues in Washington. But they simply can’t measure up. Trump is doing it better, and the WWE might just be the reason. Election 2018: Call it Wrestlemania in The Swamp.
About the Author:
Bob Taylor is a veteran writer who has traveled throughout the world. Taylor was an award winning television producer/reporter/anchor before focusing on writing about international events, people and cultures around the globe. Taylor is founder of The Magellan Travel Club (www.MagellanTravelClub.com). Read more of What in the World and Bob Taylor at Communities Digital News
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