In the weeks since the release of the now infamous recording of Donald Trump in conversation with Billy Bush regarding women and his actions towards them, various organisations and public speakers may have come forth across various media platforms in order to discuss and evaluate the ways in which society may view him as a potential president. Now, with the election under a week away, many may take the time to reflect upon a revolutionary election season.
In particular, it seems as though this election has offered speakers who may have previously gone unheard a voice with which to communicate their views to a larger extent for the first time in political history. In addition to the exponential growth which the world is making towards global equality, the individual voters may now share and co-author the campaigns in a revolutionary way through anything from memes to layman debates.
An intriguing reflection to make in light of this season, may observe how society and media have evolved since the presidential candidates and their cohorts were in the public eye two decades ago, namely whilst Bill Clinton’s affairs came to light in the 1990s. Due to the different degree of equality present in the time which may have resulted in government control over certain women’s rights, Clinton may have been a favourite with contemporary feminists, proposing a variety of amendments to these rights in favour of equality. Thus, when the claims arose regarding his personal life, a certain degree of leniency was granted by these parties in order to facilitate the change which was promised by Clinton.
Through the lens of today’s society, such leniency may be viewed as a functional cost paid by feminists and activists at the time for the greater good, and consequently the allegations at Trump may be taken in the same manner. The difference may be in the treatment and exposure of the charges, which vary due to a plethora of reasons, one of which being the social media of today and the ability for dual-authorship, with members of society commenting upon intellectual property as well as opinion pieces in the media.
Now, Trump and his contemporaries may also have access to another form of self-expression thanks to the same social medias which also allow their supporters to comment upon and discuss policies. In the 1990s when Clinton’s actions came to light, the majority of statements were filtered through mass media outlets, and so fair and balanced discussion may have been differently proportioned compared to today. Presently, Donald J. Trump frequently uses his personal Twitter account in order to share articles and quotes from fans and professional supporters alike, demonstrating the importance of social media in the modern political world.
It seems as though the modern platform may provide additional opportunities aside from the academic and professional, with comedy and satire being used in order to express the views and communicate productive discussion points in the media. One such example of this may be the speech made by Lena Dunham and America Ferrera at the Democratic Convention, during which several comments were made in order to shed light onto the otherwise sober topic of the 2016 elections.
Many voters and international onlookers may be drawing comparisons between Trump’s comments and Bill Clinton’s actions during office, and they may have productive reasoning behind this. Perhaps the most interesting observations which one may make following these allegations is how far the world has come in the 20 years since Bill Clinton’s first inauguration in terms of equality and self-expression, and how this may have affected the 2016 presidential race.
How may society consider and use the politics and media of today in congruence?