There was a time when companies like Quaker Oats needed branding in order to appeal to human sensibilities. That is, to appear more human. A face of a cheesing William Penn –despite any actual connections shared between company and living personages– conjured ideals of trustworthiness in those potential consumers of that company’s product. What we refer to as ‘branding’, was less about a coherent presentation of a company. ‘Branding’ was more about forging a fictitious personality that could resonate with a growing consumer population. It would seem as though marketing teams have caught up with modern political movements with presidential ambitions.
This nation was founded on principles forged by a growing aristocracy attempting to avoid limitations and regulations of a distant monarchy. US citizens and their body of myths/folklore/memes pride themselves on a governing body sans a royal estate. And yet, human nature, or US Citizen’s temporal and cultural kinship to nations with royalty, creates adoration of celebrated and wealthy public figures: our celebrities.
Celebrity combined with presidential ambitions poured slowly over segments of US populace gives birth to a certain sort of marketing. Given an apathy born out of racial hierarchies, class-based exclusion, and a religious worship of story that Joseph Campbell could not even predict, we have returned to an era of Prophets and Messiahs, branded Champions of that abstract and formless “People”. Whether or not there is an actual wisdom of crowds, it must be noted that it is susceptible to superstitions, star readers, and seers.
A belief in magic above logic resides in this land of plenty. Where “hope and change” symbolically waves its wand, and race relations concretized in US Slavery are magically less antagonistic. Election of a magical half-negro masked only slightly those bullets that blew out Trayvon’s brains, Michael’s brains, and Aiyana’s brains. Let us not be accused of an imbalance of disparagement here. Donald Trump’s magical wall will never see daylight of reality, either.
Due to its construction in response to a lack of a royal office, US Presidents are often in a bind to appease an assumed mandate while extending powers of executive office. What is promised by these people branded as Champions and Heroes during their campaigns often are impossible delights presented to a populace ignorant of their own rules governing legislative apparatus.
While I am definitely more willing to understand why US Blacks are susceptible to this sort of political marketing, I am a bit tickled in my curiosity as to how Trump managed to work this parlor trick so successfully. For US Blacks, social mobility has become their most salient vision of “freedom” and “liberty”. Where ideals like “Black Power” once embodied ‘self-determination’ and ‘self-defense’ as its core defining principles, current usages typically show deference to social order and compromise. “Black Power” simply means US Blacks getting better jobs from Whyte resource owners and anything even remotely ideologically left of that is considered impractical and extreme. Daddy Obama’s positioning as “Negro Champion” fit well into a narrative found in middle-class Black USA that believes Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr offered himself up as sacrificial lamb for gawds of industry to fulfill their career aspirations. Brand Citizen Trump did not have such historically noble but misguided foundations to build upon.
It is difficult for me to imagine any person that considers holding office of US President as also someone concerned with Championing a cause rooted predominantly in underclass USA. So much of what I have witnessed in my life vis-a-vis Executive powers is military might, domestic and foreign. US Presidents are not arbiters of disputes that cause inequality to less than rich citizenry. US Presidents are not champions of causes that impact lives of “little people”. Ambition of that magnitude has long forgotten those causalities of wealth and might. People do not work to acquire title of CEO just to install high-end water coolers in warehouse breakrooms. In contemporary government, noble sentiments are simply cute catchphrases, lettering adjusted and colored to align well with campaign logos.
With that bit of cynicism as filter, I do, however, believe Trump as Brand People’s Champ was convincing in his role as someone capable of bringing Whyte people out of that default box. In a time where NWA as a motion picture was marketed as a story of political protest with a moral agenda, you sort of have to assume that anything wrapped in Brand People’s Champ holds sway. In a world where Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter can promote a Norweigian/Swedish tech company as barometer of Black power, you sort of have to assume that anything wrapped in Brand People’s Champion holds sway. For Donald Trump, Brand People’s Champ meant embracing Whyte USA as an actual group and not a default group to be hinted at in language like “soccer moms” and “flyover america”. In a similar measure that causes US Blacks to believe they have more to fear from cowardly trigger happy cops than cowardly trigger happy other Blacks, Whytes believed they had more to fear from Mexicans crossing a border than from billionaire corporate board members with political aspirations. Slightly joking a bit on both parts of that analogy, but only slightly.
Barry Obeezy literally ran for a political office, one of most visibility if not most powerful, on a campaign slogan of ‘hope and change’. What in that phukkk of phukkks does “Hope & Change” look like in terms of Federal Government policy? Donald “Grab Them By Their Pussy” Trump ran a campaign on a slogan of “Make America Great Again”. What exactly does a “great America” look like in policy implements and which of those past policies that were changed caused it to not be “great”(since this is “the Don’s” going presumption)? At some point in recent history, citizens of this empire began to believe that USA’s executive branch was in that business of miracle making instead of military onslaught and citizen spying enterprise.
Shame on them, surely.