Ever watch Aló Presidente? Unless you’ve ever basked in the Venezuelan sun on a long excursion, the answer is probably no (for most Americans, and hello Venezuelans!). The program first began as a radio show under the leadership of Hugo Chavez– it was his opportunity to interact with “ordinary Venezuelans” and take their calls and questions. The show would drone on for hours. It had no set end time and featured lots of entertainment: singing, dancing, and Chavez visiting multiple destinations within his country which showcased the “positive results” of his social welfare programs.
And oh, how he did love the media. Throughout his tenure, he was on television an estimated forty-hours per week. He couldn’t get enough of it, very much finding his talent to be even more as an entertainer than as a revolutionary, although he tied the two together (Remind you of anyone, yet?). He gave fan giveaways (“wealth redistribution packages”), dressed in costumes (“revolutionary garb”), and danced. Think “Keeping Up with the Kardashians” authoritarian-government style. Interested? You should be.
After the press caught wind of Trump’s son-in-law approaching a media financier to inquire about a venture called “Trump TV,” media outlet after media outlet has been scurrying to report how they’ve caught Trump forming a Plan B– the escape route he’ll take when he doesn’t win the White House. Boy, shouldn’t he be embarrassed already admitting defeat? But this isn’t Plan B. It’s his top plan. His only plan. The plan he has stayed up nights dreaming about as he has fantasized what Trump America would look like if he could carry out every one of his wishes like the authoritarian heroes he covets, and whose biographies he’s kept at his bedside.
Ready to tune into 40 hours of state-sponsored reality television starring The Donald each week? No other programming will be easily available. If he follows the models he appears to have studied closely, he’ll close down all other major media outlets– as he’s already threatened to do several times on the campaign trail. If that’s not the future you want there’s only one solution: get your ass to the polls. Wake up America. Or you’ll be enjoying your morning coffee while watching Trump-curated news or better still, while watching Trump enjoy his coffee with Melania as if he’s part of your family. You can make her coffee with two creams and no sugar. And they won’t have to say “stay tuned,” pretty soon the television won’t have an off button.