Why Donald Trump could be a frontrunner for America's top job

By Olivia Lambert

He has his own Ken doll, loves a selfie, and people just seem to get Donald Trump.

And while he's obviously intelligent enough to build an empire, people understand him because he's actually kind of basic and just uncomplicated.

A Melbourne academic has been looking into why people are serious about electing Trump as the next president and he has found it's because society speaks his language, we get his dumbed-down policies and got to know him from the comfort of our couches as he fired people off The Apprentice reality show.

Trump is involving more people in politics, because he cuts through the jargon.

In an article for Pursuit, Melbourne University School of Social and Political Sciences academic Dr Raymond Orr, said we lived in a simplified and dramatised society that was fuelled by technology and he blames reality television for giving Trump a serious shot at the presidency.

Dr Orr said people have seen Trump's reality show, The Apprentice, as a serious application for America's top job.

Trump can get down on the same level as society, and Dr Orr said his campaign was tailored to people using technologies like social media, where his message could be dumbed-down.

The academic said screen time could blur our sense of reality and Trump's television show made people feel like they knew him personally.

Dr Orr said in the 1950s, Austrian philosopher Gunther Anders, found that television bought a faraway world into our very own loungerooms.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign stop. Photo / AP
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump during a campaign stop. Photo / AP

Things like glaciers, politics and exotic animals appeared closer to us while things near us like co-workers, pets and neighbours became more distant.

"We can visualise Anders' observation when we see 20-somethings absorbed in their phones texting people or looking at images from far away while ignoring actual objects in their nearby physical environment," Dr Orr said.

The academic believes as things on our screens creep into our loungerooms, people begin to treat them as part of their lives and harbour a certain connection to them.

Therefore he believes a society that has so much screen time is more susceptible to Trump's "brash and concept-free message".

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Melbourne University Department of Management and Marketing academic Dr Marcus Phipps wrote on Pursuit that Trump was an unlikely frontrunner and one who broke every rule of a conservative presidential candidate.

"He has been critical of religious leaders, most notably having an argument with the Pope," Dr Phipps said.

"He has even questioned the military record of war hero and former Republican nominee John McCain stating that 'I like people who weren't captured'."

Trump has made many controversial comments, he accused Mexican immigrants of being rapists who were bringing drugs and crime into America and has shocked some with his pro-gun stance.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop. Photo / AP
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign stop. Photo / AP

Dr Phipps said Trump's campaign should have fallen over ages ago, but instead it kept on strengthening.

He believes it's because Trump is an "authentic" politician.

"Think of Julia Gillard in the 2010 Australian election when she stated that her campaign was a little too staged managed and promised the 'real' Julia Gillard," he said.

Society then questioned why they were given a "fake" Prime Minister candidate until her confession.

"Trump is not scripted," Dr Phipps said.

"It is hard to believe that anyone who openly criticises the Pope and John McCain's military record has a team of script writers behind him.

"Trump is not stylised. The candidate's hair alone proves that he is not image obsessed."

Dr Phipps said Trump was an unfiltered politician and one who appealed to lazy voters.

Watching Trump's campaign could be similar to watching a reality show.

Dr Orr said the substance of campaigns had become superficial with politicians attacking other politicians sometimes more often than sharing policies.

Dr Orr said Trump's simple and hurried messages fitted in perfectly with society's addiction to new media.

- news.com.au

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