Politics and pop culture have always acted as separate entities– especially before the birth of the Internet. Yet, nowadays it seems to be a crucial political tool for candidates to profit off of and manipulate their audience by integrating memes into their social media platforms and conforming to the styles of the modern generation. It’s disturbing to see the intrusiveness of what we thought was once personal and societal become an insensitive tool to corrupt, degrade, and persuade one’s thoughts.
It’s debate night, so I’ve got my earpiece and performance enhancers ready. pic.twitter.com/EhOiWdjh1b
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) September 29, 2020
With the upcoming election in November, the surge of social media propaganda and capitalist advertisements are flooding every corner of every major platform. Whether you’re viewing “Cats for Biden” on Joe Biden’s Twitter or “How to Spot a Zombie” on Donald Trump’s YouTube account, there is a disturbing trend happening among our social landscape that seems to fly by people’s heads. It’s tragic to say, but it feels as if everything we find personal, entertaining, and cultural will be stripped from us and manipulated into a persuasion tactic. They want you, the audience to feel as if they are relatable and modernized to conform to our consumer culture. Thus, they strategize and compete to see what products they can profit off of or gain the most publicity for.
We’ve got to come together to defeat Donald Trump –– Democrats, Independents, Republicans, and yes, even Demo-cats. pic.twitter.com/LtsTWy7MmI
— Joe Biden (@JoeBiden) October 17, 2020
This is why recently you can’t scroll through YouTube without seeing clickbait videos with dramatic titles and emojis slapped on the thumbnail to entice a younger audience to view it. Point is, fake news is far bigger and more corrupt than ever and it continues to evolve and grow causing more disruption, conflict, and confusion. Though some would say this trend was inevitable with the presence of social media, it’s still sad to see ourselves give in and act like the pawns that the government wants us to be. This is especially dangerous when it comes to consumer goods.
Upon digging deeper on this new growing trend of politicians integrating into the modern culture, are the websites for both Trump and Biden. Not only are they slick and easily accessible but the format of it is very much stylized to fit in among other professional websites. Yet, clearly visible on both pages is a big donation tab. They want your money that they call support, plain and simple. If you feel as if this isn’t true just look at the merchandise for both candidates. Not only are the variety of choices far from sparse, but they are overly decorated with political messages and branding. They look stylized and nice, but that’s exactly the image they want to portray in order to appeal to the merchandise standards set by our demographic.
It’s simply strange that you can buy a Joe Biden fly swatter after the Mike Pence vice presidential debate fly incident or a Trump comic book in which he is the main hero. Even children’s products are disturbing– why would you buy your child a Trump wooden train set, when your child has no conscious awareness of politics to begin with? It’s all a very morbid way to influence and profit off of the ignorance of everyday people, who buy into what these politicians say and or promise to do for our country without really questioning the political landscape.
The media doesn’t help with this at all either. If you’ve watched the news or cable network programs recently you might feel as if it is staged, emotionless, and redundant. Every piece of information presented through television is pushed down your throat into submission. We sit as a society idly by as we soak in “The American Dream.” Produce, profit, and reuse– that is the system. We are no longer in a position to establish dominance as the main focus of this country. Rather we are the outlet for politicians to corrupt this once considered free land. Politicians are chameleons, they change over time to appeal to a certain group of people to obtain the most votes. This is especially evident in the two candidates running for office in 2020. Not only are their pasts extremely controversial on a surface level, but they change policies, and overall philosophy to create a facade of who they really are constantly. It’s all a joke; it’s all a reality TV show, but most importantly it’s all bad for you.
Politics and pop culture were once two entirely different topics of discussion and enjoyment. But in this ever-changing political landscape, it’s scary to see it slowly fuse with our culture. Though there seems like there is not much we can do about it, it’s important to trust what you believe and dissolve your ignorance to different possibilities. The best we can do as a society is to be ourselves and not let other things such as politics determine the way we act and treat one another, especially on the internet.