Popular Culture, or the Presidential Election?
Popular Culture, or the Presidential Election? Popular culture is everywhere and inescapable.
Every aspect of life is saturated with popular culture. Whether it is sports, music, or television, popular culture is deeply embedded in what we do. It determines what sports to play, what music to listen to, and what TV shows to watch. Popular culture is part of life, whether you want it to be or not. Popular culture has seeped into every aspect of life, and is becoming more important than ever. The last presidential election was four years ago, and it is amazing how much the importance of popular culture has expanded in a few short years.
With the presidential election coming up, appealing to popular culture seems to be imperative to achieving presidential success. The candidates have spent copious amounts of time and effort trying to appeal to social media. Along with social media, candidates have been appearing on popular television talk shows, and are extremely involved in popular culture. With popular culture being such a large part of our society, the candidates have incorporated social media and other aspects of popular culture into their campaigns. Social media has never been as large as it is today.
With 307 million people on Twitter monthly, it is one of the largest social media sites. Sites like Vine, Instagram, and Snapchat are also growing in size. The enormous world of social media, until this presidential election, has been an untapped campaign ground. Candidates have never before used this colossal (not to mention free), world to gain votes.
With this election, however, candidates have been focusing intently on social media. They want to show voters that they are “hip,” and “with the times.” They can use what all the young people are using, and can show just how cool they are. Hillary Clinton, for example, could not wait to show us just how hip she is. Through Vine, she was able to tell the world how she was “just chilling in Cedar Rapids.” With that single six-second video, Clinton was able to show the world her expansive knowledge of what is “in.
” Appealing to social media is not only a way to show voters how cool they are, however. It is also a free way to communicate with voters. By tweeting one of his policies, Bernie Sanders can reach people that would not normally take an interest in politics. With Twitter, Donald Trump does not have to actually say one word, and he can still put his foot in his mouth. Amazing.
By utilizing social media, candidates can reach voters that do not typically care about politics. They can merge the real world with the world of popular culture, and increase the number of voters significantly. There is also a much less gregarious side to the use of social media by presidential candidates. While much of their time spent online is simply self-promoting, candidates also use social media to spread negative ads about their opponents. They know that they will reach a large audience, so candidates use social media platforms to put down their opponents.
While attack ads have been around as long as elections have, the use of social media spreads the word much faster. Within minutes, thousands of people can see that Donald Trump does not like Ted Cruz (however, that may do more good than damage to Cruz’s campaign). Through social media, the candidates are able to reach a broad audience and lightning speed. Social media is not the only aspect of popular culture that the 2016 presidential hopefuls have looked to. The candidates seem to have taken over talk shows, particularly late night television.
Political comedies are booming, and rapidly becoming an important part of popular culture. Often, the candidates will appear on comedy shows. With these, they are able to show that they can joke around, and be made fun of. They know that voters want to see someone who can laugh at himself, and by appearing on the multitude of political comedies, they are able to do just that. With the rapid growth in the popularity of these shows, the candidates know that if they do not go on them, they will be left behind in the race for presidency. Not only does the candidate get to show her sense of humor, she is often able to talk seriously about her policies and ideas.
By appearing on television, the candidates are able to reach an even broader audience. Though appearing on popular TV shows is new, it has become invaluable to political campaigns. Television and social media are two immense parts of popular culture. They are both deeply embedded into our society, and are being used by millions of people. Though appeals to popular culture have never been used in a presidential election before, they have become invaluable to the 2016 election.
Through television and social media, the potential presidential candidates have been able to appeal to many people. As a result, there is greater interest in this election than ever before. People that do not normally follow politics find themselves on the candidates’ Twitter accounts, or watching them on late night television. While the flashy use of social media could distract people from the real issues, it seems to be doing the opposite. People see a candidate on TV or social media, and their interest is sparked. Then, they look up the candidate’s policies and ideas, and decide whether or not they like that particular candidate.
This happens again and again, until every person is able to find a candidate that they support. The appeals to popular culture during the 2016 presidential election just might make it the most well known, highly voted on U.S. presidential election in history.