Donald Trump and the Birth of a Planetary Culture

The election of Donald Trump provides a window into our changing world. His genius as a cultural phenomenon is that he allows us to see where we have come from and also to clarify where we want to go. To be sure, his election was not guaranteed. Trump’s campaign was marred by scandals of his own making. Yet he was helped by 6 years of committed gerrymandering of political boundaries by the republicans1. Russian hackers, with the help of Wikileaks, compromised Clinton’s credibility with swing voters. FBI chief Comey further undermined Clinton at the crucial time. The mainstream media gave Trump free coverage and then fake news aided by Facebook worked in his favor. And an over-confident Clinton campaign was lackadaisical and poorly run (Robb, 2016). If any one of these factors had gone the other way, we could have seen a Clinton presidency, and Trump would have been a historical footnote. His unconventional campaign, use of Twitter, and salesman-like meme hacking would have been seen as novel but not substantial.

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