So why exactly did Trump rise? Once again, I need to dive into the world of the metaphor to help explain why.
If you think of Trump’s rise as analogous to the growth of a living thing, then you have to ask what kind of environment would have best suited the nature of him. For example, certain plants, like cactus, thrive in areas where there is limited water and abundant sun. Others thrive in moist, dim areas. What kind of soil would Trump require to flourish? The kind that Fox news created.
When Fox news first began to gain traction, republicans must have been ecstatic. Here you had an independent journalistic entity that would essentially function as the propaganda wing of the republican party. They had it backwards. The republican party became the policy wing of Fox news. And Fox, like all journalistic endeavors, has exactly one goal, get as many people watching as possible.
In order for a given republican to rise it became a requirement to go on Fox and espouse views that Fox approved. Fox had the final say over whether or not something would go out to their huge audience. If what you said wasn’t sufficiently republican, as defined by Fox, they would put someone else on who would go further than you. Trump, a natural magnet for an audience, thrived when paired with Fox. They had the same goal, get as many people to look at them as possible. Trump, far more than any other politician I’m aware of, requires eyeballs as his fertilizer. Fox handed him a ready made supply of them.
Now that Trump is in the White House Fox is finding themselves in the position they put the republicans in not too long ago. Republicans used to be a primary creator of news and journalists just reported it. Then Fox became the primary creator and the republicans just repeated it. Now Trump is the primary creator, and Fox must repeat it in order to keep their audience. Fox wasn’t saying much about the lie that millions of fake voters in the last election, until Trump kept harping on it. Now they have to have guests on talking about it. Trump has beaten Fox at their own game. I can’t imaging they’re happy with it.
So now that Trump has risen to the very top of the world in terms of people looking at him, how will he fall? Nothing lasts forever. When and why will Trump fall from grace? That’s a subject for another piece.