Whether good or bad, the most famous, or arguably infamous, man is The United States’ 45th President: Donald Trump. Whereas many countries’ leaders are recognised solely by its residents, the former US president has made global shockwaves in his quest to “make America great again!”. From various scandals within his political career, to his representation across the globe and throughout the media, Donald Trump’s name, slogan, and appearance, are recognised internationally.
His early career:
Although there can be no dispute about Donald Trump’s subsequent political accomplishments, his initial success was within the same career area as his father, that of real estate development and business management. In 1974, long before he became president of the United States, Donald J Trump was appointed the president of a vast combination of Trump owned companies. This success increased his fame within the business sector. Before this however, in 1973, he and his father were sued by the United States’ Department of Justice for their violation of the 1968 Fair Housing Act . The discrimination seen then is still present in Trump’s contemporary actions and this contributes to his global fame, due to both the opposition against and in support of his questionable views.
Further early issues faced by Trump were the 4 bankruptcy files he faced following his expansion of hotels and casinos within his business. His career, however, is not without success, evident in the famous Trump tower and many other Trump associated buildings across the world, from Istanbul to the Philippines. This global influence is later aided by his presidency and contributes to the extent of the recognition that he gains. Additionally, much of his income and recognition comes from his involvement within entertainment-based industries. These included previous shares in the Miss USA and Miss Universe beauty pageants as well as his coproduction of the reality show, the Apprentice. Due to this, Trump’s net worth is estimated at around US$2.5 billion. Despite his presidency obviously furthering his platform, Donald Trump’s early career evidently made him a household name long before his entry into politics.
His political history:
Donald’s initial indication of his interest in the presidency was demonstrated as early as 1987, however it was not until 2015 that he ran for the position . Despite not actively running until then, his profile was increased during the election of 2012 due to his contentious insistence of Barack Obama’s non- US birth. When he did run, his campaign proved controversial to many, especially his plans to build the wall segregating Mexico from the US, and his policy to ban Muslim immigration into the States. During his candidacy, further controversies arose in his comments surrounding women and suggestions from party members that he was unsuitable for the candidacy. Again, these controversies and the following, but unexpected, success in the election furthered Donald Trump’s fame.
One event that has also massively increased his fame, is his impeachment, especially as he is only the third President to ever be impeached within their first term in office. An additional scandal which further increased Trump’s profile included the suggested influence of Russian interference in the elections of 2016. Additionally, Trump’s own interference with the subsequent investigation again increased his infamy, as firing Comey (the FBI Investigator involved) cast further suspicion upon him. A number of other political scandals have aided with the promotion of Trump’s name including the numerous sexual misconduct allegations against him as well as his other misogynistic actions. This may have been previously aided by his access to changing rooms through his involvement in the previously mentioned beauty pageants. These allegations massively impact upon the infamy of the President, especially due to the development of the country he governs, possibly contributing to him being the one of the most famous people in the world.
Position on significant issues:
Although supported by many, a number of Donald Trump’s political ideals have shocked many liberal idealists. His intentions to inhibit immigration attempts by initiating proposals to build a wall caused outrage amongst many. Many of Trump’s infamous actions also involved withdrawing previous legislations and proposals. For example, his vacation from the US Paris Climate agreement, as well as his support for drilling in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and his retraction from the medical insurance scheme known as “Obamacare”. This deviation from legislation set by previous administrations, again sets Trump apart from his predecessors. While these may have increased his popularity with some close-minded Americans, it has aided with his infamy in other places. Another, extremely controversial debate which Trump, has expressed his opinions against is that of gun control. Naturally, there are more issues which Donald Trump has opinions on, but the selected few represent how his controversial views have increased his publicity, and subsequently his fame.
Relationship with foreign nations:
Obviously, connections between Russia have been previously touched upon, however Donald Trump has also received high profile for his tense relations with North Korea, China, Afghanistan, and Cuba . The leader of North Korea (Kim Jon Un) and Trump repeatedly exchanged insults before seemingly reaching an understanding regarding the use of nuclear weapons. Both China and the USA increased their military presence in the South China Sea, increasing tensions. Furthermore, the US increased trade tariffs on Chinese goods which, paired with claims from Trump that China’s popular social media app Tik Tok posed a threat to national security, increased global tensions . Due to the large scale and importance of these issue, they were all extensively reported on through the formal and informal media, thus increasing Donald Trump’s fame. With Cuba, the Trump Administration again partially withdrew from previous Obama agreements, resulting in stricter restrictions on trade and travel . There are, of course, further countries which have been impacted by recent relationships with the USA, however the ones mentioned are those that have most notably impacted views about Donald Trump. Furthermore, the variation in places mentioned again demonstrates the extent of Trump’s notoriety.
The media is very influential in the presentation of anyone, especially those presenting controversial ideas, however it is also Trump’s own use of the media which had impacted upon his fame. He has repeatedly used Twitter to report about significant issues and his personal opinions, with many of his comments often being removed as a result of Twitter guidelines and otherwise inciting further controversy. This use of the media connects him with younger generations who have a range of political stances, though commonly opposing his own, which increases his fame by making his opinions a well discussed issue. When paired with his previous celebrity status from the apprentice, this is a key contributor to the extent of Trump’s fame. Other research has found evidence suggesting The President may sometimes tweet about unrelated issues to draw attention away from his latest controversies. This again shows his reliance upon the app and the significance it has upon his fame.
Further use of the media includes Trump’s manipulation of information through news outlets, especially fox news. The channel often favours the Republican party and publishes their views, in exclusion of the Democrats and can also contribute to the justification of Trump’s words or actions. Trump also often writes off media claims he does not agree with as “fake news”, which can impact the accuracy of people’s perception around Trump. It is, however, he who is using his platform to spread fake news; for example, in his recent entertainment of disinfectant as a treatment for the Covid-19 pandemic. Ideas such as this are another factor contributing to the extent of Trump’s fame. Also due to the single representation of supporting media outlets, only views relating to Trump and the Republicans are portrayed, increasing awareness solely of them. Trump is not, however, the only man to hold the views he does, which shows the significance of Western media’s influence in his representation and fame. This unprecedented use of the media again sets him apart from previous presidents and further aids his fame.
Obviously, the recent election in The United States will also have increased the global awareness of him, especially aided by the extensive media coverage. The election made it hard for most people to have not heard of him, as the views he was promoting in his campaign evoked strong emotions either for or against him. Similarly, his certainty in success led to many turning to social media in order to mock him while others defended him, also increasing his fame. Representation of Trump has also been seen in less formal media, for example his appearance in Home Alone Two and multiple name-drops within rap lyrics. Many rappers have aided Trump’s fame through their portrayal of him as either a wealthy tycoon they want to associate with or someone far more negative. One particular example is the song FDT, which describes how “he’s too rich” and “can’t make decisions for this country”. Although these spread subjective and in factual information, they do increase awareness of the name Donald Trump.
Trump is arguably the most famous (or as some may debate, infamous) man due to the extreme controversy of many of his views and the extent to which he can influence people. Not only does his position as president allow him to directly impact global issues – seen in his interactions with China and North Korea etc – but he is also able to utilise the media. This allows him to increase his influence with younger generations – seen again through his use of Twitter and Fox news. Furthermore, his involvement in such a range of issues, from Tik Tok to areas of global conflict, makes it hard to be unaware of him. Aspects of his personal views and character have also boosted his infamy by causing extreme discontent. Particularly, his racist views, sexual misconduct, and disregard for the whole LGBT+ community have incited controversy among many, especially in developed countries. These, when paired with his past achievement and celebrity background, have all furthered the worldwide knowledge of him, arguably making him the most famous man in the world..
By Megan Whitby, Salisbury