I served my country during the Vietnam War countering Communist propaganda in Northern Thailand and thence returning stateside assigned to a team documenting and demonstrating the methods our government would use to subdue our own citizens who were protesting the war and/or demanding equal rights. After being honorably discharged I spent the next thirty years working in the ad biz, which leads me to admission that I admire Trump’s marketing skills. He’s the most media savvy salesman and propagandist I’ve ever had the misfortune to watch as he combines into one the fictional characters, Willie Stark, in All the King’s Men, Lonesome Rhodes in a Face In The Crowd, Raymond Shaw in The Manchurian Candidate and Elmer Gantry in Elmer Gantry.

As host of the National Apprentice Show he does a superb job in controlling the optics with his event planners, stage designers and hairspray. And also in disseminating his disruptive narrative with the assistance of the ratings driven media focused on palace intrigue and bathroom tweeting: A distraction from raking through the muck that comprise his short-on-substance policies being carried out by the alligators he’s slipped into the swamp–– appointees who dismantle the very agencies that have protected a working and middle class from economic and social insecurity.

Although the show is wildly popular with his core audience it’s national ratings are slumping. Nevertheless, it’s a show so frightening and riveting it's difficult not to watch while we wait in anticipation for the next horrific episode–– or outburst. Nevertheless, from a marketing point-of-view, there’s hope for the sane portion of the electorate. He’s broken a fundamental rule of advertising–– if there are any rules left–– never promise more than you can deliver and in that he risks damaging what’s left of the Republican brand in a digital universe that moves like a bat at sunset.

Responsible investigative news organizations and reporters, to their credit, have put a warning label on the package, but. It will be the efficacy of the product itself that will ultimately be judged by the purchaser once he or she gets past superlative promises to discover that the product is of no benefit to themselves and least of all to their children and grandchildren and may even be toxic. Of course he knows his loudest boosters and parrots in his fan club consist of those who actually need to be told not to eat the freshness packet.

J. P. Curtis

Sparta