By Boyuan Zhang
Boston University News Service
Amidst the intricacies of the 2024 Republican Election, attention once again converges on a personality whose impact transcends traditional political boundaries: Donald J. Trump. Moving beyond policy debates and partisan divides, Trump’s influence on the imminent election is far-reaching.
Having departed from the Oval Office in 2021, Trump has maintained a conspicuous presence through various channels. The former President’s new media venture, TRUTH Social, planned to launch its social media app on Feb. 21, 2022, according to an Apple Inc. App Store listing. Announced by the Trump Media and Technology Group in October, the platform presents itself as an effort to “stand up to the tyranny of Big Tec” (Hu, 2022). From launching his own media platform, to engaging with supporters through rallies and social media, Trump has meticulously crafted a post-presidential narrative that keeps him firmly in the public spotlight.
Prior to his journey into politics, Trump had established himself as a real estate mogul and television personality. Scrutinizing the convergence of business sense and political identity offers a distinctive perspective to comprehend the intricacies of Trump’s approach to leadership.
Public sentiment towards Trump is nuanced. A Pew Research Center study discloses public sentiment regarding Trump, highlighting both admiration and criticism. Acording to the study, approximately one-quarter of Americans express appreciation for Trump’s approach and personality, commending his commitment to promises and candidness. However, aspects of Trump’s personality also emerge as frequent points of concern, particularly his temperament and tendency to speak impulsively (Pew Research Center, 2023).
In assessing Trump’s presidency, the examination of its international dimensions reveals the profound and multifaceted impact of his policies and actions on the global stage. His foreign affairs legacy, characterized by the distinct “America First” approach, has unquestionably altered the global political, economic and security landscape. This transformation has left an indelible mark, persistently influencing international relations and the framework of global governance.
Trump’s “America First” doctrine precipitated a series of diplomatic realignments. His posture towards NATO, marked by assertions that the U.S. was disproportionately contributing while other members fell short of their commitments, coupled with his decision to reduce troops in Iraq and Afghanistan without prior consultation with NATO allies, destabilized the alliance and stirred unease among member countries (Stepansky, 2020).
Trump’s impact reaches beyond the sphere of politics; he has emerged as a cultural icon, a status highlighted by his numerous appearances and references in popular culture. This prominence reflects a broader societal fascination and engagement with his persona. Among Trump’s notable appearances in films and TV shows before his presidency is a cameo in the classic Christmas movie “Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.” His participation in the film stemmed from a stipulation he imposed for filming a scene at the Plaza Hotel, which he owned at that time. Director Chris Columbus revealed that Trump “bullied” his way into the movie, and the cameo garnered positive reactions from the audience during its initial showings (Welsh, 2020). Exploring Trump’s role in shaping contemporary culture is not just about acknowledging his political influence, but also understanding how his brand and personality have left an indelible mark on various cultural dimensions.
Trump’s re-entry into the political arena in the 2024 Republican election signifies a crucial moment for both the individual and the party he significantly reshaped. Whether it propels a triumphant comeback or signals a crossroads for the GOP, the unfolding narrative of Trump’s political resurgence molds the contours of American politics in the years to come.