Trumplandia: Shared Evidence of the Impact of Trump’s Presidency on the World
I have pledged to not watch any television or cable news, or read or listen to any news online or on the radio, for four years.* Therefore I am asking people to upload fieldnotes and/or visual evidence to this virtual space. Trumplandia will be a virtual space for documenting the impact of Trump’s presidency on the world. Your fieldnotes will become my news source.
This project began two days after the 2016 US Presidential election of Donald Trump. The changes promised by the president-elect to “make America great again” were authoritarian and racist. He promised to build a wall between the United States and Mexico and that Mexico would pay for the wall. He promised to stop protecting our allies around the world unless they paid up. He promised to give police more power in the name of protecting our streets. He promised to take away people’s health care and give them something better. He promised to create a deportation force. He promised to lock Hillary Clinton up. He promised not to raise the minimum wage and to lower taxes for the wealthiest Americans. The implications of his proposed policies for the planet’s climate are devastating. And the list goes on.
Given that there would be no funding for his projects, and that the working class whites who voted for him would see their wages stagnate and possibly drop, I thought it would be important to document the inevitable disenchantment with a conspiracy-theorist turned president. Not only would the wages and jobs not return to depressed areas of the country, school funding in poorer districts would evaporate and health care disappear. To quell the disenchantment, Trump might take the United States to war; a staged war not unlike Reagan’s Invasion of Grenada in 1983. I want nothing better than to be proven wrong, but even the people who voted for him realized that he really did not have any coherent policies.
Why I Need Ethnographic Evidence from You
The television and cable news media were terrible in the run-up to the election. Pundits echoed each other, their commentary showed very little critical engagement with history, they could not distinguish facts from rhetoric and so engaged in bizarre false equivalencies. Finally, the fact that news organizations spend less and less on beat reporters covering numerous regions of the United States and the world really showed. The right and left-leaning media threw red meat to their viewers in order to attract viewership. When did it make sense to treat political operatives like journalists.
Rather than wait another four years only to be put through another fact-free election year, this collection will be my news source.
Contribute Your Stories
If you come across a social phenomenon related to Trump’s presidency that you consider valuable, please share. For example, the city of Tijuana is considering building a refugee camp to house migrants from other countries who used to only pass through in order to get to the United States.
What to Contribute
- You can contribute a photo, a poem, audio or video, a short story, or even your published article.
- Any textual, visual, or audio evidence must be accompanied by a 200-500 word “fieldnote” or essay explaining why you chose this evidence, its relevance to the political questions at hand, and the questions it either answers or provokes.
- Finally, everyone who submits must explain a bit about themselves, a first name (a least), age (range or generation is fine), and your general location when you submit. Optional but helpful data would also include race and/or ethnicity, where you grew up, political sensibilities, profession, income bracket, and/or family status.
Professor of Anthropology
Coming Soon: A Gallery of Submissions from Around the World
*There are a few exceptions, I will listen to the radio show On the Media, I will read the weekend paper edition of the New York Times, I will read exceptional investigative journalism, and if, for example, I am at the airport and CNN is on I will not shield my eyes or plug my ears.