The new American export: Trump Hate

"How's Hong Kong?" I asked a friend visiting from the States.  "It's good" he replied, "but different.  Well, except for one thing: everyone hates Donald Trump."

Oddly enough, the people of Hong Kong are not unique in this respect.  Global approval ratings for Trump are generally abysmal, to say the least.  And so begins the decline of American Influence! pundits, writers, and politicians moan.  But what if this were not the case?  What if "Hating Trump" is actually a sign of how influential America still is?

From Dave Chappelle to Sarah Silverman, American media have enjoyed deep pockets verbally excoriating The Donald, day in, day out.  He is the perennial subject of talk shows across the country, practically dominates all forms of social media, and has even been burned in effigy.  Rapper YG went platinum with his notorious single about the president, affectionately dubbed "[F---] Donald Trump."  At this point, Trump Hate™ is practically its own multi-million-dollar industry.

The notion that the rest of the world would be seriously influenced by this vituperative display is not at all far-fetched.  Historians like Tony Judt have long contended that Americans are remarkably adept exporters – both material and immaterial.  In the postwar years, the globe was saturated with American manufactured goods, music, cinema, art, and especially food.  This "McWorld stage" of American consumerism characterized the '60s through the '80s.  As McDonald's, Tom Petty, and basketball permeated international culture, Americanization cemented itself globally.  While China has replaced our role as the "supplier of material goods," America still retains its place as a cultural icon, albeit, apparently, ranked third by U.S. News and World Reports, though there are certainly reasons to be skeptical of that placement.  Hollywood is demonstrably larger and more international in breadth then the net sum of its leading competitors, including Bollywood.  American food chains still far surpass any and all challengers by international revenue.  American music still, doubtless, reigns supreme.  So, too, do our media's political opinions.

Like Coke and rock & roll, "Trump Hate" is a cultural export, a meme.  In some cases, it's a literal fashion statement.  Supreme, an avant-garde clothing brand, makes a fortune (internationally and domestically) selling designer shirts with a "[F---] Trump" logo; it's not alone.  Take a trip to Cabo, venture to the nearest gift shop, and you'll find a stand with "[F---] Trump" bracelets and shirts galore.  Around the world, Trump has become a universal anathema.  Accordingly, hating Trump is no longer strictly a political opinion; it's the new American fashion statement.

In an age where Americans are weary of an ever impending geriatric descent into international disgrace and anonymity, Trump Hate should offer some hope – our media are so influential that they can make even our most historically soporific political dealings a front-page international affair.

"How's Hong Kong?" I asked a friend visiting from the States.  "It's good" he replied, "but different.  Well, except for one thing: everyone hates Donald Trump."

Oddly enough, the people of Hong Kong are not unique in this respect.  Global approval ratings for Trump are generally abysmal, to say the least.  And so begins the decline of American Influence! pundits, writers, and politicians moan.  But what if this were not the case?  What if "Hating Trump" is actually a sign of how influential America still is?

From Dave Chappelle to Sarah Silverman, American media have enjoyed deep pockets verbally excoriating The Donald, day in, day out.  He is the perennial subject of talk shows across the country, practically dominates all forms of social media, and has even been burned in effigy.  Rapper YG went platinum with his notorious single about the president, affectionately dubbed "[F---] Donald Trump."  At this point, Trump Hate™ is practically its own multi-million-dollar industry.

The notion that the rest of the world would be seriously influenced by this vituperative display is not at all far-fetched.  Historians like Tony Judt have long contended that Americans are remarkably adept exporters – both material and immaterial.  In the postwar years, the globe was saturated with American manufactured goods, music, cinema, art, and especially food.  This "McWorld stage" of American consumerism characterized the '60s through the '80s.  As McDonald's, Tom Petty, and basketball permeated international culture, Americanization cemented itself globally.  While China has replaced our role as the "supplier of material goods," America still retains its place as a cultural icon, albeit, apparently, ranked third by U.S. News and World Reports, though there are certainly reasons to be skeptical of that placement.  Hollywood is demonstrably larger and more international in breadth then the net sum of its leading competitors, including Bollywood.  American food chains still far surpass any and all challengers by international revenue.  American music still, doubtless, reigns supreme.  So, too, do our media's political opinions.

Like Coke and rock & roll, "Trump Hate" is a cultural export, a meme.  In some cases, it's a literal fashion statement.  Supreme, an avant-garde clothing brand, makes a fortune (internationally and domestically) selling designer shirts with a "[F---] Trump" logo; it's not alone.  Take a trip to Cabo, venture to the nearest gift shop, and you'll find a stand with "[F---] Trump" bracelets and shirts galore.  Around the world, Trump has become a universal anathema.  Accordingly, hating Trump is no longer strictly a political opinion; it's the new American fashion statement.

In an age where Americans are weary of an ever impending geriatric descent into international disgrace and anonymity, Trump Hate should offer some hope – our media are so influential that they can make even our most historically soporific political dealings a front-page international affair.