He has been our private obsession, our little guilty pleasure even — but now it’s time to close that chapter for good.

It is now evidently clear that Donald Trump has lost. The votes have been recounted numerous times, world leaders have acknowledged Joe Biden as President-elect and even the GOP strong wall formed  cracks earlier this week, as party members urged the President to cede — which he has.

So here we are. I am writing this article and you are reading it as the tumultuous reign of the 45th American president comes to an end. Let’s face it — in the words of John Harris from the Politico — ‘We’re addicted to Trump’. But why?


A common nemesis

It’s not just the public, politicians have been affected by this Trump obsession too, though for a different reason. For the past four years, the ever-widening agendas of the Democratic Party have united under one common goal — getting rid of Trump. With this unifying aim accomplished, the coalition of progressives and moderates once again threatens to separate and dilute the voter pool. The Democratic Party need progressives like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders to maintain and improve results in stronghold states, especially as evidence shows voting by young people saw an 8 per cent increase. This must be done while keeping moderate Democrats like Conor Lamb to rally voters in the more conservative places, as they tend to determine political control. In short, a common nemesis may have greatly helped Democrats during the 2020 elections, but as the party fractures into distinct factions, there is plenty of room for internal conflict. The lead-up to the 2022 midterm elections will truly be a test of how well Democrats can keep it together and lead America to the future they promised.

A money magnet

The fall of Donald Trump will be detrimental to the political sphere but it will also extend into the private sector. One reason for the collective obsession with the President are his antics. Antics that kept the lights on at major news organisations as rash speeches, fervent Twitter rants and infamous rallies provided more than enough content to analyse, scrutinise and chew over. In fact, in the year leading up to the 2016 election CNN marked its most profitable year in history, while both Fox News and MSNBC saw a significant rise in viewership — as noted in The New York Times feature piece.

The Trump circus effectively drew in the public and continued to hold its attention throughout his presidency. And we know that when opportunity presents itself, there will always be those waiting to capitalise on it.

A distraction

During Trump’s tumultuous presidency, the media won. So did the spirit of American politics, along with world leaders everywhere. This is not a conspiracy theory, but an observational comment. Politics is akin to a game of chess where the moves are slow and sacrifices must be made. And just like a chess game, true policy creation is rarely as enticing as Trump’s presidency was. The global spotlight on Trump helped distract the general public from the laborious game of chess that was being played. More than that, it gave the world a sense of gay detachment as they leaned back and enjoyed the array of emotions brought on by politics, minus the unpleasant repercussions.

The path ahead remains uncharted territory and we’ll need our wits to navigate through the torrent of issues that plague governance. Although it is compelling to indulge Donald Trump in just one more round of headline-making news stories, we must fight the withdrawal symptoms and refocus our attention towards issues that truly matter.