Iconoclast punk



Keywords: iconoclast punk
Description: Comparing politicians to wrestlers. GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump is playing the iconoclast, a persona perfected by former WWE wrestler CM Punk.

Want to understand the dynamics of Donald Trump ‘s popularity? Break it down, wrestling style. Trump is CM Punk – a iconoclast, “truth” bombing heel.

Iconoclasts tap into the rebellious, frustrated undercurrent of their audience while refusing to apologize to those they offend. Even those that don’t agree with them at first can grow to like or love them because of the iconoclast’s defiance of the norm that taps into a psychological desire to rebel against that which had been perceived to be immutable. In such a figure, we project latent desires derived from our own powerlessness.

For Punk, that manifested in the elitism of his straight-edge morality and “pipe bomb” promos delivered on the backstage politics of WWE and the easily manipulated audience. He was rebelling against the PG era and WWE’s never-ending push of John Cena .

Following his most infamous Pipebomb (see above), Punk went on the win and hold the WWE tile for over 400 days while ripping into the audience (see YouTube below) for their sheep like following of the admitted “character” he created, increasing his heat with every insult.

Trump is viewed by many as ripping down the fourth wall of “proper” political speech, willing to mock politicians and media personalities while bringing up topics that other candidates either run away from or engage with doublespeak. When the GOP establishment and press push back, instead of the typical apology and backtrack as the public is used to, Trump stands his ground and proclaims, “I meant what I said and you’re an idiot.” The defiance plays into an electorate that feels its leaders are constantly acquiescing to the culture of the perpetually offended.

In wrestling, characters get usually get stale within 2 years tops and have to be tweaked (heel or face turn is common fix) or dropped entirely. Punk still has massive popularity despite up and quitting (which played into his persona) because he was a master at subtly morphing the same renegade character to get the heat or pop he needed.

Trump has been the same character for decades, the only difference is that this time his gimmick is playing in the staid arena of presidential politics. For many this is refreshing, but The Donald still has 465 days until the election. I can’t see any scenario where Trump’s persona remains over enough to capture the GOP candidate much less Presidency, but who knows, he is BFFs with Vince McMahon after all.




Photogallery Iconoclast punk:


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