Fortune Favors the Bold, But Will the Future?

It’s said that fortune favors the bold, but American history suggests that it doesn’t always favor the bright. Pure boldness has little trouble finding the limelight, even when its consequences are close behind.

The Virtue of Volume

Take former president Donald Trump and influencer Andrew Tate for examples. Neither one of them is the sharpest tool in the shed, but they make up for this shortcoming by being the loudest, most abrasive tool instead. And I do mean tool. Trump managed first to become a billionaire nepotism beneficiary (recall the “small loan of a million dollars” he received from his late father). Then, the first president of the United States to have no prior political or military experience (the latter of which he deftly—and frequently—avoided). Trump, who is certainly not among the world’s top political minds, won his right to the nation’s highest office by the same means he crafted his business and media empires with—money and persistence.

Trump the businessman appeared in films, reality television, at world championship fights, and even in a board (1989’s Trump: The Game) and video game (2002’s Donald Trump’s Real Estate Tycoon). He plastered his name on whatever he could in countless blazes of his characteristically shameless self-promotion and self-aggrandizement. During his campaign and presidency, the same ego-stroking

Donald Trump in Zoolander (2001).

ensued. Only he knew the way forward, only he would keep the country safe, and only he would deliver us from violence, hate, and economic instability. His ascendance—irrespective of how catastrophic the downfall—proves that there are benefits to being the loudest voice in the room.

Andrew Tate is also a very loud, very persistent man. He is ruthless and unwavering in his preaching of the supposed virtues of violent misogyny. That ruthlessness netted him money, notoriety, and over five million social media followers across platforms before they all wised up and banned him. Like Trump (who, naturally, Tate supports), Tate made a name for himself by being a bold and arrogant bully who maintains his platform by simply being louder and ruder than his smarter and more ethical opponents.

The Potential Future of Influencing

That this kind of behavior can prove beneficial to anyone is a truly terrifying thought. Even though recent events might indicate that Trump’s and Tate’s fortunes have run out, both men managed to do their fair share of damage beforehand. The damage that any such people can do with a platform hardly needs to be imagined, for there are current and palpable examples of its consequences. Trump did more to exacerbate the nation’s white supremacist fervor than any president had in decades. Tate could very well have used his money and influence to establish and maintain a human trafficking ring. If we continue choosing to listen to these kinds of personalities, you can bet that a four-

Andrew Tate being escorted by authorities after his arrest for alleged human trafficking.

year presidency will pale in comparison to what’s to come.

Trump’s short-lived political success and the young firebrands who support him—a group that includes commentators Nick Fuentes and Candace Owens and former congressman Madison Cawthorn—constitute an unspeakably horrific omen. If hate-preaching conspiracy theorists like Trump, Republican governors Ron DeSantis, Greg Abbott, Kristi Noem, and congresswoman Marjorie Taylor Greene can all come out on top of democratic elections today, what could possibly lurk behind the door tomorrow? As scary and nearly satirical of a prospect as it is, recent electoral history indicates that we might not be too far away from the day that an angry and opinionated social media influencer like Andrew Tate wins political office. Popular young Internet personalities certainly have no shortage of funds or fans. Once they get a gray hair or two (should they even choose to wait that long), what’s to stop them from following in Trump’s footsteps and capitalizing on their former glory?

Given that popularity, no matter its foundations is all that’s required to be elected to office in a democratic system, unqualified twentysomethings with political opinions and millions of social media followers could be running in your local elections in the coming years. Unlike Trump and his dodgy disciples, my goal isn’t to inspire fear for political, economic, or any other kind of gain. I only wish to catalog current damages to figure out how to avoid future ones. Also unlike Trump, I don’t claim to have the answers. All I know is what I can see, and what I can see is that in America, aggressive, anti-intellectual personalities seem to be especially in vogue. Whether they stay there, I believe, is a matter of grave importance, both nationally and abroad. One must choose to serve one of two masters: the Rude or the Shrewd.

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