In the 1980s, so-called professional wrestling was growing in popularity, with television programs captivating audiences of millions. Some TV viewers did not see the appeal in shouted dramatics, flamboyant characters, and contrived conflicts between heroes and heels.
But many other Americans not only enjoyed wrestling, they believed in it as well. To wrestling fans of that era, it was impolite to suggest that the activity was at all staged. They thought personas like Hulk Hogan and the Iron Sheik were real people; that their animosity and their showdowns in the ring were genuine.
Professional wrestling and wrestlers nurtured this belief, maintaining the pretense for years. Eventually there were investigative reports about the industry. Insiders began to crack, disclosing it was fake. Finally, professional wrestling had to admit their events were predetermined entertainment, and not legitimate sporting competition.
Republicans today have turned politics into a cage match of preposterous personalities, with ludicrous plots of intricate conspiracies. Conjuring an absurd shared fantasy while discounting doubters as mainstream spoil sports. Culminating in a candidate like Donald Trump, all style with no substance, a huckster showman taking the eagerly gullible for a ride. The enthralled conservative voter not realizing the hero is the heel.
Never miss a local story.
Xander Lih, Richland