To say that Donald Trump has been a controversial president is an understatement at best. What might be worse than the looming cloud overshadowing his presidency is the contention between Trump supporters and anti-Trump protesters. Since the day President Trump won the Republican presidential nomination, tempers have flared Even fellow Republicans couldn’t hold back from lambasting the billionaire who wins at everything: including the United States’ highest office. But as America falls into greater division, there has to be a way to bridge the gap between the right and the left. No, there are no solutions offered here. But an observation that might come into play is that anti-Trump supporters might find Saturday Night Live a bit therapeutic during these Trump-filled troubling times.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) February 10, 2017
Saturday Night Live is enjoying high ratings, and there’s no doubt that Alec Baldwin’s portrayal of President Trump as a billionaire, bumbling buffoon is the reason why. Week after week, Baldwin has honed in on comments Trump has made, actions he has done and parodied them with hilarious humor on Saturday Night Live. The skits may have angered President Trump causing him to lash out on Twitter, and of course, Trump supporters have stopped watching the show, but for anti-Trump viewers, they’re not just watching, but they’re watching repeatedly and laughing.
Laughing at Trump through Baldwin’s characterization may help anti-Trump protesters channel their anger into a positive direction. Let’s face it. The riots and protests were supposed to be a non-violent, peaceful demonstration against President Trump, but that isn’t always the case. Though there are countless people who do march peacefully, there have been arrests, arson and downright violence on both sides of the fence. With Saturday Night Live’s humorous skits; however, more anti-Trump protesters are finding themselves laughing with others at the characterizations of Trump and his cabinet. While we’re certain Trump, Jeff Sessions, Sean Spicer and Kellyanne Conway aren’t laughing (well, maybe Sean Spicer, Melissa McCarthy is hilarious with her gum-slamming depiction of him), there may be benefits for anti-Trump protesters.
According to HelpGuide, humor and laughter can help restore relationships and resolve disagreements. The American Psychological Association recommends humor as a way of controlling anger and rage. Many people are outraged and furious with the way President Trump and his new administration are handling the country’s affairs, but instead of going to the nearest parking lot and smashing car windows, there is an outlet for that anger through Saturday Night Live and other late night comedy shows. In fact, if you look at YouTube’s trending videos, you’ll find that it has become filled with skits, sketches, and commentary that essentially bash President Trump. Not everyone is in a position to sit down with President Trump and hash out their differences on a personal level, but there are therapeutic benefits to laughing and using humor to get past anger. If shows like Saturday Night Live were truly fueling the fire and anti-Trump hate, there would be a spike in violent protests every Sunday morning.
Laughter is healing and therapeutic, there is no question about that. While no one is laughing at the state of affairs and the seriousness the country faces, laughter can help. It also helps to overexaggerate points, so that people can focus on real issues in a more balanced way.
For example, Kate McKinnon just did a skit featuring Kellyanne Conway as a character from Fatal Attraction who was obsessed with CNN’s Jake Tapper and would do anything to be in the limelight and back in interviews following her recent comments and endorsement of the Ivanka Trump brand. While anti-Trump protesters are certain to laugh at the skit which is relaxing and therapeutic in itself, it also shows that the skit is an exaggeration. The viewing audience understands that Kellyanne Conway is not a threat to Jake Tapper or willing to break into his home demanding he interviews her. This type of parody helps bring back balance to a situation so that anger can dispel, and the real issues may be dealt with.
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) February 12, 2017
Saturday Night Live might empower audience members to come up with new strategies to hep win back the House and Senate in a constructive and effective manner while diffusing the tension, anger, and rage many have not only felt but exhibited.
[Featured Image by Will Heath/NBC (used with permission)]