Clinton vs. Trump: Donald trump presidential run 2016 – The media beast (3)
Clinton vs. Trump: the political rhetoric of the 2016 presidential election, or does Donald’s style trump content?
If effectiveness is the real measure of modern times, Donald Trump is a great rhetorician. His speaking style has proven effective by most counts. Whether he knows what he is doing, he is aware of his effectiveness. In this extraordinary presidential election, you have to ask if Donald’s style trumps content. Let’s have a closer look at the donald trump presidential run 2016 in terms of rhetorics, media effectiveness & things you can learn to use for your own journey.
Donald Trump presidential run 2016 – Trump: the political creature
Donald Trump is not the presumptive Republican candidate through the support of the majority of Americans. While he had competition from the other Republican candidates, he garnered 35% of the primary votes – at best. And, since he has been running alone, he has earned as much as 45% of the primary votes.
But, you must remember what a state primary measures. States run their own primaries, and the political parties decide on procedure. So, the winning percent is not a function of the whole population or even the voting population. It is a percentage of voting party members. So, his popularity with the entire electorate remains to be seen.
Moreover, the competition has been slim. Donald Trump has had no credible competitor. Senator Mario Rubio did show something close to the Kennedy sex-appeal, but he lacked the necessary strength of character. Carly Fiorina spoke straight and clear under the Trump bluster. Governor Kasich and Dr. Ben Carson lacked the spirit and agenda necessary. Governors Jeb Bush and Chris Christie misjudged their appeal. And, Tea Party bully Sen. Ted Cruz outgunned Senators Rand Paul and Rick Santorum. Never have so many fought for the votes of so few.
So, Donald Trump finds himself in the lead heading for the national convention. He does so with fewer and fewer friends in the Republican Party leadership. There is no evidence he can capture and hold the independent-minded, and Tea Party conservatives have yet to commit.
Donald Trump presidential run 2016 – Trump: the media beast
Donald Trump is a man of the times and culture he has shaped:
- Rumor, rush-to-judgement, and media celebrity rule.
- His Kardashian world pays big money for just showing up.
- His world equates looking good with quality.
Born to new wealth, he has exploited his father’s numbers into untaxed and unreported fortunes. One joke goes, “Trump has married two east European immigrants; this just goes to prove immigrants will take the jobs most Americans wouldn’t touch.”
His image reflects from the gold-leafed features of his palatial Trump Tower penthouse. The reflection is so meaningful that he confers with it first thing each morning. According to William Cohan in The Atlantic, this image is the “arc of uninterrupted, overwhelming, seemingly effortless success. [This] iconic self-made man may stand center stage in the culture, but not far to the side is his fun-house-mirror image, no less American and only a little less beloved: the sly huckster, the razzle-dazzler.”
Trump has so bought into and exploited the belief in his Midas touch that it has become his most attractive feature to the have-nots.
Donald Trump presidential run 2016 – Trump: the rhetorician
Trump’s political message goes like this: if you are unhappy and unfulfilled by the political status quo and establishment politics, Donald Trump is the schemer that makes the most sense. This is true even if “the Art of the Scheme is that he’ll get rich by promising to make you rich.”
With values stripped away, Donald Trump has proven a very effective candidate. BuzzFeedNews quotes Trump on Fox News’ O’Reilly Factor, “if I attack it [the opposition] on a purely intellectual basis, nobody would listen and the response would not have been nearly as effective.”
- He favors single syllable words, focuses on his personal pronoun as if it were the pontifical “we,” and avoids politically correct phrases in favor of pejorative slurs.
- His choppy, rambling, and extemporaneous speeches approximate conversation which, according to Georgetown University linguist Jennifer Sclafani, helps construct “an identity for him as authentic, relatable and trustworthy, which are qualities that voters look for in a presidential candidate.
- Trump resorts to enthymeme, making an argument without stating the point. That is, he loves innuendo because he remains arm’s-length from the actual charge.
- He pursues a natural cadence of repetition that makes him vulnerable to comedians and valued by uncritical audiences.
- And, by referring to everything in huge terms, he can make promises beyond measuring.
So looking at the Donald Trump presidential run 2016, Donald’s rhetorical style clearly trumps content. He is proving very effective, and that makes for modern truth.
(This series continues with an analysis of Hilary’s Clinton this political season.)