About a month ago I had a take home exam/essay for my Political Communication unit at university. Now that I have gotten the marks back for them – I can happily say I got 100% for it all, as the guy that ran the unit was really impressed and even praised the fact I challenged some of the concepts and ideas – I thought I would post them all here in a string of short pieces without fear of TurnItIn flagging me for plagiarising my own content. I’ll quote the questions we were given and then have what I wrote underneath – there will be six in total. Here I discuss why I think Donald Trump is one of the most (scarily) spectacular communicators in the current political sphere.
Name a politician who is an effective communicator. Why did you choose that person?
Unquestionably, one of the greatest political communicators today is Donald Trump. To stress the obvious, brilliant communication does not imply anything of substance is being expressed, but it is undeniable that Trump’s style has been successful for him.
For starters, while he has been a useful tool for the Republican Party, he very rarely appears to have ‘handlers’ or anyone else attempting to guide his speech. This allows him to have an extremely authentic, if terrifying and uncouth, voice and image that has drawn in crowds of people disenfranchised with the establishment. The art of this charade is, of course, how Trump was able to achieve that image whilst actually being the product and embodiment of that very establishment.
The use of slogans is also effective. Even if an entire speech consists of lies or fluff, if there is a phrase that can be picked up, either by the media to generate controversy or his base to solidify their support, it was a successful speech. Some examples:
- Lock her up.
- Send her back.
- Make America Great Again.
- Anything to do with the wall.
- Repetitive use of the words ‘big’, ‘great’, ‘best’, ‘beautiful’, etc. (self-aggrandising language).
His command over social media is unrivalled as well, again keeping in mind the lies, fluff, and slogans. He bypasses a lot of traditional media channels and says whatever he thinks on his personal Twitter account, again generating controversy and publicity – some in the media fawn over it obsessively.
All of this keeps him constantly in the news, increasing his reach even more. The mere fact that he managed to win the Presidency against all (mainstream) expectations is tribute to how successfully (and worryingly) he can communicate and pull in a crowd.
Read part 3 HERE
Read part 5 HERE