"Love follows knowledge."
"Beauty above all beauty!"
– St. Catherine of Siena

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

On Language: Donald Trump’s Mastery of Political Speech

First let me preface this that I am not a Donald Trump supporter.  Personally I think he’s a demagogue and opportunist.  I hope he does not win the Republican Primary, though some of the other candidates would also be problematic for other reasons.  This is not a political post, but a post on the use of language.  Don’t construe this as an endorsement of Trump in any way.

I have been amazed at the remarkable rise of Donald Trump.  He is a complete novice in the world of politics, and yet his rise has been incredible.  Everyone said he would come crashing down, and everyone keeps waiting for that moment that he does.  It now has been more than half a year and he hasn’t, and if anything he only seems to rise in the polls.  You can’t just say it’s because of demagogic positions.  He has rebuffed attacks and defended his positions masterfully.  Everyone has been baffled as to why he keeps rising, and all I could pinpoint to was that he connects with people.  That’s kind of general, but this analysis nailed it.  It’s Trump’s use of language.  What you’re going to see is Trump give a minute long answer to a question, and the analyst then broke it down to show how it works. 

Now that is fascinating.  Yes, the analysist was completely biased, and actually demeaning.  But that is irrelevant to the analysis. 

So what it comes down to is that Trump speaks the language of the common man, not the intellectual, not the overly educated, but the language of the guy on the street working through the issues and applying common sense.  It’s the language of common sense.  Whether the solutions to the problems are right or wrong, good or bad, is not the point.  The point is that through his language he has bonded with the listener, and bonding is the foremost element to politics. We support and vote for those we bond with, even above ideas.  Trump may be inexperienced in politics, but he is a natural.

I wanted to post this just prior to the debate on Thursday night, so you could listen to Trump speaking and pick up on his language techniques.  But I have just heard he will not participate in the debate.  Oh well, you’ll have to save it for another opportunity.


  1. I have wondered if the way hie talks is calculated. He can't be a dumb guy, having gotten to where he is. But, no, I don't like him. I am glad that we can have a Trump-free debate and hear the others without all his noise.

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  3. He's not a politician, Manny. He speaks to the citizens without being condescending like so many in the political arena.

    My guess is, that is why so many are flocking to him. America appears very weary of professional politicians and the press.

    Just my thoughts, for what it is worth.


  4. What Sue said. The average Joe/Jan is sick of the scheming, lying, pandering and profiteering of the average politician and The Donald seems to be an antidote to that. That's his language.

    The government has made a country, once charitable and decent, into one in which you almost feel compelled to despise your foreign neighbors or those who really need help. Still, a rational means of dealing with our issues needs to be formulated, not one-jerk responses to gin up support.

    Sorry to say it, but we are screwed no matter who wins....

  5. Thank you all for your thoughts. Personally I can't wait for the election to be over. This gets so tiresome.