Style of speech of President Donald J. Trump and his word choice comes across to many as unprofessional, childish, and inadequate. Not everyone holds this view point though. Mr. Trump’s supporters love his speech because it is unrestricted, simple, and reinforces their pre-existing notions all at once.
Mr. Trump has always been known as a wealthy tycoon with a certain amount of power. He is known for his usage of lawyers and litigation to pick fights, defeat his enemies, and compel people to do his bidding. He emits a strong “tough guy” aura because he calls the shots and refuses to get pushed around. This attitude can be seen every time he addresses North Korea because he constantly ups the ante and refuses to back down.
To Mr. Trump, backing down or calling for diplomacy is a weakness. He has also always been seen as an alpha male due to his wealth, beautiful wives, and general life of luxury. He brought these traits with him as he declared his run for the presidency and began holding campaign rallies across the country. His charisma allowed him to captivate, and continue to hold, the support of a sizeable swath of the country.
President Trump’s persona continues to give his words validation and trustworthiness, in the eyes of his supporters, because he is the kind of leader that they want to trust. The Trump supporters, like Americans of all political spectrums, are tired of the usual politics of corrupt officials that do nothing for the people and get away with heinous crimes. Thus, they needed a leader that could show that he was not another one of those untrustworthy politicians—due to his lack of any prior political experience—and that he had the bravado to stand up to the “swamp” of Washington.
His much-touted lobbying ban, which curbs to reduce the lobbying influence of executive branch officials after they leave office, was a big part of his “drain the swamp” mission. Mr. Trump is the perfect embodiment of what his supporters have been craving all along. He is their guy. Consequently, one of the reoccurring themes throughout an examination of his style of speech is the notion of “Us vs. Them”.
By now almost everyone has heard someone say that they like Mr. Trump because he “speaks his mind.” This phrase implies that Mr. Trump says whatever is on his mind and never has any kind of filter in place. This is often the case during his rallies and is especially true with his Twitter habits. The president uses Twitter as a means to communicate directly with the people without restriction from outside forces.
Belief in a ‘deep state’ that controls American political and economic affairs is common throughout all political camps. Some saw Mr. Trump as a candidate, and now as a president, who is not beholden to these forces and is thus able to say what truly needs to be said in a way the likes of Barack Obama, or other government officials, could not. They see Mr. Trump as the hero that America needs because they believe he will stand up to the deep state and its power.
President Trump’s rhetoric also resonates well with his supporters because it gets straight to the point. He hones in on the issues that they care most about, such as bringing jobs back to America, being tough on China and its trade practices, putting North Korea and Iran in their places, building a wall between the American and Mexican border, and implementing more stringent immigration reform. Mr. Trump has also continually called out liberal and moderate media outlets such as CNN and MSNBC to be “fake news,” an accusation that his supporters would probably not hesitate to agree with. Political leaders gain a following when they preach to the choir and Mr. Trump knows this better than anyone else.
President Trump’s followers also love him because he confirms their pre-existing beliefs while other politicians discard these beliefs as conspiracy theories that are illegitimate and unimportant. He gives their beliefs a sort of credibility, salience, and validity by repeating them consistently. These issues include Hillary Clinton’s role in an attack on an American compound in Benghazi, Bill Clinton’s secretive meeting with then-Attorney General Loretta Lynch on a tarmac in Arizona, how Mr. Obama was “soft on Iran”, the influx of dangerous refugees from the Middle East, and the mass wave of illegal immigrants from Mexico and Latin America. He gives their voice and their ideas a platform to be heard. He reminds a forgotten group that someone stands with them and takes them seriously.
Mr. Trump continues to enjoy widespread support amongst his base due largely in part to his successful speaking style and methods of communication. He retains trust because he is the type of candidate that many Americans have been searching for desperately. He addresses the issues that matter to his supporters in a way that is simple and to the point. His speech is unrestricted and continues to flow out in a direct fashion to his supporters via Twitter and his rallies. He also continues to enjoy popularity amongst a large majority of his supporters because he gives their beliefs legitimacy and takes them seriously unlike most other politicians.Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial position of The Globe Post.