Free Essay: The Role of Effect in Donald Trump's Speeches Contents

Published: 2023-02-12
Free Essay: The Role of Effect in Donald Trump's Speeches Contents
Type of paper:  Term paper
Categories:  Politics United States Leadership style Emotional intelligence Donald Trump
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1778 words
15 min read

The use of affect in speeches has a significant impact on the audience, and politicians have always employed the use of affect to create a movement among their constituents. For the case of Donald Trump, he was not an exception when it came to the use of affect in moving his followers and rivals. Specific emphasis will be placed on two significant speeches by President Donald Trump, which include his speech on the Border wall and his Victory Speech. These two speeches are interesting as they stand out among all the speeches he delivered during his campaign period.

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Emotions have an influence on the patterns of intonations when one is giving out a speech. Specific intonation patterns express particular emotions. Intensity for the present purposes has been equated to affect. There is a feeling that is seemingly growing within literature, media, and art theory that in the understanding of our information-and-image-based late-capitalist structure, affect is critical. These are the same grounds in which the so-called master narratives are alleged to have plunged (Massumi 27). The challenge here is that there is lack of a cultural-theoretical vocabulary that precisely matches affect.

In line with that, reference is made to the election that the United States went through in 2017 that left the entire world worried as the last ballots were counted. The major cause of the worry was due to the rise of Donald Trump, who is a billionaire, a pundit, and a real estate mogul, who gained his popularity through his straight talks. Both abroad and at home, Trump raised eyebrows when he praised enemies, spoke of ripping up trade deals, and criticized allies. These were rhetoric that has never or rarely pierced the United States mainstream political discourse. He did not stop at that but instead went ahead criticizing the religious groups, the disabled, and women, among others, in ways that other politicians would have been denounced (Edwards 181). Surprisingly, because of his rhetoric, or perhaps despite it, he continued to grow his popularity.

Before becoming the President of the United States, the emergence of Donald Trump as the winning candidate has become an issue of debate, creating a rift in the American political environment. The speeches delivered by Trump throughout the presidential election race of 2015-2016 have been sources of controversy, outrage, and enthusiasm not only in America but throughout the world. His discourse and rhetoric have detached him from others as a singular political actor who is worth scrutiny. The language used by Trump could not be found in any single study in the linguistic field.

The study focusses on the discourse that two of Trump's political speeches creates, and it involves the ways used by Trump in constructing discourse presenting a reality for his audience that surrounds his philosophy (Kreis 616). The two speeches analyzed in this paper include the Victory Speech and the Border wall speech. Through the analysis, there is an indication that Trump's speeches reveal an ideology that is consistent with the tactical patterns of "us vs. them." The paper will touch on some critical elements in the above two speeches and the effects or possible effects of the speeches.

Language and PoliticsThe use of language has been there since time immemorial in communicating actions and ideas to other people. Not until 1960, the language was not recognized to be a contributor to what is currently known as culture. Several studies today discuss how the use of language translates values and reinforces the structures of power within a society (Kreis 617). A good example is the existence of a standard American English version, which gives a particular group of people a special feeling and prestige by establishing standard grammatical correctness, vocabulary, and pronunciation against which other dialects are compared. There is also an indication of resistance and awareness of such intrinsic power structures. The studies conducted and the examples provided show the overlap of power, discourse, subjectification, and resilience.

It may be argued in line with this that all discourse is political in the long run; when there is an intimate conversation, it subtly reinforces and is constrained by the existing power structure, and just like a presidential campaign speech, it is equally practical. The political discourse is, however, different, and when analyzing a presidential address, it is essential defining what makes a political discourse as a genre, with its compositional structure and style, and relatively stable organizational patterns (Edwards 177). Most importantly, the discussion of politicians occurs in the political domain, a concept surrounding all the social actions and actors with the involvement of the government implementation of the policy. Discourse is described as political when it has a different functional role in the political process as a form of action. Additionally, the forthcoming events in which this political discourse is conceptualized include parliamentary meetings, cabinet meetings, election campaigns, bureaucratic practices, rallies, interviews, and protest demonstrations, among others.

There is an additional feature contained in this characterization which is constructed for, constructed by, or affecting the public at large. Besides, the primary aim of political discourse is for argumentation. From this purpose, people get to understand the politics nature of goal-oriented discourse, which is towards decision-making, has implications, persuasion, and action on the presentation and construction of political discourse ideology (Edwards 180). The view adopted in this paper is that political discourse comes to space when a political actor attempts to use persuasion to influence or prompt social action.

Context of the SpeechesTwo major political parties characterize the U.S. government, Republican and Democrat. Before the general presidential election, each party holds its primary elections whereby interested and qualified members of the party contest to be nominated for the general presidential election. The process of electing a person from the party to contest for the general election is referred to as primary elections. After the preferred individuals secure the party nominations, the party nominees can now proceed to contend for the general presidential election. During this time, the candidates attend several rallies and campaigns giving out their ideologies to the constituents. The data to be analyzed consists of two speeches, consisting of his Victory Speech, and the speech on the Border wall.

The study will begin with the analysis of Trump's Victory Speech. The context of this speech speaks loud about why it has been selected for the review. This speech comes at a time when he has won the elections, and therefore, the speech was no longer an argument for, but rather a way of expressing his vision of the United States' future. Importantly, Trump, in this speech, no longer needed to validate and justify his ideology against the ideologies of his enemies.

As a result, it is seen that this speech does not have most of the elements that a typical campaign speech would be expected to be having, such as appealing to emotions, fear, and pity, which are no longer needed to drum up public support and sell his ideological value. He does not have to delegitimize his rivals since, at this point, he no longer has any competitors. Besides, he also does not need to prove how legitimate he is since he has been made legitimate in the ultimate way, which is through the popular vote.

The Scheme of Using Emotional Words in Times of CrisisDonald Trump's speeches are based around racist remarks and insults. Most of the republicans worry that this type of language could be destroying the party, but according to the study by Keris (609), it is suggested that it is the same emotional speeches by Donald Trump that made his followers want him in the White House. The use of affect in the Border wall speech made Trump seem more trustworthy and presidential.

However, it is critical to understand that this kind of language used by Trump is only practical when used during times of economic hardships since the voters will have a feeling that it is a reflection of their fears and future uncertainties (Kreis 607). However, during economic stability, the voters want a candidate who can practice restraint in whatever they say, as opposed to the case during economic hardships.

The choice of words in stable and exigent circumstances should be very different, and Trump seemed to have mastered this concept very well. A president is seen as more trustworthy when they use low-intensity language in stable circumstances and seen as more trustworthy, and they use high-intensity language in difficult times. However, the speech by President Trump on the Border wall was quite dated and lacked facts. The use of affect in this speech had less impact than he intended it to be.

The Border Wall SpeechAmericans are currently fearful and uncertain about the future. Among their major fears is the intrusion of their economy by immigrants whom they claim to snatch jobs from them, among several other claims. According to Trump in his Border wall speech, he blames illegal immigrants who he refers to as criminal gangs, for the vast quantities of illegal drugs in America, and thousands of deaths. As he gave out his prime-time speech to the nation from the oval house, U.S. President Donald Trump made a declaration of a border crisis and accused the Democrats of ignoring the reality of drugs coming into the country and refusing to pay for border security. The Border wall speech, was, however, a total show of fear and lies.

In Sara Ahmed's "The Cultural Politics of Emotion," she provides a close reading of the lived emotions of everyday politics that are part of large structures and larger material of the nation-state (Ahmed 701). According to Ahmed, emotions work on body surfaces, and situates bodies outside the communities or align them with the communities, and by doing so, creates social relationships designating the rhetorical terrain of the nation (701). There is an essential contribution from her book to scholarship on affect as she provides a close reading of emotions within the felt and lived structures.

Words are repeated, and it is from the repetition that there is an effect detaching the use of the word from the context that it emerged from. There is a disjunction between context and signification. The material circumstances for the production of the words are lost, but the hints of these contexts are carried through the word. It is for this reason that emotions during a speech or in words appear to be personal, natural, and ahistorical.

Trump is emotional in his speech delivery about the wall. While addressing the congressmen in the room, he states that most of the people in the room voted for the wall, but the proper wall never got built. He continues insisting that he will get the wall built.

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