Blog

  • Using a narrative-based approach to explain the failure of Hillary Clinton’s campaign

    In the next few posts, I plan to go deeper into my explaining my conviction that Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump was due in large part to her failure to define and tell a meaningful personal narrative.  On the 22nd of May 2016, some six months before the United States presidential election, candidate Hillary Clinton appeared on the popular

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  • The sheer power of repetition in political discourse

    In the last post, we looked at some rather unique elements of President Trump’s approach to speech-making. Whatever one’s opinion of Mr Trump, there is no denying that he was able to captivate audiences at his campaign rallies with his unconventional, irreverent, and often inflammatory rhetoric. By speaking with steadfast certainty, and by fervently repeating his convictions, he establishes an

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  • Donald Trump’s radical departure from traditional political parlance

    As we discussed briefly in the previous post, simple sentences and continual repetition of his core concepts are two cornerstones of Donald Trump’s approach to speech-making. Today, I would like to take a closer look at these and other aspects of the president’s unique form of discourse. From a rhetorical perspective, his manner of speaking represents quite a dramatic change

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  • Emotion and effectiveness in the discourse of Donald Trump

    In the last post, we focused our attention on the power of emotional discourse. As we noted, a significant element of Donald Trump’s astonishing electoral victory was his ability to move people to action by appealing to their hearts, far more than to their heads. Immediately after the November election, when the pollsters, pundits and newscasters were expressing utter disbelief

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  • Emotion trumps fact and reason

    In a post dated March 24, I listed some of the items I reflected on as I watched CNN’s interviews with Trump’s “crossover” voters from the heartland of America. Among them was that large numbers of these voters seem to have chosen more for emotional than for rational reasons. Who exactly are the crossover voters that CNN has been showing

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  • “Nobody predicted this”: How Donald Trump’s narrative persuaded Middle America

    Our last post closed with a cursory discussion of Donald Trump’s use of personal narrative during his successful campaign for the presidency of the United States. While I stated that I consider his discourse a relatively superficial effort at leading by autobiography, we are now seeing evidence that his stories of identity had a significant influence with some key elements

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