The now-famous Trump rallies are quite the show. Tens of thousands vie to get tickets to attend, with thousands more waiting to get inside the show. They often are trigger points for violent political protests. Trump didn’t disappoint when he called out former Vice President Joe Biden and his son, Hunter, at a campaign rally in Minneapolis.
“Your father was never considered smart,” Trump said of Biden. “He was never considered a good senator. He was only a good vice president because he understood how to kiss Barack Obama’s ass.” Ha ha ha … Red meat for the hungry Trump supporters. Regardless of the truth on the rhetoric, News Forecasters asks whether this style of political campaign rhetoric is good for political debate, and what effects it has for the choices we make for the people that govern us?
Of course, it is not just Trump, Democrats have their own radical rhetoric as well. 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke compared a recent Donald Trump rally, at which supporters chanted “Send her back!” in reference to Rep. Ilhan Omar, to the Nazi party rallies at Nuremberg. “Yes, President Trump is a racist,” O’Rourke told a reporter for ABC News in response to a question asking whether Trump is racist. More political rhetoric to trigger emotive responses.
A growing body of evidence has shown that our voting is governed more by emotions and less by rationality. The decision to go out and vote, for a start, is in itself an irrational decision. Political scientists refer to it as the “voting paradox.” Voting involves considerable effort, which needs to be offset by a benefit if the decision is to be rational. But each of us separately has little influence on the election outcome.
An analysis from Copypop.com, an online platform that tests advertising among consumers, has looked at this issue. The company tested several ads from leading presidential candidates to see which ones had the most success in shifting voter opinion. The study showed that 90% of the change in voting intention by people was from an emotional response alone. The three factors in the study measured: (1) how much people liked an ad, (2) what emotion they felt, and (3) how much they felt that emotion.
The only thing that explains people’s vote switching was how the advertising made them feel – emotions and not facts. What didn’t matter was learning something new or useful in an ad, if you agreed with the points being made, if the message relevant, if you believed the candidate, or if you thought the candidate would be good for the people. This goes for negative or positive advertising.
Most agree that Trump has been a master at making a circus out of politics. He even has a long list of cutesy nicknames he gives his opponents. But the shock value of Trump’s rhetoric is purely to obtain emotive reactions, for his political gain. The media eats up the rhetoric for its clickbait value. Everyone is waiting for the latest zinger quote.
Here is the problem. The more emotions, the less fact base voting will occur. It opens the door for radical ideas that would not normally be allowed in the political spectrum of ideas. No one is paying attention to these radical ideas and just how radical they really are. In News Forecasters’ opinion, many of Trump’s actual policies are not that radical, but his opponent’s ideas do. Whoever thought America would even consider a socialist president?
On the other side of this argument is that one needs to use “any means possible” to stop radical ideas. Guess what, your opponents will also use “any means possible” to defend and attack. If Trump should lose the 2020 presidential election, America will change dramatically. It is a phenomenon that has gone global (i.e., Boris Johnson). It is a very risky game.
In terms of the policy, News Forecasters will let you decide which are the best policies, but what we can say is that radical policies are coming. Though not entirely, Trump can take credit for this in the future.