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Takes One To Know One


The 2016 general Presidential election in the United States raised several questions and concerns in terms of just how far politicians, or in this case businessmen, were willing to go to ensure the winning vote. This can be especially exemplified in Donald Trump’s political campaign trail that he used to persuade the “quiet majority” of the United States to vote for him as president. Due to the nature that was Trump’s campaign, it would not be surprising that his claims, tactics and otherwise surprisingly persuasive techniques were utilized insight and promote hate within a majority of the nation. While I disagree with almost entirely with every word that is released from Donald J. Trump’s mouth, I found his campaign techniques to be utterly fantastic and brilliant which is likely due to his business-man background; he knows how to “sell” himself, so to speak. Although Trump’s ability to deflect questions on serious matters and turn every situation into a pointing game during the 2016 Presidential elections, he was clearly able to win his campaign and it was likely due to his political knowledge or it may have been due to his media innovation tactics that reached a particular population within the nation.

Ad Hominem

It was seen during may of Trump’s speeches and/or interviews that the ad hominem tactic, particularly in the context of Hillary Clinton, was most ardently used. Referring to famous quotes by Trump during the 2016 election, rather than addressing the position Clinton, he would launch a personal attack on her, ignoring her position all together. For example, the “nasty woman” line Trump gave during one of the CNN Presidential debates to Hillary that was completely uncorrelated to the topic of discussion (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q2KOQfZ0Zd0). This one personal attack on Hillary Clinton by Trump is an example of his famous statements that inspired and pushed the social movement of The Women’s March the day after his Inauguration. Similar comments had been made by Donald Trump during the campaign and election period on other candidates: Bernie Sanders was remarked to be a “socialist whack job” and while there were many ad hominem statements by Trump for his opposition party running mates, the insults were not reserved solely for them. For instance, Ted Cruz was titled as a “maniac” and Ben Carson as “pathological”. Yet these fallacies were primarily brought out when Trump would be questioned on important issues such as his thought on policy or when he would release his taxes, and somehow this finger-pointing attitude won him the Presidency of The United States. While there is a distinct difference between attacking a person’s past actions and attacking a person’s being, there doesn’t seem to be a preferred method of fallacy by the President.

Straw Person

The twisting of facts seems to be a Donald Trump specialty, particularly one that we have witnessed as a nation during the first 100 days of the Trump administration. The irrelevant response in an adversarial context consisting specifically of attacking a misrepresentation of the opponent’s position can be seen by Trump aiming a target on Democrats in general but particularly Hillary Clinton and the Obama Administration. Now, this tactic of taking one party’s stance and blowing it out of proportion is by no means a new tactic of American Politicians. Both parties with candidates having a range of views have used this as a way to get their agendas across. However, the manner in which Trump managed to do this during the 2016 election is excessive. For example, during the third Presidential debate comments, “Under her plan, you have open borders. You would have a disaster on trade and you will have a disaster with your open borders.” He pointed, as evidence of this, to a speech Clinton gave to a Brazilian bank in 2013. This out of context and distorted comment was a common occurrence for Trump during the election up even until this point in his Presidency.

Hasty Conclusion

Live tweeting is apparently seen as an appropriate feature of Trump’s new presidency, supposedly to allow transparency to the American people of what their President is up to. However, in actuality, the privileged individuals that do have access to these ill-written. 140 character rants, are not necessarily keen on the President of the United States voicing more opinion via social media than in particular press conferences. For example, one of the most infamous hasty conclusions exhibited by President Donald J. Trump is the blaming of global warming on the Chinese nation via twitter.

For many, this interaction with Trump overall on social media is the most opinion or actual policy-oriented opinion he will share with the general public. While this interaction and maintenance of a media presence is a new aspect for the Presidency and initially seen in the Obama Administration, the expectations the Trump administration have set for the online image is relatively low. Therefore, one would assume that the man, prior to running for the Presidency, we elected as President would never blame another nation for the effects of climate change over an app that restricts its user to 140 characters per post. However, the hasty conclusions in which Trump can be accountable for are abundant beyond belief particularly with his tweets:

Seemingly enough these fallacy techniques are of a Trump nature rather than of an Administration problem, hence, the rephrasing of some of the things that come out of President Donald J. Trump’s mouth would require a complete makeover of his personality. However the appeal of Trump cannot go unnoticed, for he certainly had and has the ability to gather masses of people within the United States as he was able to gather them to the polls. While the ideological views of Trump can be debated on endlessly, the lack of political correctness or political jargon as many of his peers in Washington was inevitably one of the biggest attractions of the Trump campaign. However one can speak the vernacular of the people without offending half of its population. Similarly, the name calling Trump often resorts to it merely childish and typically does not even support his claims of the individual he is calling out. His populist charisma took the United States by surprise since he’s not even necessarily “likeable”; however he brought the people out of their homes and into the voting booths. Even though it can be confusing for the opposing side to see any redeeming qualities in Trump, what truly needs to be evaluated is the blatant fallacies in his interactions and how the man who created the label “fake news” is the closest thing to truly fake news.

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