Are We Falling Victim To The Oldest Tricks In The Book?
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Politics and Activism

Are We Falling Victim To The Oldest Tricks In The Book?

Looking closer at how Hillary and Trump are able to persuade us

Are We Falling Victim To The Oldest Tricks In The Book?

Everyone wants to know how we got here. The 2016 election candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have made it past every obstacle and pushed their way to the top. On one side of the spectrum there is Donald Trump. He is, as some people say, “brutally honest” and can come off as offensive. Hillary Clinton on the opposite side portrays herself as the women who can stand up for the little guy, but has been caught lying to the media and going against her word many times. We as the American people like to think that we are making decisions for ourselves, but what if Trump and Hillary have been planting ideas in our heads from the beginning?

An article from the New York Post titled, “The Persuasion Tactics Trump and Hillary are using to Manipulate Voters” written by Kyle Smith, analyzes the persuasion tactics Hillary and Trump use based on the findings of Robert Cialdini, author of "Pre-Suasion: A Revolutionary Way to Influence and Persuade."

Using findings from this article and Cialdini’s book, we can first look at the speech patterns from Trump and Hillary. Their speaking styles differ greatly, yet there is also one similar factor - fear. Donald Trump speaks to the American people about illegal immigrants for example, and warns society of the dangers that it poses - hence his, “We will build a wall” idea. By playing off of the fear of Americans, Trump can send a message of hope to those who want to feel safe from dangerous people.

Hillary on the other hand, uses this to her advantage. At the Democratic National Convention, instead of implying that illegal immigrants are people to be feared, she turned the spotlight on Trump. She makes the American people fear Trump and his ideas. This tactic can also be seen in some of Hillary’s attacks on Trump. She points out how Trump puts out his opinion to the American people. One platform in particular is Twitter. She argues that if Trump can’t control himself on social media, there is no way we can trust him with the well-being of our nation.

Looking closer at the candidate’s speeches, something interesting also surfaces. During Trump’s speeches he uses simple vocabulary. Although his thoughts may come off as scattered or unrehearsed, it appeals to some Americans and it comes down to his word choice. By using simple and easy-to-understand vocabulary, more people can understand him and side with his ideas.

There are many other persuasion techniques that Trump and Hillary use, but just naming a few we see some of their true colors emerge. The candidates of 2016 have a plan to make it to the oval office, but we have to ask ourselves, after examining some of the many persuasion techniques, does this make us trust them more or less? The time to discover whom we trust more will come on Election Day.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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