Persuasion for President 2016


There is no denying that although Trump may be scrutinized for his absurd comments and claims about anything and everything, he is one of the most persuasive politicians of our time. In an article, Joe Romm claims that Donald Trump is, “one of the most effective practitioners of persuasive rhetoric the political world has seen in a long time.” He even goes further to state that Trump is a “branding and marketing genius.” You may love him, you may hate him, but you cannot say that he has not been effective for the audience he is trying to reach. Donald Trump’s most effective and persuasive rhetoric involves The United States of America and its absolute downfall in every aspect of society. In regards to trade, America is a great, big, giant, loser. At a rally, Trump stated, “I like free trade, but free trade is not free trade, it’s dump trade because we lose with China, we lose with Mexico, we lose with Japan and Vietnam and every single country that we deal with. We lose with Canada.” Donald Trump is a smart man and he knows exactly what he is doing when he makes these extravagant claims. His audience is a group of people sick of the political process and sick of political correctness. They have been desperate for a politician to tell it like it is and here came their knight in shining armor, Donald J Trump.

How Effective Is Persuasion? 


Good or bad, Trump is infamous for always saying what is on his mind and this is one of his most powerful rhetorical strategies. Yes, it has been his downfall to a large population of people, but for his audience it works. It works and it has been so effective because if Trump understands anything about appealing to an audience it is that, his figure of speech is the key to being effective and persuasive. His supporters rave about him, not because they support every single one of his policies, but because he stands for what they all want. A person who will tell them exactly how it is instead of being spoon fed political correctness. Trump has branded himself by being over the top and the black sheep of the political process and his supporters are eating it up. He has gotten all the way to the Presidency by effectively using rhetorical and persuasive strategies and like him or hate it, you have to admire his tactic.

The Fate of the Free World and the Fate of Free Trade

The moment we have all been waiting years for is finally here. The past year, our lives have been filled with more political articles, ads, debates and memes than our brains could possibly process. As I sit here typing my final blog post while live election updates play in the background (Florida: Trump at 48.9% and Clinton at 48.0%), I plan discuss the ever-so stimulating topic of US / China trade one last time. By the time I finish typing this, we may very well know who the next President of the United States is.


In relation to trade, Clinton and Trump have both shared a pair of pants – Clinton in the left leg and Trump in the right (pun intended) An article published in China Daily on Oct. 29 highlights the usage of Clinton and Trump’s anti-trade rhetoric. Both candidates have strongly positioned themselves throughout the campaign advocating for a “strong protectionism sentiment.” This is a unique position for both candidates to adopt as the United States has been known as a country “that has long touted itself as the champion of free trade.”

From the start, Trump promised to implement a 45% punitive tariff on Chinese imports; a pledge that can described as rhetorically irrational and impossible as this would likely result in Chinese retaliation and a strong opposition from powerful US businesses. Furthermore, such a tariff is impossible as it would be considered a violation of World Trade Organization rules. With the severity of these potential consequences, it becomes even more blatantly clear (if by chance it was not already) that Trump’s rhetorical strategy throughout the campaign has been to rally uneducated voters by targeting their aggression and frustration with the current American political system.

Meanwhile, Clinton has accused Trump of outsourcing his products from 12 countries, attempting to rhetorically frame the global outsourcing of products as a crime. If this is the case, “all the Fortune 500 companies, many of which have provided donations for the Clinton campaign, should be brought to justice because they are all producing goods and services in other countries including China.” Therefore, there are some overarching themes of hypocrisy throughout the campaign in regards to Clinton’s rhetoric.

Though the two candidates are both in different legs, they do still share a pair of pants in regards to their opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

Clinton once referred to the TPP as the ‘gold standard,’ has since made a U-turn and changed her stance on the trade agreement. Somehow Clinton, a politician with 30 years of experience, has been able to slide by with flip-flopping on her positions. A Pew Center survey in January 2016 revealed that “the favorable view of trade deals among Americans is down 8 percentage points since 2014.” This could potential be the result of Clinton using rhetoric to successfully execute her stance on TPP, allowing her to gain support with polls show her leading nationally less than two weeks before the Nov 8 election.

In conclusion, both the fate of the free world and the fate of free trade will soon be determined. Whether its Trump or Clinton, the United States will be facing a unique rhetorical strategy in terms of trade with China. There will be a new set of threats and opportunities that either Clinton or Trump will be forced to take advantage or attempt to avoid. But as of now, I will sit patiently waiting the Season Finale of America.


(PS: Florida is still ‘too close to call’)

The Profit of Trade

Shady is as Shady Does

Now closing in on the 2016 presidential election, October has been anything but boring. With less than twenty-four hours until our future president delivers their acceptance speech, voters have been thrown for a loop with the latest October surprises. Conspiracy has risen in a statement proposed by Senior Economic Advisor, Peter Navarro of Clinton’s involvement with media oligopolies and trade with China.


In this conspiracy Navarro explains how big media heads have been skewing the information they feed to the public to essencially fill their pockets. Evidence has suggested that, “Clinton megaphone MSNBC,were once owned by General Electric, a leader in offshoring factories to China. Now NBC has been bought by Comcast, which is specifically targeting the Chinese market – even as Comcast’s anchors and reporters at MSNBC engage in their Never Trump tactics.” Trump’s campaign has targeted trade to bring light on the situation at hand – trade with China is taking away from the United State’s economy and it’s citizens.

Your Career for Their Millions

Trump is “connecting the dots” and voters are seeing a side of the media and Hillary Clinton’s campaign that is shady at best. The statement referred to Clinton by being the candidate of the multinational ruling elite. She has earned this title since the same corporations that profit off of shipping American jobs offshore are pushing Clinton’s agenda. With this new situation people are now going to question big media heads and the Clinton campaign.

This could severely hurt Hilary’s campaign. She is already under the pressure of breaking laws and now voters may think she’s involved with even more scandals. The fact that news channels like NBC are bashing all of  Trump’s trade tactics and promoting Clinton will appear dishonest now that Navarro has linked their involvement with trade. Has Clinton and MSNBC been profiting off of America’s declining economy and rising unemployment this whole time? How do we know what the media is telling us is true? Election day is near and the final shots have been fired.


The End of the Road


We are only two days away from the 2016 Presidential Election, one thing is certain: both Trump and Clinton will use their individual rhetorical strategies to gain American votes by bashing China. Donald Trump has received a great deal of attention this year for his harsh rhetoric about trade with China and lost jobs. When Trump’s campaign is examined into more specific policies, however, he doesn’t offer much that’s different from his opponent, Hillary Clinton. Both candidates oppose new and old trade agreements, and they both want to use domestic trade more aggressively. Until recently, the dispute over trade has been mostly about trust, with Clinton accusing Trump of being an “outsourcer” and Trump accusing Clinton of secretly supporting trade deals she publicly opposes. The candidates have finally pitched conflicting policy proposals regarding trade.

The American Desk

Along with creating high tariffs against China, Trump has proposed the creation of a new office in the Department of Commerce called the “American Desk.” The American Desk would oversee several trade programs that are currently located in different cabinet departments.

“American trade policy is currently mismanaged by dozens of competing bureaucracies, spread across the Departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Labor, State, Treasury — all of these departments. So many departments,” ~Donald Trump

imgres“The mission of the American Desk will be to protect the economic interest of the American worker and the national interest of the United States.” ~Donald Trump

Trump uses the proposal of the American Desk as a rhetorical strategy to gain supporters. First, he stresses how much our trade policy needs reform and structure. Next, he proceeds to tell supporters the mission of his proposed solution. Trump is appealing to the voters’ fear by illustrating a nation in crisis, while positioning himself to be the nation’s hero.

Trade Prosecutor


The video above displays Clinton proposing a new political position who would report directly to the president called the Trade Prosecutor. “We’re going to pull the country together and have trade agreement shall be in force. Why, I’m going to have a trade prosecutor for the first time in history. And we’re going to enforce those agreements.” said Clinton. This proposal appeals to trade critics that have accused past presidential administrations of allowing other countries violate trade agreements without legitimate consequences. Clinton’s rhetoric attracts voters who are angered about the U.S. being lenient on foreign nations in terms of trade.

The Big Question

Ultimately, voters must ask themselves: Are the American Desk and Trade Prosecutor feasible proposals, or just rubbish meant to sound like a legitimate reform?


A Word From the “Rust Belt”

While Trumps unconventional rhetoric continues to appeal to some voters, people in the “Rust Belt” of America aren’t on the same page. This may come as a shock to you as it did me, the people in the states with run down closed factories aren’t siding with the candidate who wants to get these factories back rolling. These people aren’t voting for the candidate who promises to create more jobs and put higher tariffs on foreign goods. Why are the people who should be supporting these ideals, seeing as it would bring back jobs within their states, not on board with Trump?

A poll done in Mid October showed the “Rust Belt” choosing Clinton over Trump. The poll looked at Michigan, Pennsylvania, and Ohio which are all states known for certain industries. We know that if Trump has any chance of winning he needs the state of Ohio and Pennsylvania’s vote. According to the polls he does not have it. Lets look at what these groups of people have to say about Trump’s proposal on trade and why they are against it.


When looking at what the polls have to say we see two obvious reasons as to why they favor Clinton over Trump. Trading with foreign countries often decreases the cost of products. Clearly in our economy saving money is on everyone’s mind. Secondly they said they doubted trump could keep his promises of restoring the manufacturing sector of the U.S.

We see parts of the challenger style at work in Trumps side of the trade argument. While Trump has effectively used all parts of the Challenger Style for this certain issue I want to emphasize two points in particular. He is indeed calling for a change, which is why candidates run for office. Opening factories, punishing China for rotten deals, and increasing rules, regulations, and tariffs are major changes from what has taken place in the last eight years. We know that in the Challenger Strategy you are supposed “Speak to traditional values rather than calling for a value change. These changes he is calling for sound like changes to take us backwards rather than forward. His ideals are those of the past, it seems as if Trump wants to take us backward rather than taking us forward. Trump is clearly appealing to the white conservative males, and definitely the Tea Party when speaking on this certain change and reverting back to this old traditional value.

While Trump thinks his message is reaching the audience he is targeting it is clearly not. The audience for his message would clearly be these residents who live in the towns and states of these shut down factories. He will most likely not have their vote in the election and it is crucial he wins two of the three states mentioned.


In closing the“Rust Belt” voters seem to have this take on Clinton and her trade policies, “Clinton has offered a more tempered approach, saying she would seek to re-evaluate NAFTA if elected and that there were problems with some aspects of the TPP.” Her rhetoric is the opposite of Trump’s and wins plenty of voters over by appearing to be rational and level headed versus Trump’s temper and fiery rhetoric. With only a few days left until the election we will soon see which way these states vote.

It’s Either Trump or WWIII



Utilizing the Fear Strategy

It may not come as a surprise, but emotions run our lives. Every day we are impacted by information through our emotions. There has been no one in the 2016 Presidential election who has taken ahold of this and used it to their advantage more than Donald Trump. The candidate has made it way to the general election by arising emotions among millions of voters. In regards to trade, Donald Trump uses language and communicates in a way that will promote fear among his audience. Fear is an incredibly powerful emotion and is effective in many ways. Donald Trump has distinguished himself among his opponents by scaring his audience into voting for him because many are afraid of the life he has painted if he is not elected. Without Donald Trump as the next president more and more jobs will flee the United States and cripple the economy. According to Trump, “We are losing jobs to other countries at a higher rate than ever,” and who is the only solution to fix this insurmountable problem? Donald Trump, of course. Clinton has called him out on his panic promoting rhetoric stating, “His approach is based on fear, not strength.”


A World Without Donald Trump as Our President

Regardless if Clinton’s accusations are correct, no one can define Trump’s rhetoric is effective for his intended audience. He knows how to reel his audience in and how to keep them right where he wants them. For the past year and half Trump has been running a “campaign of fear” according to a New York Times article. His fear striking rhetoric encourages his audience to believe that he is the only viable option because without him, our country could face a World War III. It is outrageous and far-fetched to everyone except his audience. To his audience it is the future if Trump is not elected next Tuesday.

Trump Rhetoric Takes on Twitter


Ah, the infamous ‘Twitterverse,” teeming with political potential. Ah, the infamous Donald J. Trump, teeming with 11.6 million followers. That is 11.6 million people who have actively chosen to follow the 140 character-filled tweets of Donald Trump. Throughout the 2016 Presidental Campaign, Trump has proven himself to be a good source of entertainment for one’s Twitter feed as his controversial, 3 a.m. tweets have certainly continued to fuel this fire of his “instability.”

With the emergence of the digital era and the crucial element of social media in this election, it is so longer sufficient to simply analyze the rhetoric of candidates through their speeches, soundbites and quotes from debates. An individual’s chosen rhetoric on a social media can be just as enlightening and interesting as there are newly added rhetorical constraints and opportunities added to the situation (140 character limit, ability to reach millions in seconds, unsuccessful portrayal of tone, etc.)

Below are four of Tweets by Trump regarding his opinions on US / China Trade:


Mr. Confident: In this tweet, Trump’s rhetorical style is direct and confident. He is reaffirming his stance on foreign markets while also inferring to followers that this fact is something he has been saying for quite some time. By ending the tweet with “Get smart U.S.A,” Trump is offering an imaginary challenge: get smart, choose him and beat China OR stay dumb, choose Clinton and lose to China.


Are You Smarter Than a Sixth-Grader: Simple and to the point. In this Tweet, Trump highlights his experience with American buisness and states that “this is a bad deal.” Sixth-grade rhetoric? Sounds about right.


Complex Sentences? Ain’t Nobody Got Time for That: The first two sentences are both five words long. Once again, succinct and to the point – yet, the Trump tone of voice somehow successfully emerges. This Tweet has an underlying threat. For the second time, Trump is urging America to get smart and is warning followers about the dangerous potential of China. In the image, you can see where some of Trump’s followers are directly responding back to his Tweet. While there are more than likely hundreds of thousands of replies (99% of which Trump will never take the time to see), this reveals a new set of rhetorical opportunities: two-way communication. Trump and his campaign team are able to get an inside look at how people are responding to each Tweet.


The Classic Clinton Attack: With this Tweet, Trump succesfully ran an attack ad campaign free of charge. With the inclusion of a statistic, Trump adds ethos to his post instead of appearing to just be acting on an emotional whim. Nevertheless, the spacing issue between the second and third lead me to believe that the Tweet was typed in a rush.

Social media has drastically changed the world in which we live in and the world in which presidental candidates campaign in. It was President Obama’s impressive social media presence and ability to connect with younger voters that may have been the deciding factor for his win in the 2008 election. Overall, social media has the power to extend a candidates rhetoric into a new technological realm of endless possibilities.

It’s never too late to follow them now – @realDonaldTrump and @HillaryClinton

Link to Trump’s Twitter Page

Link to Clinton’s Twitter Page


Justice Turns the Scale

Weighing Your Options

As they say, people usually experience language in political events, not the events themselves. Trump’s metaphor of China ‘raping’ America is a reminder to us all about former president Bill Clinton’s deal with China and NAFTA. Donald Trump’s use of rhetoric and language is a smart choice in his campaign. By using metaphors to reflect on past events people will remember who lead the creation of one of the worst trade agreements in history. The Clinton administration.


The battle between the untrustworthy and the unstable is thrown off when Trump adds the “unfit” label too Clinton. Trump’s harsh use of metaphors is connecting the Clinton administration with the rape of our country, since it was Bill that made the deal with China on NAFTA regimes. Peter Navarro from National Interest Magazine states, “Hillary’s ultimate problem in the 2016 presidential race may not be Benghazi, Emailgate, Filegate, Monica, Pardongate, Vince Foster, Whitewater, or a broad-based perception that she is a cold, calculating and untrustworthy woman. Instead, it may simply be America’s ill-considered trade deals—and the pivotal role her husband Bill has played in selling American workers down the offshoring road.

Who is heavier? 

Why wouldn’t you  vote for her if she was in office once before? That is a statement the Clinton campaign thrives on – experience. Trump is tearing that statement down as he links the suffering of thousands of Americans to Bill Clinton’s run in office. Because of Bill Clinton’s, “ill-considered WTO deal, the good old USA has had to endure a tsunami of illegally subsidized Chinese exports, the closure of over fifty thousand American factories, the creation of a huge American army of the permanently angry and unemployed, and a crushing debt of several trillion dollars to a communist country.” There is a trend of Clintons in office and bad decisions that negatively effect us.

A con of this scenario in the election is some people will call out Trump as he has zero experience in office, which may hurt his campaign. None the less if Trump continues to hit on the ‘unfit’ label he may gain new supporters. Throwing this balancing scale of bad labels off balance. 26-pictures-of-balance-scales-free-cliparts-that-you-can-download-to-qhqfc7-clipart

Is China Really the Problem?

imgres-4Throughout Donald Trump’s presidential campaign, he has carried out the consistent theme of the United States losing at trade, and using the trade deficit as the evidence.

“We’re losing a tremendous amount of money, according to many stats, $800 billion a year on trade,” he told The Times.

“They’re(China and Mexico)beating us so badly,” he has said. “Every country we lose money with.”

Americans are drawn to this rhetoric, because they’re dissatisfied and fearful, particularly those in the unemployed and underemployed working class.

However, Trump’s framing of the trade deficit even conflicts with the view of many economists like Robert E. Scott, Senior Economist and Director of Trade and Manufacturing Policy Research for the Economic Policy Institute, who agree that the current trade agreements are detrimental to American workers and want to see change. The best and most widespread view among economists conclude that, trade deficits are not inherently good or bad; they can be either, depending on circumstances.

Trump uses his anti-China sentiments as a rhetorical strategy to convince Americans that eliminating the trade deficit would make America great again. But, trying to eliminate the trade deficit could mean giving up some of the key levers of power that allow the United States to get its way in international politics. Thus, struggling Americans must rethink the Trumponomics that quickly blames trade agreements with China for our economic concerns.

Yesterday’s Problem

Chart generated by Bureau of Labor Statistics based off of an Employment,     Hours, and Earnings from the Current Employment Statistics survey           (National). The data reflects labor of the U.S. Manufacturing Industry.   

Despite the rhetoric of Trump, global manufacturing is trending in a positive direction for the U.S. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics, factory jobs are on the rise in the U.S. and many of these new jobs are coming back to North America from China, which is struggling to maintain its manufacturing capacity. In a 2015 study, the Boston Consulting Group said the costs of manufacturing in China’s major export-producing zone were now almost the same as in the United States, after taking into account wages, worker productivity, energy costs and other factors. Meaning, that China may not be as big of a problem as this years candidates have made it seem.

A Turning Tide

A worker inspects the metal frame of a Ford Escape S.U.V. at an assembly plant in Louisville, Kentucky. PHOTOGRAPH BY LUKE SHARRETT / BLOOMBERG VIA GETTY

Once again, however, predictions of the collapse of American manufacturing are slowly being proved wrong. Although, China dominated the manufacturing industry between the years of 1999-2011, jobs are gradually finding their way back to the United States. Trump has successfully used his rhetoric to inspire and motivate many struggling Americans that have lost their manufacturing jobs — but while doing so he has motivated the worst in people, not the best. He appeals to their negative emotions about their current situation as rhetorical strategy to gain their support of Trumponomics. However, as the election rapidly approaches voters must seriously analyze if his plans are actually reasonable.


The Independent Vote is in… and the winner is….

As many topics throughout this election have become heated between the two presidential candidates we find trade to be one that is heavily discussed yet less likely to cause a huge feud like abortion and immigration do. As time has progressed and the election draws closer we can look at both candidates rhetoric on trade alone and decide for ourselves which candidate will win the independent or undecided vote.

We all know that dramatization plays a large role in campaigns, especially in the Trump campaign. Trump has promised to bring jobs back from over seas with a “7 point protectionist plan of action.” This is good. Trump has shown us he has a plan. Not only has Trump put out this plan but he has also made some dramatic promises dealing with trade if he were to become President. He claims he would give the secretary of commerce the job of finding every violation of trade agreements which are taking place by other countries, NAFTA is going to be renegotiated/revised, we will withdraw from the Trans Pacific Partnership and he will appoint the toughest and smartest trade negotiators, etc. Dramatic? Indeed. Trump is making these large promises because they appeal to the audience he is aiming at. It is clear he is only speaking to the his supporters, he is reaching no new audiences with these extreme conservative views. As the final debate focused a good deal on trade we saw no dissociation from Trump and these previous claims he made on trade. He continued with his talk of taking action against China for their wrong doings to the U.S. when it comes to trade. He was sure to reiterate that stronger tariffs and taxes would be weak punishment once he got ahold of China. This rhetoric is once again appealing to no one but the people who are already voting for him. In his final debate which was the perfect opportunity to turn his rhetoric around he continues with his same views which he has held from the beginning.


We will see no gain of support from new voters as long as Trump continues to discuss extreme plans of action like these.


Clintons rhetoric on this issue is not the total opposite but instead not as harsh and forward as Trump’s. In the wikileaks we see Clintons speech to a bank and she referred to open borders which many thought she meant open trade as well. Clinton corrected this in the last debate as saying she was referring to energy not trade. Whether or not this is true we see Clinton’s rhetoric on trade beats Trumps any day. She is doing a better job at appealing to voters who are undecided or independent. By not coming out with highly democratic plans Clinton is targeting those in the middle and appealing to them. While she opposes the Trans-Pacific Partnership she isn’t making threats to take extreme action on China or renegotiate NAFTA. Clinton said “There is a difference between getting tough on trade and starting trade wars.” Clinton was right and has once again portrayed herself as the level headed, stable candidate. Trump on the other hand continues his right winged rhetoric and is appealing to no audience other than the ones who already have his vote. His reckless rhetoric is very likely to cause a trade war if he were put in office.

It is clear Clinton does a much better job at speaking to undecided voters and the independents. As Dr. Adams said the independents will decide the election. It is a little late for Trump to take back all of his extreme plans of action but if he has any hope of winning he needs to bring his rhetoric down to a level not just the conservatives appeal to