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(7,642 posts)
Mon Sep 4, 2023, 02:25 PM Sep 2023

TFG: rhetoric or rap?

I have been listening, when I couldn’t avoid it, to TFG talk for nearly eight years now. Respectable news organizations, like NPR, always quote him with audio clips or have journalists quote him. So he’s been impossible to avoid. And various linguists have attempted analyses of his rhetorical style, as though the secret of his effectiveness lies in the history of English prose. I think it makes far more sense to consider him as an artist, a practitioner of rap, in which poetry is intoned, choruses repeated (“Lock her up!”), and the object of his song to his people is emotional connection, not rational persuasion. This theory would explain why he keeps jumping from subject to subject, caressing each with some simple phrases, and moving on to his next topic. And all of the topics he touches on are sources of resentment for his audiences, or he provides new resentments loosely attached to the old ones. He modulates from: “Not only are vaccines ineffective”, to “but they’re trying to force you to take them,” to “ because they’re treating you like sheeple, not the smart people you are.” Everything in TFG’s “speeches” is subordinated to massaging his followers’ egos, to encouraging their resentments, and to whipping them into a fine froth of frustrated indignation. If DJT is rapping, he has a foolproof formula for fooling those eager to be fooled. The object is emotional connection, not reasoned persuasion.

I am not saying that TFG has studied real rappers and Hip-hop artists. There’s no proof he can concentrate long enough to study anything. His stream-of-consciousness dribbles are characterized by the rhythm of resentment interspersed with not-quite-actionable suggestions. He has a finely honed sense of what could get him arrested on the spot, and he always stops short. The classic example of this is his remark re: Hillary Clinton, that some “second amendment types” should [something] [something]. His other great suggestion, on 1/6/21, was that “you have to fight” for your rights/to stop election theft/to restore him to power. And the crowd took right off for the Capitol, ready to rumble. Intense suggestiveness coupled with avoidance of any responsibility are the hallmarks of TFG’s style.

And exactly what was he trying to accomplish with the attack on the Capitol? Even as I observed, with no surprise at all, his abandonment of his followers to the tender mercies of the criminal justice system, it has been niggling at me that even he could not have expected that mobbing the Capitol would actually change the electoral vote count. He had encouraged his lawyers to whomp up a rickety theory as to how it could be done, but he had not secured the lynch pin of the entire structure: he had not gotten Mike Pence to buy in. Even if Pence had played along, there was no quorum after the mob invasion, to do anything at all. If the elected representatives had been brought (marched?) back to the chambers, they would have laughed at what Pence would have asked them to do.

So if TFG was not seriously trying to take over the government, what was he trying to do? The only answer that makes sense to me is that he was demonstrating his prowess at getting TV ratings. That is, he sent a large volunteer group of his followers to play a righteous segment of the voters who could not contain their feelings one second longer. He created a crowd scene with a few thousand unpaid extras to thumb his nose at the country which had rejected him. If this was his deepest motivation, he succeeded very well. But of course, his faithful followers have never understood that the object of TFG’s presidency was to provide an emotional high for the president. Nothing to do with them or their lives at all. I think TFG never recovered from being the most popular TV reality show host for a while. This experience fed his ego, and only once since then has he felt the same sense of triumph: when his emotionally enslaved mob ran rampant through the Capitol. He sat in front of a TV in the White House lapping it up. Since this was not a TV studio, but real life, all the actors are liable for damages, and even the director will face contemptuous prosecutors from the Department of Justice.

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TFG: rhetoric or rap? (Original Post) planetc Sep 2023 OP
He's created a dangerous cult of ignorance. He's devalued truth. NewHendoLib Sep 2023 #1


(59,912 posts)
1. He's created a dangerous cult of ignorance. He's devalued truth.
Mon Sep 4, 2023, 02:34 PM
Sep 2023

He's just a bully with money. He's a snake oil salesman.

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