As the now 15 other GOP presidential candidates struggle to get their face and voice recognized, Donald Trump (hereinafter referred to as “Primadonald”) continues to suck up all the oxygen in the room with his outlandish pronouncements and rants. In retaliation, the rest of the Republican field and the media have used a wide collection of adjectives to define the man.
A review of various op-eds, news articles and videos yielded the following: “huckster..charlatan…carnival barker…clown…megalomaniac..dumb…stupid…bully….gasbag and bloviator!!!” The intent here is not to discredit any of these terms, but to provide the basis for a more valid and all-encompassing one.
What follows was culled and paraphrased from the work of Patricia Roberts-Miller , a Ph.D. member of the University of Texas faculty who has both studied and written on the language of men like Primadonald (1).
Their speech is polarizing and aimed to legitimize the view of an “in-group” to justify their hatred of an identified “out-group”; to demonize/dehumanize the latter and use them as a scapegoat. This is the rhetoric of hate that is also full of denial, simplistic solutions, ill-defined terms, the promise of stability and a return to greatness. Fallacious arguments that are fact- and evidence-free are advanced in a pandering output that often has racist, anti-intellectual, misogynistic and/or nationalistic themes. Personal attacks are commonplace.
Anyone who has been exposed to Primadonald’s recent verbal assaults has heard in them, much if not all of what was detailed in the last paragraph. There is a single word that captures all that perfectly: DEMAGOGUERY!!!
Primadonald as demagogue is now the “face” of the Republican party; the person who has a double-digit lead over all the other conservative presidential aspirants. (2). It is the latter that sends a strong signal that he has a following. And therein lies a danger for if that supports swells, the nation gets swept up in the demagoguery and puts in a position of power a person who is terribly ill-suited to use it. Make no mistake; that is exactly what happened in the run-up to World War II and gave us Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler.
1. See drw.utexas.edu/…files/demagoguery/pdf.
2. Primadonald fares far worse in head-to-head poll match-ups with Hillary Rodham Clinton where he consistently loses by double-digits.