Articles on Political rhetoric

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A political sign in West Virginia reflects the claim that the Obama administration, by developing policies to reduce carbon emission, was waging a campaign against the industry. Vicki Smith/AP Photo

Inside the coal industry’s rhetorical playbook

Scholars of communications pick apart the rhetoric behind the 'war on coal' and explain why it ultimately benefits the coal industry.
Republican U.S. presidential nominee Donald Trump speaks during the October 9 presidential town hall debate. Lucy Nicholson/Reuters

Donald Trump and the dangerous rhetoric of portraying people as objects

An expert in political rhetoric singles out Trump's repeated use of reification – the tendency to treat people as things – and the role it's played in his tortured response to the leaked tape.
From Pericles to Trump, a good speech has been an integral part of the democratic process. William Chew/Flickr

In an age of rhetoric, Australian politics is missing the American flair

Australian politicians – unlike their American counterparts – have largely abandoned the art of stirring speeches. Good rhetoric doesn't equal good policy, but at least it's evidence of imaginative thinking.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gestures to supporters as he departs a Sept. 13 campaign rally in Clive, Iowa. Mike Segar/Reuters

The rise of a conspiracy candidate

The same forces that drive belief in conspiracy theories are the ones driving the rise of Donald Trump. So it's no wonder that, less than two months until the election, he continues to dabble in and promote them.
Protesters wearing masks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump march in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Dominick Reuter/Reuters

Are U.S. politics beyond a joke?

From Alfonso the Wise's bawdy songs of slander to Ronald Reagan's sunny smile, politics and humor have gone hand-in-hand for centuries. But no one seems to be laughing anymore.
“Every day I wake up determined to deliver for the people I have met all across this nation that have been neglected, ignored, and abandoned.” Mario Anzuoni/Reuters

In acceptance speech, Trump embraces role as hero of the forgotten

Trump appeared surprisingly presidential. According to a scholar of American political rhetoric, there were echoes of Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Reagan.
Supporters of Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters hold a mock coffin of the governing ANC during an election rally in 2014. Reuters/Skyler Reid

South Africa’s politicians must guard against killer narratives

Unscrupulous politicians are adept at using regressive story lines that feed insecurities. That could be dangerous ahead of South Africa's hotly-contested municipal elections.
Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally in Greensboro, North Carolina on June 15, 2016. Jonathan Drake/Reuters

In the wake of tragedy, Trump takes rhetoric of fear to a whole new level

Two experts in political rhetoric explain how one candidate has used rhetorical devices like framing and 'argumentum in terrorem' to stoke fear and attract voters since the Orlando nightclub shooting.

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