Style is everything. Well if not everything than a large portion of persuasive work revolves around style. Many will argue that content dictates power of the argument. In some ways this is the case, but in many other ways strength or soundness of the logic means very little. Tone and appeal often resonate in a fashion that drives the argument home. Examples are everywhere from the marketing of various products, the hype for a new movie or show, to personal arguments made daily to push an ideal. All of this can be seen in the political world like a bizarre fun-world size mirror held to the pulse of American society. The ideals and themes do not change but the responses are extreme caricature like work. These reflect bizarrely by seemingly causing civil citizens to change into rhetoric spouting lunatics.
Every camp in the political sphere has an agenda. They attempt to use specific styles to gain the upper hand. By having a specific school of marketing ideology, parties gain a type of name brand easily identifiable with its work. This blog will explore three main sides following Trump, Clinton, and Sanders with specific focus on Sanders. First, by comparing the styles of Clinton and Sanders during the primaries. Following this with a brief outline of the styles used between Trump and Clinton with a relief of Sanders’ part being played during the main election.
On the official campaign trail for the DNC primaries between Clinton and Sanders, the candidates used different techniques to reach the populace. Bernie Sanders used social media to reach the dissatisfied, and the dissatisfied used social media to empower Sanders’ message. His message of anticorruption worked largely because his behavior as far as refusing certain types of fund and other such actions indicated a politician refusing to be bought. His audience responded in kind on social media consistently posting memes, quotes, and videos rallying behind fixing a corrupt government.
During the primaries Clinton seemed to be lacking an inspiring cornerstone to build upon. In contrast to Sanders, Clinton seemed to fall short in tapping into the passion of the people. Throughout the primaries she seemed to not to commit to a single style of reaching out. Instead her social media campaign seemed woefully divided. In this way she seemed on the social media front to be playing catch-up to the Sanders camp; simply because Bernie Sanders message managed to accomplish two important things. First, it held the Senator to a high moral standard like a knight defending the people against a corrupt government. Second, it provided a clear distinction between the two candidates and specifically brought the practices of Hillary Clinton into contrast. In a display of odd social media use below is the link for her Between Two Ferns interview.
Similarly, Clinton’s approach to handling Trump during the main election seemed somewhat unfocused. Meanwhile, Trump also tapped into the general undercurrent of dissatisfaction in the nation. His messages were similar in application and appeal to Bernie Sanders. Normally, short and simple with a promise to stop corruption and the abuses of the government upon its citizens. Clinton tried to promise a better way, or to change problems, yet also represented the establishment. Her response to make America great again seen below. In an era with so much displeasure amongst the U.S. population this moved seemed to be intended to counter Trump’s main slogan, instead it seemed to convince people that she was more of the same type of politician they combated.
In all of this, where was Bernie Sanders? He was throwing his vote behind Clinton. As discussed in previous post the reception of the American people came down drastically divided. Some claim that their white knight fell to corruption, while others realized why he did as he did and followed his example. The interesting point now is examining the evolution of the Sanders’ brand. He still post consistently against corruption and attempts to fight for the citizens. The divide again comes from people rallying behind his message again and the people claiming disillusionment. This connected to his earlier support of Clinton which seems to have had a somewhat lasting impression on his style.
Why might this be the case? Many people have tried to explain these affects. Personally, the alienation of many voters via directly insulting them and their intelligence level seems the biggest factor. Shockingly people do not like to be insulted. Looking at the way in which this political season has played out one key thing seems to be in focus. The people analyzing the public attempting to ascertain the general disposition of America have failed. The level of discontent for the established government is ridiculously high. Evidence comes in the trends in society but also in the economy. The economy has not suffered and even been improving leading up to this election. Traditionally, this indicates people will vote to maintain the incumbent party. This is one of the rare times in history that the people have voted in a candidate from the opposition party during an economic stabilization and increase. This indicates a change in social ideologies in underway, but this season the experts seemed to fall flat on understanding the tone. The style and tone of messages presented, and not just content, that people respond to shows the subconscious wave coursing through the populace. To ignore this is to ignore the emotional undercurrents responsible for determining a good amount of gut-feeling voters. In America, the gut-feeling vote matters as it transcends race, gender, and culture; it determines elections and this year the experts ignored the feeling.