Needless to say that politicians have always tried toconvince audiences of the accuracy of the arguments they present in addition totheir own personal conviction and ability to act upon these arguments. K. Hyland maintains thatunless people are convinced that something is true, they are unlikely to be persuaded.Thus the rhetoric means either the demonstration of the truth or its imitation 21,p.
63. Argumentation is effective when politicians manage to back up theirclaims in such a way that the audience can change their opinion in politicians’favour. For this reason, politicians need inductive and deductive proofs todefend their own ideas, to convince the audience and to impact on them. As aresult, they appeal to the three modes of persuasion: logos, ethos and pathos.The analysis of Trump’s persuasive rhetoric is terms of determining his appealto the three modes of persuasion is of paramount importance taking intoconsideration the enormousdomestic and global attention to the phenomenon of the most extravagant presidentof the USA.
Logos aims at persuading the audience by reason. Trump’s appeal to logoshelps the audience to feel the sense of membership in the political framework. Forthis reason, he uses phrases and expressions such as «the truth is», «the factsaren’t known because», «that’s the way it is», «for the purpose of» as well ashe exploits grammar, the subjunctive mood in particular, helping the audiencecomprehend the essence of political issues and their role in dealing with them. Moreover, Trump creates logical reasoning in his discourse by providingexamples which help him to define an idea so that the audience can effortlesslyunderstand the meaning 65.Ethos is concerned with the personal appeal of one’scharacter. However, the assumption is that a speaker may have a certaincredibility prior to preparing or delivering a text, which is calledpreliminary ethos.
Nevertheless, according to K. Hyland, preliminary ethos mustconstantly be strengthened during the course of the discourse itself 21, p. 64.Therefore, Trump always tries to reinforce hispreliminary ethos throughout his discourse striving to show off hisintelligence in economics and business so as to convince the audience of hiscompetence. The following examples are a direct proof to that: «And our real unemployment is anywhere from 18 to 20 percent. Don’t believethe 5.6.
Don’t believe it» 65. «And after four or five years in Brooklyn, I ventured into Manhattan and dida lot of great deals – the Grand Hyatt Hotel. I was responsible for the convention center on theWest Side. I did a lot of great deals, and I did them early and young. And nowI’m building all over the world, and I love what I’m doing» 65.
Another strategy Trump applies so as to appeal to ethos is establishing histrustworthiness by showing his virtuous character. In fact, his experiences,values, and motives are the tools to arouse trust among the audience. Forexample:«I’ll bring back our jobs from China, fromMexico, from Japan, from so many places. I’ll bring back our jobs, and I’llbring back our money» 63.Trump also appeals to ethos by showing his goodwill to the audience.
Goodwill is a perception the audience forms of a speaker who they believeunderstands them, empathises with them, and is responsive to them. When theaudience believes in the speaker’s goodwill, they are willing to believe whatthe speaker says. Trump is very responsive to the audience throughout hisdiscourse. He stops his speeches and thanks the audience who exclaim in delightupon his statements as the following examples prove:«They’re not sending you. They’re not sendingyou» 65.«Thank you, darling» 61. Pathos deals with convincing the audience by creating an emotionalresponse. Pathos also gives persuasive message and power to move the audience toperform certain actions.
Trump’s appeal to pathos is characterised by hisendeavour to evoke a wide spectrum of emotions. Nevertheless, such emotions as anger,hatred, and confidence prevail in his discourse.Anger is the emotion Trump exploits to the full.
According to Aristotle, angercomes when people are dissatisfied in their attempt to fulfil a certain need2, 64. Moreover, anger always arises from offences against oneself and it isalways concerned with individuals. In Trump’s discourse, appeal to anger can beillustrated by the following example:«And we have nothing. We can’t even go there. Wehave nothing. And every time we give Iraq equipment, the first time a bulletgoes off in the air, they leave it» 65.
Hatred is a feeling which has an immediate effect on the audience. Accordingto Aristotle, hatred may arise without offences against oneself 2, 70. Ahater wishes to pity a person whom they have hated. In his discourse Trumparouses hatred in the audience. It is the dominant emotion that he expresses duringhis speeches. Trump shows his hatred to the audience so that the audience canfeel the same feeling to certain people.
In his discourse he often points outhis hatred to the politicians of his country as well as other countries whichhe considers his country’s rivals. The following example proves that:«And, I can tell, some of the candidates, theywent in. They didn’t know the air-conditioner didn’t work. They sweated likedogs. They didn’t know the room was too big, because they didn’t have anybodythere. How are they going to beat ISIS? I don’t think it’s gonna happen» 68.
Confidence is the emotion Trump frequently employs in his discourse. Accordingto Aristotle, confidence comes when someone believes that they are superior toothers and often experiences success 2, 84. Trump’s confident feeling comesfrom his belief that he is superior to his rivals. By expressing hisconfidence, he shows his optimistic character to the audience:«I will be the greatest jobs president that God ever created. I tell youthat» 65.To conclude, Trump appeals to the three modes of persuasion in hisdiscourse.
He uses logos to prove that his statements are based on facts. Ethosis used to show the audience that he is a credible, intelligent politician.With the help of pathos, Trump tries to evoke the emotions he expresses in thecourse of his discourse.