Logic and Emotion in Public Discourse
Edited by Ofer Feldman
Chapter 6: Battling for Americas soul: Donald Trump, invited behavior, and the midterm elections of 2018
Applying the concept of invited behavior to the 2018 elections reveals hidden messages, motivations, and consequences in a way that enriches the understanding of success and failure in leaders’ interactions with each other and with the public. Democratic Party leaders learned from Hillary Clinton’s unfortunate example to avoid Trump’s trap invitations—those that snare the respondents in a no-win situation, while Republicans suffered a powerful adverse reaction to Trump’s invitation to return to patriarchy (a boomerang invitation—one that produces the opposite response to the one desired). By choosing to campaign on real material interests such as health care, the Democrats avoided Trump’s invitation to compete on the fantasy-based issues that were his chosen ground and made a strong appeal both to their base and to independent voters. Thus this campaign and election reflect the fundamental issue of whether American politics will proceed based on reality or pseudo reality.
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