The Rhetoric of Political Leadership
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The Rhetoric of Political Leadership

Logic and Emotion in Public Discourse

Edited by Ofer Feldman

This timely book details the theoretical and practical elements of political rhetoric and their effects on the interactions between politicians and the public. Expert contributors explore the issues associated with political rhetoric from a range of disciplinary perspectives, including political science, linguistics, social psychology and communication studies. Chapters examine what makes a speech effective, politicians’ use of moral appeals in political advertising, political attacks on social media, and gender and emotion in political discourse.
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Chapter 6: Battling for Americas soul: Donald Trump, invited behavior, and the midterm elections of 2018

Michael Alan Krasner

Abstract

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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