Thursday, March 17, 2016

The Trump Message

The words?  You'll recall that communication is perhaps 15% verbal content.  The rest is heard but not said, the non-verbal portion of what is in fact conveyed to the 'listener'.  It's the meaning conveyed by body language and gesture, by expression and tone.

It's possible then that those gathering around the Trump stump don't care nearly so much for what he's said as for what he might mean in some larger context.

So then, what is Trump conveying apart from his inflammatory verbiage?  Particularly, what might be resonating so well with his primarily working-class and conservative supporters?

Possible non-verbal content, what some might be echoing in their own mind as Trump speaks:

  • "I'm tired of taking care of everything and everybody except our folks who work for a living."
  • "I've pretty much had it with Congress and with politicians in general."
  • "Trade deals are made for the benefit of the rich, and I get the shaft."
  • "Government has gotten sleazy and stupid, and I've had enough."
  • "We're paying the bill for everything, stupid or otherwise."
  • "Our tax system is incomprehensible unless you're rich."
  • "Politically correct is for the brainless and gutless."
  • "Politicians are bought, they're pawns."
  • "Quit talking about it and crush ISIS."
  • "Quit giving my jobs to China!"
  • "Because f--- you, that's why."

Those aren't things Trump said, but his followers have the impression that's what he means.  True?

Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya -- how would Trump have handled those issues?
The Great Recession and the crooked players on Wall Street -- how would Trump have followed up?
NAFTA plus the Atlantic and Pacific trade agreements -- what would Trump agree to?
Ferguson?  San Bernardino?  Sandy Hook?  Aurora?  Columbine?  Ft. Hood?  Blacksburg?  Violence is part of our lives.  How would Trump respond?
Climate change and the global ecosystem -- would Trump have an opinion?  Would he act?

Can we tell from the persona we see portrayed?  Would things improve?

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