Rhetoric in the 2nd Presidential Debate

After watching a little bit of the second 2016 presidential debate (Hillary Clinton versus Donald Trump), I began to grow uneasy after realizing how skilled Trump was in employing rhetoric and logical fallacies. He provides strong emphasis with anadiplosis, tricolons, and even the vintage red herrings. I managed to write only a few of the obvious ones down without watching too much of the debate. Boom boom saloon!

Clinton plays to the soul of the asker of the question, directly connecting herself to the individual by inquiring, “Are you a teacher?” She then goes on to direct her response to the regarding of student homework and appropriation by referencing her slogan, “Stronger Together.” This slogan is of minimal words and ends with –er. It also brings supporters of her campaign as one. Donald responds to the question by also referencing his slogan and talking about the nefarious results of the Obama administration, the Iran deal, and trading. He pulls a quality red herring and goes off topic to talk about the poor trades America has commited as well as the USA debt. Trump speaks about law and order, policemen deaths, and the racial groups. The monitor, Anderson Cooper, knows that Trump has completely avoided the question.

Locker room talk, a term created by Trump, labels the statements he said on tape as passable. It is a phrase that is general but applied to an unacceptable topic. He avoids Coopers badgering of whether he kissed women without consent or not and, after finally denying, he proceeds to speak about how he’s going to make the country safe.

“What we all saw and heard on Friday was Donald talking about women, what he thinks about women, what he does to women.” Clinton uses this rhetorical technique to emphasize her points and depict Trump’s lack of respect for women.

“And I’ll tell you what. I didn’t think I’d say this, but I’m going to say it, and I hate to say it.” Trump builds suspense of what he is going to say, forcing the audience to pay attention. He morphs the topic into the Clinton scandal.

“…ask Congress for more money, more and more money.” Trump repeatedly emphasizes the use of more and more money and the debt of the United States of America. “We’re going to block grant into the states. We’re going to block grant into Medicaid into the states…” By repeating the first few words of each sentence and continuing the pattern with each phrase, Trump truly gets his point and across with rhetoric practices.

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