Over the years, Donald Trump has surely proven himself to be different. Ever since the beginning of his presidential campaign, he has made countless controversial comments to the public, supported by his impulsive vocabulary. Many consider it to be irrational, while others find it to be rather bold. Despite some of Trump’s outrageous statements, however, he has been strangely efficient during his presidential term. Dubbed as the ‘zero-tolerance’ policy, in merely 22 months of his presidency, President Trump has approved fewer refugees into the United States, removed hundreds of thousands of residents seeking political asylum, and introduced a new immigration framework that theoretically ruined the DREAM Act, an immigration policy set by previous president Barack Obama. Images of his infamous wall have surfaced on the Internet, revealing beginning stages of construction across the border of Mexico. Additionally, the refugee admission limit has been lowered to no more than 30,000 from 45,000 for 2019. While many people have varying opinions on Trump’s political decisions over the years, it is without a doubt that Trump’s linguistic style is what truly sets himself apart from a typical politician.
Politicians, presidential candidates, in particular, are extremely cautious when it comes to their political lexicon. With a fairly strong understanding that their political careers are greatly defined by their first impressions, they treat it with great significance to sound both respectful and articulate to the voting citizens. Their words would heavily influence the public, so they make sure to choose the right words to appear more logical and educated. However, Trump is not your typical politician; he is rather the exact opposite. He breaks these unspoken rules of politics and strays away from sounding polite.
President Trump mainly utilizes slanted language, addressing the issue of illegal immigration in a way that favors a particular group, in this case, the citizens of the United States. By deliberately using biased words, he changes the way you, the citizens, perceive the issue. An example of this literary technique can be seen in one of his posts on Twitter: “We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came.” By using words like “invade” and “our Country,” Trump presents the situation in a way that the United States is being violated. His delusive statement strays far from the truth, where these so-claimed ‘invaders’ are simply families with harmless children, looking for better opportunities in America for survival.
Another example can be seen during a recent White House meeting this past May when President Trump harshly expressed his emotions towards illegal immigrants by labeling Mexican immigrants as “animals,” and stated that “they weren’t people.” Through the use of slanted language, he presents Mexicans as hostile beings, vandalizing US territory with their illegal statuses. These unique word choices change perspectives, and in Trump’s language, it always seems to be one-sidedly favored to the people of America.
Though he claims to have the “best words”, it is indicative that he is not great with them. He presents himself to be both impetuous and insolent; a “typical”” president would never dare to disrespect another nation’s rightful citizen, or even go far enough as to define them as something inhuman. Trump’s language completely disregards the political norms and is not what you would usually expect to hear from an elected official. We are used to hearing refined word choices and perfectly organized speeches from politicians. They are supposed to sound more educated than us, the ‘average’ citizens of America, but Trump conversely screws up with spelling and grammar quite often. However, this may be the exact reason why Trump may have won the election, and has been receiving tremendous amounts of support for his actions. Trump’s particular form of language characterizes himself to be an accessible and relatable politician, similar to an average American. His biased and irrational statements about America allow him to appeal himself to specific demographic groups.
Since the presidential elections, Trump has portrayed the American population as a lost cause, in need of guidance. His leadership would be their only “cure” to make America great again; the wall would serve as a form of protection from the sabotages, and he would take action by any means necessary to stand by the country. He makes you believe that he’s the only leader out there representing you and that all outside forces are constantly looking for a way to harm the country.
When asked about Syrian refugees, he stated that “”What I won’t do is take in two hundred thousand Syrians who could be ISIS… I have been watching this migration. And I see the people. I mean, they’re men. They’re mostly men, and they’re strong men. These are physically young, strong men. They look like prime-time soldiers.”” The addition of short phrases like “Syrians who could be ISIS” and “look like prime-time soldiers” reiterates the significance of Trump’s slanted language. He surely understands that his statements would stir up controversy, and intentionally uses it as a form of language meant to have a divisive effect on people. It straightforwardly speaks for the people that are in agreement with him. In other words, he delivers exactly what people want to hear from their president: the prioritization of America above all.
Though there will always be variations of ways to analyze President Trump’s language, one thing is clear: Trump certainly understands what works best. His form of language is not an indication of low intelligence; aware that the majority of this country has not received a tertiary level of education, he cleverly utilizes slanted language with simple vocabulary to ensure that everyone would always understand his messages. In the colloquial linguistic era, keeping it simple and biased may bring further influential changes to immigration policies for Trump during his presidential term.