A Rhetoric of Aggression and Misunderstanding

Written by Ema Sabljak

The Lesser of Two Evils

With the nearing elections all eyes are pointed towards the USA and its two major party candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. Gazing back to the past the idea of Donald Trump reaching this far was absurd, his campaign was considered a joke, but here we are three debates later, staring at the stark reality of the elections awaiting one of the greatest forces of the modern world. USA Today showed these two candidates to be the least favourable in the last thirty year, and it has been said multiple times that the voters must choose between the lesser of two evils.

The senseless, brutal rhetoric

The question that must be posed is how did this country find it in this point of no return, when did the joke of Trump’s nomination become reality? More importantly, how? His speeches are structure-less, his patience non-existent. He has the need to dominate which gives him an aura of assertiveness that may just amplify the aggression he spews. And that is exactly what he does: he spews out words with force and brutality that make them convincing despite the fact that each speech contradicts another.  His grand promises of walls and xenophobic emigration bans are all as concrete and palpable as smoke, often shown to not even be economically feasible.

Where joke transcends into reality

As a debater I ask myself, how is it possible for a man to defend a former dictator – Saddam Hussein – in a speech, to repeatedly utter misogynistic and racist notions, and still be at the verge of becoming the head of an entire state in the 21st century? There is not a moment in history besides now, where a man so unsure of his own policies and ideas could come this far in a presidential election. Donald Trump may not have reasoned policies, coherent ideas and calm charisma but he does have aggression. In a world, full of terrorist attacks, war and fear mongering it is that rhetoric that people respond to. Donald Trump as a presidential nominee exists purely in a world fueled by the war on terror. But even that would not have been enough for him to reach this point in his campaign, he needed his very absurdity, the joke many thought his running was based on. He is a story the media cannot resist; every magazine, every news show, every podcast, ironically also including this very online news site, has been and is filled with articles about the businessman; and he prospers due to it. Every joke cracked has fueled the “Trumpland” we live in, and there is no way we can avoid that.

Nothing is left but to hope that this rhetoric of aggression doesn’t become the official rhetoric of the USA.

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