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What to Expect with President Trump’s Speech on the Government Shutdown
Kendall Phillips, professor of communication and rhetorical studies at Syracuse University, is available to discuss President Trump’s primetime speech on the partial government shutdown.
Prof. Phillips taught a class about the rhetoric of President Trump and popular culture and offered four things that we can expect to hear during tonight’s speech.
- “Ambiguous hyperbole – Perhaps the most consistent tendency in the president’s rhetoric is his use of vague statements couched in hyperbolic terms. For this president, most things are ‘tremendous’ or ‘really bad’ It is likely that many of these statements will be made without any particular reference to specifics or facts.
- “Underlying the president’s argument will be efforts to invoke ‘the people.’ The president has a consistent habit of talking about the people as ‘everyone’ or ‘many people.’ We will undoubtedly hear in the address tonight that ‘the people are very concerned’ and that ‘many people’ are calling the current situation at the southern border a ‘crisis.’
- “Tragic examples. This will likely be a scripted address and so we will probably get some specifics. There may be some actual numbers derived from reports from Homeland Security but I would suspect we may also get some tragic examples of criminals who have crossed the border illegally or people who’ve lost lives due to illegal immigration. There may also be stories of immigrants dying at the border in the effort to create a sense that the wall is necessary to stop a humanitarian as well as criminal crisis.”
- “Blame the Democrats. This will undoubtedly be the single most consistent strand of the Presidents address this evening. He will very likely name Pelosi and Schumer and try to put the blame for the current government shut down on their recalcitrance to acknowledge what he deems a ‘crisis’.”
Reporters wanting to interview Prof. Phillips can contact Ellen James Mbuqe at 315.443.1897 or firstname.lastname@example.org.