Thursday, February 11, 2016

Donald Trump and his Wall of Ethos and Pathos

Donald Trump has become known for his extreme plan for immigration. Trump blames illegal immigrants for the bulk of America's problems from violence to the economy. From building a wall to the deportation of eleven million people, Trump uses the rhetorical tools of ethos and pathos to make his immigration plan make sense.

Trump uses ethos throughout his argument on immigration as a way to discredit illegal immigrants and his fellow candidates and to establish his own ethos as the solution to the problem of immigration in the United States. Trump focuses on the harm that illegal immigrants are causing in America through crime and stealing jobs from Americans. He makes all illegal immigrants seem violent, which is false, and that they are raising the violence in America. He also blames them for hurting the American economy by taking jobs away from American citizens. By doing this Trump is destroying the ethos of immigrants in America and making them appear dangerous to American society. Trump also targets his fellow candidates in saying that they are weak in terms of their immigration policies and that they would not accomplish what needs to be done if they were to be elected. By discrediting illegal immigrants and his fellow candidates, Trump is establishing his own ethos as the solution to the immigration problem. Trump believes that he is the person that can fix immigration and secure the nation's border and he establishes his ethos by making everyone else seems as if they can't. 

Trump also uses pathos in his argument on immigration in the United States. He uses pathos to rouse the emotion of fear in his audience over the harm that illegal immigrants are doing to America. He paints immigrants as those who are creating violence in America creating a sense of fear and nervousness. He also says that illegal immigrants are stealing American jobs. By doing this he is arising pathos in the form of anger especially from those that are unemployed. Pathos becomes a tool that Trump uses to gain support for his extreme plan to stop illegal immigration. Trump and his plan to stop illegal immigration are based off of ethos and pathos that are supposed to persuade his audience that his extreme plan is the only one that will work. 


  1. I think Donald Trump's dislike for immigrants is odd. It doesn't make any sense to me because, like you said, all of his claims are false. Immigrants are not a threat nor are they damaging America in any way, so I don't understand why he is trying to turn Americans against immigrants. Also, it seems like Trump tends to use pathos a lot during his speeches/debates. I am amazed at how far he has come in the presidential election so far. Great post!

  2. I feel like Trump might not personally dislike immigrants, but instead is using them in order to get votes. By creating a fear of immigrants, Trump creates a need for someone to stem the flow. He also conveniently supplies himself as the person to solve the "problem" of illegal immigration.