Friday, February 5, 2016

Trump's Tweet Proves Ineffective

The use of technology and specifically social media has been very prominent during the 2016 political campaign. Donald Trump, a candidate, has been very active on Twitter, and Trump has been known to tweet quite risky and vulgar things. On April 6th, 2015, Donald Trump posted a tweet attacking his fellow running mate, Hillary Clinton. In the post Trump retweeted a post that said, "If Hillary Clinton can't satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?" Trump claimed that this retweet was the work of one of his many social media staffers, and that once Trump saw the post he deleted it immediately. The tweet is arguing that because Clinton's relationship with her husband is rocky, she will not be able to support America like a true president should.

Donald Trump's retweet, accidental or not, is an example of a logical fallacy called ad hominem. Ad hominem occurs when someone attacks the character of an individual and not the beliefs or arguments that the individual is portraying. The retweet attacks Hillary Clinton's love life and past speculations that her and her husband were not on the best of terms. It does not speak about any of Clinton's views, her plans or policies, and does not elaborate on what satisfying America entails. The retweet attempts to unnessecarily tear down Clinton's ethos, when her love life really has nothing to do with her political views and her participation in the political race. Here, Trump (or his social media staffer) is not focused on attacking Clinton's arguments but instead her character.

The use of this logical fallacy is overall ineffective in Trump's attempt to become president. The retweet is far too ridiculous to accomplish anything rhetorically. When people view Trump's retweet they will either laugh at it or be disgusted by it. It really puts a bad light on Trump for attacking Clinton on something so ridiculous and unrelated to the political race, rather than putting a bad light on Clinton which was the original intent of the tweet.

1 comment:

  1. It was interesting to think about how the tweet sort of backfired on Trump-- we often think about and discuss how candidates or people in general successfully utilize logical fallacies, but a lot of the times the fallacies are so blatantly ridiculous that they do just the opposite of what was intended. Good job!