‘She’s the Devil’
Trump is famous for his name calling, which is also an effective technique, according to information published by the Institute for Propaganda Analysis.
In addition to referring to Clinton as the Devil, Trump also calls her “crooked Hillary.” He’s also called U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, his former primary opponent, “lyin’ Ted.” He’s called Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida “little Marco” and Jeb Bush “low-energy Jeb.” Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts is called “goofy” and “Pocahontas.”
Why is such a seemingly juvenile practice so effective?
“The name-calling technique links a person, or idea, to a negative symbol,” Delwiche writes. “The propagandist who uses this technique hopes that the audience will reject the person or the idea on the basis of the negative symbol, instead of looking at the available evidence.”
This is closely related to scapegoating, another effective technique. An excellent example: Trump blaming the ills of the nation’s economy on immigration — Mexicans crossing the border. He’s also had harsh words for China.
But Hillary Clinton is the true enemy, as portrayed by Trump and his supporters.
Tell a lie often enough…
Joseph Goebbels, Adolf Hitler’s propaganda minister in Nazi Germany, knew that the facts were often inconvenient, and in the end, irrelevant when the goal was to whip the masses into a frenzy.
“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it,” he is alleged to have said.
PolitiFact, the fact-checking website, awarded Trump the 2015 “Lie of the Year” award for a series of false statements. The site rated 76 percent of 77 statements “Mostly False, False or Pants on Fire.”
“No other politician has as many statements rated so far down on the dial,” reported the website.
Among them, his claim that “thousands of people” in New Jersey cheered as the World Trade Center came down on Sept. 11, 2001. Public safety officials say it never happened.
Trump has flummoxed the fact checkers.
The Poynter Institute quoted Glenn Kessler, the Washington Post’s fact checker, as saying: “Trump is unusual in that even though he’s corrected or fact-checked, he keeps saying it, says it over and over.”