Interesting analysis of rhetorical techniques.

Interesting analysis of rhetorical techniques.

Originally shared by Cindy Brown

I think this sums it up well for me, too. Remember, I don’t watch his speeches. I read transcripts or follow CC if it’s supplied and not too wonky. So if there’s a fired up crowd or charisma or whatever, I’m not getting that. And this IS what I see:

This [standard Sanders] stump speech uses three rhetorical techniques that I find particularly frustrating in politics in general:

1) Binary thinking

2) Fear-based language

3) Unilateral change independent of legislative, executive, and judicial branches

While all campaigns utilize binary thinking or fear-based arguments at times, Sanders has based his entire campaign around them, and framed himself as the only person (along with his followers) who can effectively save the country from these threats.

The enemies he highlights – corruption in large corporations, centralization of wealth, and the disproportionate influence of lobbies – are all completely legitimate problems. I am frustrated, however, with the simplistic approach he uses to discuss the problems associated with economic inequality.

I like him. I like that he’s bringing up issues we absolutely need to talk about. I like that he’s pulled the discourse further left after so much rightward swing that a moderate centrist like Obama is considered a raging socialist.

But I want to see him move past this framework into some real discussion. And he hasn’t done that yet. And I’m not sure what kind of presidency he’d have as a result. One like Jimmy Carter? (and again, I admire Carter & even what he managed to do while in office, not just after, but there were distinct shortcomings there too).


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