Anti-Trump Political Persuasion

Richard E. Vatz, Ph.D.


     In my work The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion: the Agenda-Spin Model  (McGraw-Hill, 2017), I argue that all rhetorical persuasion is a process of a struggle for agenda and spin, or, in other words, the determining of what we talk about and what it means.

There is no better example of this in political persuasion – presidential style – than the various fights over what should be on the national agenda, per the president’s attention, the disloyal opposition’s agenda and the media’s attention.  This model involves virtually every issue, including, parenthetically, Maryland Attorney General Brian E. Frosh’s redefining the job description of that office to legally harass President Trump on national issues.

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But the most fascinating extant rhetorical fight is the Democrats’ and Democratic media’s (CNN, MSNBC, and The Washington Post and The New York Times’ and others’), efforts to focus on anything but President Trump’s economic and foreign policy successes and incipient successes.  Literally not a positive mention and rarely a mention at all from these sources exists of the economy, job statistics, North Korean possible denuclearization, or the “Space Force” initiative.

These anti-Trump foci were previously the Mueller investigation – now going south for the Democrats, Hillary Clinton, James Comey, FBI lawyer Lisa Page agent Peter Strzok et al. – and, currently, the children separated from their parent(s) as they illegally immigrate from Central America and elsewhere. Trump may have solved the last problem, but no matter: his alleged horridness trumps (no pun intended) all other focus and coverage.

Given the style of Trump as presidential provocateur (full disclosure: not a fan of the president’s style) , there will likely never be a time when the progressive media cannot ignore all but contentious Trumpian style or policy or his mischaracterizations of political history,

Tune in some night to CNN’s 6:00 (actually begins at 5:00) “Situation Room” with Wolf Blitzer – once a credible journalist — and see if there is ever a favorable issue to the president even covered.

Fair journalism is in a coma – revivable, but hopeless during the media “resistance” of covering only news agenda unfavorable to the president with spin equally imbalanced.  Love the consistent 4-1 anti-Trump panels.

Wonder if the anti-Trump resistance is proud of their politics and journalism.  Today’s Tip O’Neill and David Brinkley: where are you?


Towson Professor Vatz is Author of The Only Authentic Book of Persuasion: the Agenda-Spin Model  (McGraw-Hill, 2017) and the co-editor of Thomas S. Szasz: the Man and His Ideas (Transaction Publishers, 2017).




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