Donald Trump converts impeachment inquiry into political rallying cry

New York: US President Donald Trump has turned the ongoing impeachment inquiry over his dealings with Ukraine into his signature “all-base, all-the-time” political rallying cry, calling opposition Democrats “crazy” and unpatriotic; he is framing the US pullout from Syria as “a great day for civilisation” and is stoking cultural stereotypes framing the Middle East as a violent sandbox where its “natural” for them to “play” on blood stained streets.

With 12 months to go before the next US elections, Trump continues to cast himself as an insurgent and victim of the Washington elites. Whether this is a carefully curated strategy or Trump being Trump, strategists agree that the President’s appeal to feelings, memories and tribe instinct is potent.  What makes for memorable messaging in political campaigns? Hersh: So when we think about a candidate as a brand and all the messages that go out, we have to first ask the question what is a brand? I think we need to talk more broadly about branding as a relationship because branding is a relationship between whoever is doing the communicating and the audience. So, one thing we can do is think in terms of the processes of memory. When people hear something, how do they remember it and what effect does that have on their views? And when people remember. What is it that they’re remembering. Cognitive psychologists will talk about the idea that memories are more than what we tend to think about in everyday life. We also remember feelings, we remember emotions, we remember situations, we remember episodes. So, when we think about a brand, and that would include a person, and that might include a candidate, we have this collection of all these memories. And when new memories come in, when new things happen, it changes the balance of how we feel about that brand or that person. So, if I tell you, there’s this hero who jumped into the lake and pulled out a drowning child, we all tend to feel positively about that person. And then if we add a piece of information. Well, that person turns out to be someone who was accused of a crime. Then our balance of feelings may start to change, and then we find out what the crime is. Well, it’s a poor person who was accused of stealing milk to feed the child. So the balance of feelings change again. So, as new information comes in, it affects what we think about and how we feel about that thing. And when we’re talking about brands or candidates, there are many of them out there.(IANS)

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