Major Themes in Trump’s and Clinton's Second Presidential Debate 2016: A Comparative Critical Discourse Analysis

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Arshad Ali, Munib Ahmed, Muhammad Saleem Rana


The current study is a critical discourse analysis of the various themes presented in Trump’s and Clinton's Second Presidential Debate 2016. It also investigates the various strategies used by the candidates to gain support from their fellow Americans. Controlling manipulative and dehumanising discourse, as well as situational rhetoric and more refined conversational strategies such as using "us" as a positive representation and "them" as a negative representation, are all components of effective communication. The metaphorical structures are used to bolster anti-immigrant and fearful sentiments, as well as to strip people of their humanity in order to make them unworthy of self-esteem. Critical discourse analysis examines not only the linguistic elements of discourse but also the context in which it is delivered. The results show that the candidates help to replicate idea manipulation by emphasising positive self-representation of "us" and negative other presentations of "them" as a form of audience mind control.

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