But isn’t it un-American and wrong to discriminate against people based on their religion? But, Jimmy, the problem Uh, I mean, look, I’m for it… But, look… We have people coming into our country that are looking to do tremendous harm. You look at the two- Look at Paris. Look at what happened in Paris. I mean, these people, they did not come from Sweden Okay? Look at what happened in Paris. Look at what happened last week in California, with…with, you know, fourteen people dead. Other people going to die, they’re so badly injured. We have a real problem. There’s a tremendous hatred out there. And what I wanna do is find out what- you know, you can’t solve a problem until you find out what’s the root cause. And I wanna find out what is the problem what’s going on. And, it’s temporary I’ve had so many people call me and say thank you. Now, if you remember, when I did that a week ago it was like bedlam All of a sudden — and you watch last night and you see people talking. They say, “Well, Trump has a point. We have to get down to the problem.” The people that are friends of mine that called, they said, “Donald, you’ve done us a tremendous service, because we do have a problem and we have to find out what is the — -and we have to find out what is the–
-those might have been prank calls -those may have been prank calls
-No, no One of the things I find fascinating about Donald Trump is the way he uses language differently than other candidates for political office, especially president of the United States Whereas his opponents and the political class in general seem hyper-aware that their words would be picked apart and used against them Trump willfully disregards this fact. As a lifelong salesman, he has a huckster’s knack for selling a feeling even if the ideas and facts that underscore it are spurious, racist or just plain incomprehensible so I thought it would be illuminating to look at a Trump answer to a simple question In this case Jimmy Kimmel asking Trump whether or not it’s wrong to discriminate against people based on their religion referring to Trump’s proposal to temporarily ban all Muslims from entering the United States This 220 word, exactly 1 minute answer displays I think, a range of the things that Trump uses all the time in his speech The first thing to know is how simple this language is Of the 220 words, 172, or 78%, are only one syllable and often they come in a rhythmic series like a volley of jabs ending with one of his buzz words we have to get down to the problem 39 words, or 17%, are two syllables long only 4 words have 3 syllables, 3 of which are the word tremendous, tremendous, tremendous and just two words are 4 syllables long California, which he’s forced to use because it has less syllables than San Bernardino and temporary, which he swallows and it’s temporary, I’ve had so many people this breakdown fits with the study done by the Boston Globe that put all 2016 presidential candidates’ announcement speeches through the Flesch-Kincaid readability test to determine their respective grade level rankings Donald Trump’s speech came out at the 4th grade reading level Now for reference, Ben Carson came out at 6th grade Hillary Clinton and Jeb Bush were speaking at an 8th grade reading level and Bernie Sanders was a way up in high school, a sophomore, to be exact Now this isn’t only down to word or syllable choice it’s about sentence construction, too Trump favors simple sentences like we have a real problem
there is a tremendous hatred out there Rarely does he use complex sentences or independent clauses He also favors the second person a lot of the time, addressing listeners directly with commands Look at Paris
Look at what happened in Paris
Look at what happened in Paris
Look at what happened last week in California Or implicating us in what he’s saying as if we’ve already agreed and you watch last night, and you see people talking He’s really good at this, at framing negative response as an over-reaction that was subsequently realized as such if you remember, when I did that a week ago it was like bedlam. All of a sudden – and you watch last, and you see people talking. They said, “Well Trump has a point. We have to get down to the problem.” Maybe the most important technique Trump utilizes and he does this more than anyone I’ve ever heard is ending his sentences with strong punchy words. A lot of times he’ll rearrange the beginning of a sentence awkwardly, so that he can end strong. For example, here, it would probably be more natural to say you can’t solve a problem until you find out what the root cause is but he brings the is forward to end on root cause he does the same here and it looks like he was going to about the same in the end before Kimmel cuts him off these final words are crucial for Trump They’re pointed and taken together sketch the theme of the entire answer harm, dead, die, badly injured, problem, root cause thank you, bedlam, point, problem, service, problem In some sense, it’s these words that audiences remember especially when the rest of the speech is incoherent Like the best salesman, Trump keeps it simple, he repeats a lot we have a real problem, what is the problem we do have a problem, we have to get down to the problem and he uses his favorite words over and over tremendous, tremendous, tremendous service and he always seems to have friends who are part of the group that he’s currently insulting calling him up and thanking him for the privilege many of them called me they said you know Donald, you’re right, we have a problem and look, there is a problem Donald Trump knows when to sound incredulous, or forceful He has good comedic instinct, you can even call him witty but you can’t call him smart or well informed the best salesman could sell you a TV without knowing anything about it because the TV isn’t what matters. What matters, is you. And if you are an American citizen who, for years has listened to politicians sound sophisticated while accomplishing nothing you might just be primed for something that is everything they are not. But the next time you feel like Donald Trump has a point do yourself a favor and look at his words. Hey everybody, thanks for watching. I want to point you in the direction of my friends over at Wisecrack who do some awesome work, some awesome video essays. If you like my stuff, you’re definitely going to like what they do. They talk about books, movies, and my personal favorite is definitely 8-Bit Philosophy, which is like philosophy explained with Nintendo graphics. So well done. I wish I had thought of that. Anyway, go over there, click there, subscribe, watch a video. If you guys want to help me out, as always, you can click right here, pledge a dollar or three dollars or five dollars to my channel. Help me start 2016 right. We’re going to do some awesome stuff in the next year. I can’t wait to see you guys next Wednesday for the next video and I will see you… Well, I just said I’ll see you next Wednesday, so bye!