Sunday, December 06, 2015

95,000 Words, Many of Them Ominous, From Donald Trump’s Tongue

By PATRICK HEALY and MAGGIE HABERMAN, NYT, DEC. 5, 2015

“Something bad is happening,” Donald J. Trump warned New Hampshire voters Tuesday night, casting suspicions on Muslims and mosques. “Something really dangerous is going on.”

On Thursday evening, his message was equally ominous, as he suggested a link between the shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., and President Obama’s failure to say “radical Islamic terrorism.”

“There is something going on with him that we don’t know about,” Mr. Trump said of the president, drawing applause from the crowd in Washington.

The dark power of words has become the defining feature of Mr. Trump’s bid for the White House to a degree rarely seen in modern politics, as he forgoes the usual campaign trappings — policy, endorsements, commercials, donations — and instead relies on potent language to connect with, and often stoke, the fears and grievances of Americans.

The New York Times analyzed every public utterance by Mr. Trump over the past week from rallies, speeches, interviews and news conferences to explore the leading candidate’s hold on the Republican electorate for the past five months. The transcriptions yielded 95,000 words and several powerful patterns, demonstrating how Mr. Trump has built one of the most surprising political movements in decades and, historians say, echoing the appeals of some demagogues of the past century.

(More here.)

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