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Trump As Troll: Personae And Persuasive Inoculation In The 2016 Presidential Campaign

Deronda Baughman, Dennis D. Cali
Published 2017 · Political Science

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This chapter explores the candidate persona of Donald Trump. It specifically describes how Trump’s campaign persona inoculated him from attacks from opponents. The analysis demonstrates how Trump used persuasive inoculation to imprint his version of the other Republican candidates’ personae on the public and to enfeeble the influence from the candidates themselves. During the presidential campaign of 2016, while Trump’s rivals carefully scripted their own personae, Trump effortlessly and offhandedly destroyed each in turn. Trump’s persona assignment against his rivals operated best at the emotional level, vitiating his opponents with his swamp-draining caricatures of them and raising the capital of his own celebrity billionaire belligerence in the process.

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