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Friday
Dec232016

Trump's divisive post-election speeches, December 2016

I went through one of Trump's recent post-election speeches to find the most divisive statements he made.

Keep in mind that Trump is quite mild in these speeches, compared to his pre-election speeches. Now that he's already won, this is him at his most gentle and presidential. If you went back and did this same parsing of his pre-election speeches, you would find a greater quantity of divisive statements. 

Link to Wisconsin, 12/13 speech transcribed in entirety: http://wbay.com/2016/12/13/complete-text-of-donald-trumps-thank-you-tour-speech-in-wisconsin/

“The green party. Wonderful party. She got less than 1% but she thought she was going to catch us.”

Thoughts: The 'wonderful' here seems clearly sarcastic. Trump seems to enjoy gloating over the victory. Statements like this, which some people write off as meaningless, divide U.S. voters into 'winners' and 'losers,' and encourage his voters to look down on the 'losers'. Instead of attempting to bring people together and heal rifts after his win, he still seems dedicated to dividing the populace.  
 

“And that begins with defending and respecting the American flag. We don’t like seeing people burning our American flag, okay? We don’t like it.”

[Crowd boos]

Thoughts: It seems evident in context that he’s not talking about foreign burners of flags; he's talking about U.S. citizens. Riling up his followers to get angry at the people who have burned the flag recently (most of whom did it to rile Trump up because of his suggestion that the act should be illegal). This is a real non-issue; there's no positive to mentioning this. It's a meaningless distraction that gets some of his base fired up and angry. It's more divisiveness. 

 

“It is hard to believe. Look, look at all those cameras. Look at all that live television. Look at that. Who has to do this every night with all those live cameras up. You can imagine if we made a mistake? Would it be a disaster? See, other people running for office if they make a mistake, but if I made a mistake a disaster, right? Look at that you ever see so many cameras? Mr. Vice President?

"But I have to tell you they were devastated on November 8th. They were devastated. Because for the last month I decided not to do interviews because they give you interviews and then they chop up your sentences and cut them short. You’ll have this beautiful flowing sentence where the back of the sentence reverts to the front and they cut the back of the sentence off and I would say I never said that. So I said you know what? I’m not going to deal. They are very dishonest people.”

Thoughts: He continues to berate the press. Some people thought he would stop berating the press and his opponents if he won, but he has continued. The press serves a valuable purpose, and by insulting them he makes it even more likely people will be angry at the press and depend on false news sites with no connection to reality. He is responsible for widening the gap between his followers and reality. He also just seems to enjoy mocking people who are upset with his win, instead of making any attempt to make them feel better or bring people together.

 

“And then I heard that my opponent, does anybody remember my opponent?

[ Crowd boos ]

They don’t remember. They don’t remember.

[ Crowd cheers ]

Governor, these people are brutal. Now I know why it’s always a blood bath for you guys, but you win.”

Thoughts: Again, he is riling up his crowd against his previous competition, despite having already won. There is no purpose to this other than getting his crowd riled up. It fosters an Us vs. Them mentality. 


“And you see these people. They go to like, oh, one of the networks is going ladies and gentlemen, we have breaking news, Donald Trump — they’re like in a state of absolute, like, getting sick. One of them they say broke down and started to cry, but I don’t think she did really. I don’t think she did.”

Thoughts: More of the same, pointing out how people were sick at the thought of him winning. He takes obvious glee in that, instead of putting effort into convincing those people that he is not the bad man they think he is. 

 

“Talking about how Pennsylvania waited late to call the win: “So Pennsylvania, they don’t want to call it. They don’t want to call it. There’s 1% left and there’s no way they can catch it. I’m looking and starting to do interviews now because now I’m thinking this is fun. This is great. I can’t lose Pennsylvania. They refused to call it because they’re dishonest people. Okay.”

[ Crowd boos ]

Thoughts: More of the same gloating. 

 

“Then it happened folks, out of nowhere. They got sick — he [probably typo] was throwing up. You know with the map, boy, that map was getting red as held. That map, that map was bleeding red.”

Thoughts: Again, just gloating and opining on the the patheticness of the U.S. citizens who think he is a bad person. 

 

“If you don’t mind, we won’t be totally politically correct, if you don’t mind. Is that all right?”

Thoughts: More divisive, intellectually-meaningless pandering. It is essentially code for "Those over-sensitive liberals can go to hell." There is no logical reason for throwing that in there other than as a divisive insult.

 

"We’re going to have strong borders and we’re going to have the wall. Going to have the wall. Going to have that wall. And we’re going to stop the drugs for pouring into our country."

Thoughts: I don't think the wall necessarily qualifies as divisive in the same way as the previous statements. Like it or not, it is a policy idea addressing illegal immigration, which is an actual problem. And there are drugs coming into the country. But proposing to build a huge wall to solve such a problem strikes many as overkill and needlessly confrontational/defensive. It also is quite literally divisive in the sense that such a wall would divide two countries. 

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