“Human personality operates under a powerful expressive force to reveal itself.”

Donald Trump thumbs up

The optimism of Donald Trump:

Trust Ted. This slogan is psychologically disastrous. It makes a personal demand without offering a reward or justification for the demand. In family psychodynamics, when a teenager says, “Trust me” to a parent, or a spouse utters those words to his or her partner, something has probably gone terribly wrong. When a stranger says, “Trust me,” your hand might instinctively pat a pocket to check for your wallet.

Hillary For America. Is Hillary herself for America? Or is America in need of Hillary? The ambiguity is probably unintentional. This slogan induces a multiple choice response. Both answers signal a campaign primarily about a candidate rather than issues.

Make America Great Again. The implied second-person of Trump’s slogan immediately engages the listener in a call to action, which is inherently optimistic. “Great” is the payoff for the action. “Again” implies an ongoing loss, a negative condition, but it is cited in the service of its remediation.

Originally appeared at Lew Rockwell’s Political Theater via Floy Lilley.


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