rainn.png
Friday February 26th, 2021 6:53AM

Trump paints apocalyptic portrait of life in US under Biden

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

WASHINGTON (AP) — The suburbs wouldn't be the suburbs anymore, the economy would sink into its worst depression ever and police departments would cease to exist. Even America's older adults would be left to figure out how to get by without heat, air conditioning or electricity.

This is the apocalyptic version of American life that President Donald Trump argues would be the dire consequence of turning over the White House to Democrat Joe Biden.

"He’ll bury you in regulations, dismantle your police departments, dissolve our borders, confiscate your guns, terminate religious liberty, destroy your suburbs,” Trump said in one of many over-the-top pronouncements about Biden in the campaign's final weeks. Trump typically makes his warning about the fate of suburbia as he showcases his own decision to end federal regulations that govern the placement of low-incoming housing in the suburbs.

Campaign rhetoric can often become heated and hyperbolic as candidates scrap for every last advantage before the votes are counted.

Experts say instilling fear in one's opponent is usually the primary motivating factor behind such talk as candidates seek to give voters a reason to put a checkmark next to their name on the ballot.

“It's pure fear and fear based on a particular kind of ignorance that only works if your hearers have that particular kind of ignorance,” Robin Lakoff, professor emerita of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, said of Trump's claims about Biden.

Trump made fear — particularly the fear of immigrants — a major theme of his 2016 campaign. Now, he is giving voters a laundry list of mostly implausible reasons to fear a Biden presidency.

“This election is a choice between a TRUMP RECOVERY or a BIDEN DEPRESSION," the president tweeted, echoing what he tells supporters at rallies. "It’s a choice between a TRUMP BOOM or a BIDEN LOCKDOWN. It’s a choice between our plan to Kill the virus – or Biden’s plan to kill the American Dream!”

Trump has criticized Biden for saying he'd follow the scientists, and the president claims the Democrat would shut the country down. In fact, Biden hasn’t said whether he’d endorse large-scale shutdowns of the nation’s economy, if things get drastically worse, like much of the country did in March.

“If you vote for Biden, it means no kids in school, no graduations, no weddings, no Thanksgiving, no Christmas and no Fourth of July together," Trump said at a rally Wednesday in Goodyear, Arizona. “Other than that, you have a wonderful life.”

Kathleen Hall Jamieson, director of the Annenberg Public Policy Center at the University of Pennsylvania, said Trump's rhetoric is effective with people who are already disposed to believe such things about Biden. But to a person who is not in the audience, she said, such talk is a “sign of desperation.”

“The problem with the rhetoric is it's an alienating rhetoric for people who hear it as extreme and improbable,” Jamieson said. It's also problematic, she said, “because you expect a president of the United States to calibrate his rhetoric to reality in at least some plausible way."

Last week in Florida, Trump sought to boost his standing among older Americans angered by his response to the coronavirus by portraying Biden as the one who would do them harm. Trump falsely said Biden's energy plan "would mean that America's seniors have no air conditioning during the summer, no heat during the winter and no electricity during peak hours.”

During a summer of unrest that followed the police killings of Black men, Trump sought to portray Biden as beholden to the “radical-left” forces Trump claimed were behind the protests. He also argued that Biden wouldn't be able to keep such unrest from spreading to the suburbs.

David Zarefsky, who teaches courses about presidential rhetoric at Northwestern, said close examination shows the weakness in Trump's argument about Biden and the suburbs.

“I think most people would not put it together as being a sound argument," said Zarefsky, a past president of the Rhetoric Society of America.

Leading Democrats have deployed their own dire talk.

In July, Biden said Trump was the country's first racist president, which glossed over the presidents before Trump who had held slaves.

“We’ve had racists, and they’ve existed. They’ve tried to get elected president,” Biden said. "He’s the first one that has.”

And in his Democratic National Convention speech, former President Barack Obama said four more years of the Republican in the White House would jeopardize American democracy.

“That's what's at stake right now. Our democracy,” Obama said.

Jamieson said that claim is different because it is grounded in the president's own norm-busting behavior, such as his attacks on the Justice Department and on the press, or his unfounded challenges to voting by mail and the legitimacy of Tuesday's election.

“Those who are making the argument about Trump are offering evidence from his rhetoric and actions,” she said, adding that the attacks on Biden are “not justified by what he's said or done.”

Vanessa Beasley, a professor of communication studies at Vanderbilt University, said all presidents fall back on “us versus them” rhetoric during campaigns, but that once in office the rhetoric is tempered by the reality of having to govern for all.

She cited Obama as an example, noting the disappointment among some of his supporters after he was elected and the aspirational “hope and change” rhetoric that helped power his political rise gave way to more measured discourse.

“The difference with Trump," she added, “is that he never stops the ‘us versus them.'”

Beasley added that hyperbolic rhetoric can be optimistic, citing President Ronald Reagan's “Morning in America” campaign from the 1980s as a classic example.

“Hyperbole doesn’t always have to go to fear,” she said.

___

AP’s Advance Voting guide brings you the facts about voting early, by mail or absentee from each state: https://interactives.ap.org/advance-voting-2020/.

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, Top General short headlines, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Elections, General Election News, General Presidential Election News, AP Business, AP Elections - Political Conventions, AP Business - Economy
© Copyright 2021 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
India's coronavirus cases cross 8 million, behind US
India’s confirmed coronavirus toll has crossed 8 million with daily cases dipping to the lowest level this week
1:10AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Philly shooting brings policing, racism back into campaign
The fatal shooting of another Black man on America’s streets by police has brought the fraught issues of policing and racism back to the fore of the presidential election in its closing days
1:07AM ( 17 minutes ago )
At least 1 dead as Hurricane Zeta hammers Gulf Coast
At least one person has died as Hurricane Zeta pounds New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast with heavy rains and howling winds before rapidly making its way through Mississippi and Alabama with strong gusty winds, heavy rains and dangerous storm surge
1:00AM ( 23 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
The Latest: President declares emergency in Mississippi
President Donald Trump has declared an emergency exists in Mississippi and ordered federal assistance be expedited to aid state, local and tribal efforts to recover from Hurricane Zeta
11:56PM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Mississippi mayor on Zeta: 'truly howling wind'
The former mayor of Bay St. Louis in Mississippi says Hurricane Zeta was “very intense” when it blew through
11:48PM ( 1 hour ago )
Asian shares lower, US futures up after S&P 500 sinks 3.5%
Asian shares have logged moderate losses after the S&P 500 dropped 3.5% as markets shuddered over surging coronavirus cases that are bringing fresh pandemic shutdown measures
11:47PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP National News
AP Explains: Trump pushes questions about Joe Biden's son
President Donald Trump’s campaign is pushing a familiar line of attack against Democrat Joe Biden in the final days of the presidential campaign: unverified allegations about Biden’s son and his foreign business ties
10:34PM ( 2 hours ago )
Former DHS official says he wrote 'Anonymous' Trump critique
A former Trump administration official who penned a scathing anti-Trump op-ed and book under the pen name “Anonymous” is making his identify public
10:06PM ( 3 hours ago )
Hurricane Zeta hammers Gulf Coast with rain, wind, outages
Hurricane Zeta is pelting New Orleans and other parts of the Gulf Coast with heavy rains and howling winds, ripping apart roofs and knocking out power to more than 630,000 customers in three states
9:49PM ( 3 hours ago )
Top General short headlines
Pompeo, in Indonesia, renews China attacks as US vote looms
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is in Indonesia renewing the Trump administration's rhetorical onslaught against China as the American presidential election looms
11:46PM ( 1 hour ago )
Supreme Court leaves NC absentee ballot deadline at Nov. 12
The Supreme Court will allow absentee ballots in North Carolina to be received and counted up to nine days after Election Day
9:51PM ( 3 hours ago )
Justice Dept. charges 8 in Chinese harassment plot in US
The Justice Department has charged eight people with working on behalf of the Chinese government in a pressure campaign aimed at coercing a New Jersey man wanted by Beijing to return to China to face charges
9:39PM ( 3 hours ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Justice Department ramps up inquiry into NY care home deaths
The  Justice Department is vastly expanding an inquiry that could determine whether New York is undercounting coronavirus deaths among nursing home residents
6:15PM ( 7 hours ago )
Biden shuns easy virus answers; Trump vows to 'vanquish' it
Joe Biden is focusing on COVID-19 in the final days of the election campaign, while President Donald Trump is anxious to talk about just about anything else
6:05PM ( 7 hours ago )
S&P 500 sinks 3.5% as surging virus cases lead to shutdowns
The Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped 943 points Wednesday as surging coronavirus cases forced more shutdown measures in Europe and raised fears of more restrictions in the U.S. The S&P 500 dropped 3.5%, its third straight loss
5:37PM ( 7 hours ago )
AP Elections
Millions of mailed ballots not yet returned in key states
Millions of mail ballots have yet to be returned in key battleground states just days before the presidential election
3:08PM ( 10 hours ago )
The Latest: Biden will tell world leaders 'America is back'
If he wins the presidency, one of Joe Biden’s first moves will be to call foreign leaders and tell them “America is back.”
3:01PM ( 10 hours ago )
Police: 7 taken to hospitals after Trump Omaha airport rally
Police in Omaha, Nebraska, say at least seven people who attended an airport rally for President Donald Trump were taken to hospitals
2:59PM ( 10 hours ago )
General Election News
Tanzania votes but 'widespread irregularities' are claimed
Tanzania’s leading opposition presidential candidate asserts that Wednesday's election saw “widespread irregularities" amid a massive internet slowdown
2:00PM ( 11 hours ago )
The Latest: Biden gets COVID-19 briefing from health experts
Six days out from Election Day, Joe Biden isn’t campaigning in a swing state
12:17PM ( 13 hours ago )
Ahead of the election, a landslide of documentaries
The election has unleashed an avalanche of documentaries like no season before it
12:10PM ( 13 hours ago )
General Presidential Election News
Samsung reports record sales amid questions about future
As Samsung Electronics mourns the death of its long-time chairman, Lee Kun-Hee, questions loom over what's next for South Korea's biggest company
12:14AM ( 1 hour ago )
S. Korea's top court upholds 17-year jail term on ex-leader
South Korea’s top court has upheld a 17-year sentence imposed on former President Lee Myung-bak for a range of corruption crimes in a final ruling that will send him back to prison
11:29PM ( 1 hour ago )
Asia Today: Virus arrives in Marshall Islands with 2 cases
The Marshall Islands has reported its first cases of the coronavirus after two people who flew from Hawaii to a U.S. military base tested positive
10:29PM ( 2 hours ago )
AP Business
Trump to appeal to Nevada voters from neighboring Arizona
The presidential campaign is shifting west as President Donald Trump visits Arizona and stages a rally in a town just across the Colorado River from neighboring Nevada
5:31AM ( 19 hours ago )
Biden vows to unify and save country; Trump hits Midwest
Joe Biden has traveled to the hot springs town where Franklin Delano Roosevelt coped with polio to declare the U.S. is not too politically diseased to overcome its health and economic crises
11:17PM ( 1 day ago )
Collins votes against Barrett, heads home to save Senate job
Republican Sen. Susan Collins of Maine is back on the campaign trail after another controversial vote on another of President Donald Trump's Supreme Court nominees
10:54PM ( 1 day ago )
AP Elections - Political Conventions
Venezuelan president: Key oil refinery attacked; 2 detained
Venezuela’s president says a large oil refinery suffered a terrorist attack as his government struggles to provide domestic fuel to the crisis-stricken nation
6:07PM ( 7 hours ago )
Visa 4Q profits plunge as pandemic slows payments worldwide
Visa Inc. said its fiscal fourth quarter profits dropped 29% due to fewer dollars crossing on its namesake payment network while the world was in the grips of a pandemic-caused recession
5:44PM ( 7 hours ago )
Europe and US facing new round of shutdowns amid virus surge
A new wave of lockdowns and business closings is sweeping across France, Germany and other places in Europe as surging coronavirus infections there and in the U.S. wipe out months of progress against the scourge on two continents
5:06PM ( 8 hours ago )
AP Business - Economy
India's coronavirus cases cross 8 million, behind US
India’s confirmed coronavirus toll has crossed 8 million with daily cases dipping to the lowest level this week
1:10AM ( 14 minutes ago )
Philly shooting brings policing, racism back into campaign
The fatal shooting of another Black man on America’s streets by police has brought the fraught issues of policing and racism back to the fore of the presidential election in its closing days
1:07AM ( 17 minutes ago )
At least 1 dead as Hurricane Zeta hammers Gulf Coast
At least one person has died as Hurricane Zeta pounds New Orleans and much of the Gulf Coast with heavy rains and howling winds before rapidly making its way through Mississippi and Alabama with strong gusty winds, heavy rains and dangerous storm surge
1:00AM ( 24 minutes ago )
FBI warns ransomware assault threatens US healthcare system
Federal agencies say cybercriminals are unleashing a major ransomware assault against the U.S. healthcare system
12:50AM ( 34 minutes ago )
Millions of mail ballots not yet returned in key states
Millions of mail ballots have yet to be returned in key battleground states just days before the presidential election
12:48AM ( 36 minutes ago )