Publication details [#64159]

Kayam, Orly. 2018. Donald Trump’s rhetoric. How an anti-political strategy helped him win the presidency. Language and Dialogue 8 (2) : 183–208.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


The paper explores the rhetorical strategies Donald Trump employed during the 2016 U.S. presidential primary campaign. The study shows that Trump aimed at garnering public support by defining himself as an anti-politician or anti-political establishment candidate. His rhetorical strategies were aimed at building the depiction of his character as a successful businessman who came from outside the political realm to save America and restore it to its former greatness. He denounced the traditional rules of politics, avoided calculated, logical and politically correct utterances, and modeled himself as the only candidate who was fit for the presidency. The analysis reveals Trump’s prominent rhetorical strategies, and shows how each one of them fulfilled what it refers to as the ultimate “Anti-Political Rhetorical Strategy”, from an anti-politically correct strategy, which is by nature anti-political, to more common strategies such as negativity, simplicity, repetition and hyperbole.