Megan’s Propaganda Analysis


Just a few days ago one of the most infamous presidential elections came to an end with Republican Donald Trump trumping Democrat Hilary Clinton to take the President elect position, and in which he will reside in the oval office in January 2017. While, most presidential elections use various forms of propaganda this election in particular was filled with different propaganda ideologies and techniques from both parties. The Clinton campaign used a lot of different propaganda techniques but for the sake of this case study the focus will be on Donald Trump and his campaign journey throughout the past year. Trump’s ideology of and purpose of his campaign will be discussed, the context in which the propaganda occurred, the structure of the propaganda, the target audience, the different outlets of media utilization, different and special techniques that were used for maximum effect, the audiences reaction to the various techniques, and the effects and evaluation of Trump’s presidential campaign, which we all know resulted in him becoming the President- elect of the United States of America.


The ideology and purpose of Donald Trumps’ campaign was to persuade American citizens that he would, “Make American Great Again,” as President of the United States of America. President elect, Donald Trump used pathos very strongly throughout his campaign. Throughout the course of the election process, Trump’s ideology was putting the audience into consideration with everything he did (Propaganda and Persuasion). Everything, Trump said was to persuade the audience to vote for him to be the next President. Trump’s speeches often consisted of a great amount of emotion and solutions to America’s problems right now, which would give Americans hope for the future (What Aristotle Would Say to Donald Trump). Trump would use pathos during his debates because he would express emotions about how his running mate, Hillary Clinton was not an appropriate candidate for presidency because of past events, email scandal, Benghazi scandal and rape scandal (Hillary Clinton Scandals).  By bringing these scandals to light, Donald Trump wanted American citizens to be scared for Hillary Clinton to be the next President. Throughout his campaign the ideologies and positions he took on different subjects were as follows, he campaigned that if he became President of the United States he would make Mexico pay for the wall that would be built between the United States and Mexico that would stop illegal immigrants from entering the United States. His ideology of healthcare was to reform the Affordable Care Act, “Obamacare,” that was passed during President Barack Obama’s presidency. He also had views on child care, on position he held was to provide 6 weeks of paid leave to new mother’s before returning to work. Trump’s ideology was also to defend the second amendment and to give American citizens the right to bear arms (Donald Trump Policies). Donald Trump’s overall purpose of his campaign was to be elected President.


The election is a very recent, important topic of American citizens. There are many people that were very opinionated throughout the election process. There have also been several riots and protests since Tuesday, November 8 when Donald Trump was elected President of the United States. Propaganda occurs all the time throughout elections. It is a way that the individuals running against each other can edge out one another. This election was also very popular because it was the first women running for president, Hillary Clinton and then Donald Trump was also running who was not even recognized as a politician but as a businessman.


There were several different propagandists throughout Donald Trump’s campaign. Donald Trump’s campaign manager was Kellyanne Conway. She was the first woman to every run a Republican presidential campaign (Who is Kellyanne Conway?). Conway would travel with Trump and would advise him on what to say and do, and how to get the American people on his side. Conway was the first women campaign manager to be successful in an election. Donald Trump was also a main propagandist for his campaign, all of his speeches, debates, etc. proves that he was a main propagandist. Some of his children were also propagandists throughout his presidential campaign, Ivanka Trump, Eric Trump and Donald Trump Jr., they all went around campaigning around the country individually (An Official Guide to Donald Trump’s 5 Kids).


The structure of the Trump’s campaign staff was as follows, the executive chairman Steve Bannon, Kellyanne Conway served as Trump’s campaign manager, David Bossie, served as Deputy campaign manager, Michael Glassner, also served as a deputy campaign manager, Jim Murphy, serve3d as the national political director, John Mashburn, served as the policy director, Barry Bennett, served as a strategist, Daniel Scavino, served as the director of social media, Hope Hicks, served as Trump’s communications director, Justin McConney, served as the directors of new media, Jason Miller, served as a senior communications advisor, Katrina Pierson, served as Trump’s national campaign spokesperson (Donald Trump’s Presidential Campaign Key Staff and Advisors 2016). All of these people are a part of Donald Trump’s propaganda organization.


The target audience of Donald Trump’s campaign was obviously republican voters because Donald Trump was the Republican candidate of 2016 election. Some of Donald Trumps targeted audience were American citizens that were residents of Ohio, Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire and Wisconsin (Swing States of the 2016 Presidential Election). He targeted these audiences because they are residents of swing states, which are a key factor of all the presidential elections due to the Electoral College system in the United States.


Trump used several different media outlets throughout his presidential campaign. He used several television advertisements, online video advertisements, posters, social media and telephone commercials. Stated in the visual rhetoric chapter, the purpose of visual rhetoric is to create a virtual experience. All of these different media techniques served as propaganda for Trump’s campaign. All of the posters and videos create a virtual experience for American citizens. All of the posters for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign portrayed Trump as a very strong and intense individual. On a lot of Trump’s campaign posters is his slogan, “Make American Great Again.” Another one of Trump’s campaign posters has his position on the wall that he wants to get built during his presidency between Mexico and the United States, the poster states, “Build the Wall.” Donald Trump used his slogan throughout his entire campaign. American citizens who were pro- Trump would, hashtag #MakeAmericaGreatAgain, all over twitter. Which in that case, was just another propaganda technique for Donald Trump and his staff. Trump’s followers were campaigning for him to become President in 2017. Also, millions of posters were placed in front lawns of Trump supporters, which was also another form of media that helped Trump with the election. The first video that I linked under this portion of the assignment was an advertisement for Donald Trump stating all of the things that he would do if he became President. The second video is similar but states more of Trump’s positions on certain topics throughout the election. Each media technique used followed the general description of visual rhetoric. They each had a purpose, audience, persona, tone, structure, evidence and strategies. Trump’s purpose was to persuade American citizens to vote for him, his audience was the American people, his persona was strong, and his tone was intense and powerful.

Clink on the following link that is a video advertisement of Trump’s argument for America:

Clink on the following link that is a video advertisement of Trump’s ideologies for his presidential term:


Donald Trump used special techniques to maximize his campaign effect. His special technique was to turn Clinton supporters against Hillary because of all her scandals that were coming to light. Also, weeks before the election Hillary Clinton’s email scandal was opened back up with the FBI. Donald Trump took this even and ran with it. His speeches integrated Hillary Clinton’s scandals and how America could elect such an, “evil,” person as President of the United States. Framing was also one of Trump’s techniques that is a persuasion and propaganda theory, talked about in Chapter 4. Donald Trump framed Hillary as a criminal throughout the election process. This was one special technique that maximized Trump’s effect of the Presidential election.


There were two different audiences for Donald Trump. Democrats and Republicans. The Republicans responded positively to Donald Trump’s campaign, were as the Democrats responded negatively. Even as of today, November 13, 2016, there are riots all across the United States because of Trump being elected President. Democrats around the country are petitioning to have the Electoral College system thrown out because Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, and Donald Trump won the electoral vote.


Hillary Clinton served as Donald Trump’s counter-propaganda. Her campaign staff and Clinton wanted to portray Donald Trump as a sexist, racist, homophobic, xenophobic, islamaphobic and several other derogatory terms. Clinton had several video advertisements depicting Trump has a candidate not suited to become President of the United States. President elections are known for vast amount of propaganda and counter-propaganda techniques. Propaganda and counter-propaganda techniques used throughout Trump’s and Clinton’s techniques were glittering generalities, which is when the candidates use emotional appeals to appeal to the audience, to evoke a positive response. For example, Trump had a strong position on building the wall in between Mexico and the United States, and he claimed that he would get Mexico to pay for the wall. He tried to get the American people to have an emotional response to that position. Another technique used was, bandwagon, Trump used this technique vastly. Especially with his slogan, “Make America Great Again,” this statement translates to jump on the wagon with me, as President of the United States and together we will make America great again. Testimonial is another technique of propaganda that Hillary Clinton especially used. She had several celebrities campaigning for her. For example, Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Beyoncé were all advertising for the Clinton campaign. Another technique that is used the majority for both parties is name calling. Both candidates used this technique the majority of the time. Both Clinton and Trump would attack each other’s morals and values. And they both called each other names, for example Clinton calling trump a sexist, racist, etc (Propaganda, The 2016 Presidential Election). Overall, the major counter-propaganda for Trump’s campaign was democrat candidate, Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Clink on the following link that gives examples of Hillary Clinton’s counter- propaganda:


The effects of Donald Trump’s campaign were successful. Donald Trump’s campaign team and himself got enough American citizens against Hillary Clinton in order for himself to take the election. Going into the election, all the news stations were predicting Hillary Clinton to be the first woman President of the United States of America, but instead Donald Trump pulled an upset and became the President elect and to be sworn into office in January 2017. Donald Trump will be the next President of the United States in January 2017. Donald Trump won the electoral votes, Hillary Clinton won the popular vote, but in the United States that doesn’t matter. Donald Trump will be residing in the oval office in January 2017.


I believe that Donald Trump’s campaign was full of both persuasion and propaganda. It was created in attempt to persuade American citizens to vote for him for President. Nonverbal communication was used tremendously during this election. For example, Donald Trump also stood with great and powerful body language throughout every debate. Overall, Donald Trump trumped Hillary Clinton and will become the next President of the United States in 2017.


Campbell, K. K., & Huxman, S. S. (2003). The rhetorical act: Thinking, speaking, and writing critically. Belmont, CA, USA: Thomson/Wadsworth.

DONALD J. TRUMP POLICIES. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2016, from

Donald Trump presidential campaign key staff and advisors, 2016 – Ballotpedia. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2016, from,_2016

Propaganda, the 2016 Presidential Election and Donald Trump. (n.d.). Retrieved November 18, 2016, from

Rhetoric – What Aristotle would say to Donald Trump. Retrieved November 18, 2016, from

Sebastian, M. (2016). Who Is Kellyanne Conway? 10 Things to Know About Donald Trump’s Campaign Manager. Retrieved November 18, 2016, from

Swing states explained: What they are and why they matter. (2016). Retrieved November 18, 2016, from

Smothers, H. (2016). An Official Guide to Donald Trump’s 5 Kids. Retrieved November 18, 2016, from

16 Most Notorious Hillary Clinton Scandals. (2016). Retrieved November 18, 2016, from

Word Press: Propaganda & Persuasion/Theories




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