Author Topic: US Presidential Candidates Speak At Grade School Level  (Read 1246 times)

xSilverPhinx

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US Presidential Candidates Speak At Grade School Level
« on: March 17, 2016, 10:44:48 PM »
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From Lincoln's famous “fourscore and seven years ago” to Roosevelt's iconic line “the only thing to fear is fear itself,” the White House has been inhabited by some pretty eloquent orators over the centuries. However, the current crop of presidential hopefuls appear to fall well below the mark set by some of their predecessors, according to a new study that suggests that the linguistic complexity used in campaign speeches is comparable to the reading level of a middle school student (grades 6 to 8, covering ages 11 to 14).

Continues here.

I believe that, with the exception of Trump (who has the eloquence of a toupee-wearing baked potato), candidates purposefully tailor their language in order to manipulate the electorate. I just find it difficult to believe (though that doesn't mean it can't be true) that those among the lowest common denominator haven't developed their linguistic skills past grade school level.

 Noam Chomsky wrote about "10 strategies of manipulation" by the media, which includes:

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Go to the public as a little child

Most of the advertising to the general public uses speech, argument, people and particularly children‟s intonation, often close to the weakness, as if the viewer were a little child or a mentally deficient. The harder one tries to deceive the viewer look, the more it tends to adopt a tone infantilising. Why? “If one goes to a person as if she had the age of 12 years or less, then, because of suggestion, she tends with a certain probability that a response or reaction also devoid of a critical sense as a person 12 years or younger (see Silent Weapons for Quiet War )."
 

So, what do you think? Blatant manipulation tactic, going for the lowest common denominator or something else entirely?
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Tank

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Re: US Presidential Candidates Speak At Grade School Level
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2016, 08:18:15 AM »
The sin of omission would simply be to talk down to the electorate without thinking.
The sin of commission would be to deliberately use language and vocabulary deliberately dumbed down to suit the target audience.
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chimp3

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Re: US Presidential Candidates Speak At Grade School Level
« Reply #2 on: March 18, 2016, 10:46:37 AM »
The sin of omission would be to allow yourself to be talked down to by a politician. Not meeting the sound bite with a complex response . Voting for someone because "they tell it like it is". Intellectually lazy voters are so numerous they are worth appealing to. Chomsky's list of strategies may be accurate but no good can come from infantilizing the masses.
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Ecurb Noselrub

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Re: US Presidential Candidates Speak At Grade School Level
« Reply #3 on: March 18, 2016, 10:59:19 AM »
We really need immigrants over here - intelligent ones, to raise the general IQ level.  It's getting bad.  Actually, I still think the Dems are going to win, and as soon as the election is over the crazies will recede.  One problem is our interminable election cycle. It makes people stupid.

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Re: US Presidential Candidates Speak At Grade School Level
« Reply #4 on: March 18, 2016, 12:45:17 PM »
We really need immigrants over here - intelligent ones, to raise the general IQ level.  It's getting bad.  Actually, I still think the Dems are going to win, and as soon as the election is over the crazies will recede.  One problem is our interminable election cycle. It makes people stupid.

The US has already been "brain draining" from other countries for a long time now - good for the US, bad for the countries they come from.

I really hope the Dems win, but as the election process goes on I'm left more and more in doubt. Trump's success thus far is surreal.
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Re: US Presidential Candidates Speak At Grade School Level
« Reply #5 on: March 18, 2016, 01:29:54 PM »
We really need immigrants over here - intelligent ones, to raise the general IQ level.  It's getting bad.  Actually, I still think the Dems are going to win, and as soon as the election is over the crazies will recede.  One problem is our interminable election cycle. It makes people stupid.

The attention paid to "the crazies" might recede, but if Clinton is elected, it will only spur them on.
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Icarus

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Re: US Presidential Candidates Speak At Grade School Level
« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2016, 09:20:45 PM »
Intellectual achievement among our masses is not a national characteristic.  We do have many brilliant citizens but they are hopelessly outnumbered by the less sophisticated who are so gullible as to be beguiled by the likes of Cruz and Trump. Meanwhile the remaining semi rational candidate, Kasich, is absurdly far behind in the polls. (sigh) 

Jeb Bush would almost surely have been a more capable president. Alas, he has gone down in flames.  Disclaimer: It is unlikely I would not have voted for him.