Fear v/s Hope: The 2016 US Presidential Candidates’ speeches at the National Conventions

The past two weeks have been exceptionally important for the citizens of USA. While Cleveland hosted the Trumps for the Republican National Convention, Philadelphia welcomed the Clintons  and Obamas for the Democratic National Convention.

This election season has not only been an unusual one, but also a highly critical one. The outcome can have a ripple effect throughout the globe, affecting the cultural, geo-political and economic conditions all over the world. And most people do not realize the extent of the impact. Or maybe I am over-analyzing the situation at hand.

Not that my analysis should be taken much too seriously. I am in the nascent stages of making efforts to understand what is going on in the political sphere. And the particular interest in the US Presidential Elections happened when Donald Trump announced his candidacy. That was a shocker, right?

You have to be living under a rock in a hidden galaxy far, far away if you are not aware about the candidates running for President this year. Not only is Trump’s lunacy legendary all over the internet, but also,  Clinton becomes the first woman to be nominated by a majority party in the USA. Both of them accepted their nomination in the respective conventions held by their parties just recently, but I guess most of us saw this coming.

Hillary Clinton v/s Donald Trump

(From left to right) Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton and Melania Trump

I don’t intend to imply that the candidature of Gary Johnson and Jill Stein holds lesser value. But the fact of the matter is, come November, and all eyes shall continue to microscopically scrutinize the public and private lives of Trump and Clinton.

This year, the choice is not only between Republic and Democrats, between Left and Right. But the actual choice is between Fear and Hope. And the National Conventions have very neatly highlighted just that.

How does Donald Trump manage to have so many loyal followers? He is not the smartest guy in the room, nor do many of his proposed policies make much sense. But he has rallied the support of the masses and won the GOP nomination nonetheless.

The question is answered in his acceptance speech. He talks about the problem of rising economic instability, the high rates of unemployment, the threat of ISIS, the depleting state of the US Military, the refugee crisis leading to incoming immigrants, the cross-border drug trade and the overall depreciating image of the United States. He openly blames Clinton and Obama for these. He attacks Clinton over her decisions regarding the foreign policies.


“America is far less safe and the world is far less stable than when Obama made the decision to put Hillary Clinton in charge of America’s foreign policy. I am certain it is a decision he truly regrets.

This is the legacy of Hillary Clinton: death, destruction and terrorism and weakness.” – Donald J. Trump

He promises that he is the one to bring the dark night to an end. He promises to eradicate ISIS once and for all. He promises to make America great again.

What Trump is basically doing is playing into the one human emotion that can drive the decisions of the public all too well – Fear.

The recent years have seen an unprecedented rise in the number of attacks in the Middle East and in the West. The wave of terror spread by ISIS is all too familiar. The Syrian refugees seeking asylum for the chance of a better life are innumerable. Trump raises a valid question here:  Is there enough screening done prior to accepting the said immigrants to ensure the safety of the citizens of USA?

He quotes the example of a young girl from Nebraska, who lost her life to an attack by one the “border-crossers”, and how her perpetrator runs from the law as a fugitive. The fear of the unknown creeps into the minds of the voters, and they rush to support Trump in building a wall to keep out the “unwanted elements” from their country.

He is tugging at the strings of patriotism here. The repeated chants of “USA! USA!! USA!!!” power up the crowd. He is vocal about how his policies will always put America first and ensure the safety and sovereignty, something that Hillary Clinton is not cut out to do.

“On January 21st of 2017, the day after I take the oath of office, Americans will finally wake up in a country where the laws of the United States are enforced. We are going to be considerate and compassionate to everyone. But my greatest compassion will be for our own struggling citizens. My plan is the exact opposite of the radical and dangerous immigration policy, which we have now. Americans want relief from uncontrolled immigration. Communities want relief. Yet Hillary Clinton is proposing mass amnesty, mass immigration, and mass lawlessness.” – Donald J. Trump

You have to give credit to this man. He is addressing the concerns many citizens are losing sleep over.  He is fueling their fears and being quite effective at it, frankly. He states that Clinton plans to increase the taxes significantly, while he has proposed a tax reduction plan, in addition to re-negotiating the trade agreements signed with different countries in the past, thereby focusing on job creation and increased inflow of money for the citizens and the nation alike.

In all his pomposity and narcissism, he manages to end the speech in an uplifting spirit.


He ended the speech with quite an aplomb. As President Barack Obama rightly said later, Trump’s speech indeed had severe pessimistic undertones. But Donald J. Trump addresses the future concern at the very beginning of his speech:

“I will present the facts plainly and honestly. We cannot afford to be so politically correct anymore. So if you want to hear the corporate spin, the carefully-crafted lies, and the media myths, the Democrats are holding their convention next week.”

The statement might not hold much truth to itself, but it sure holds the power to influence plethora of citizens to go Republican this year.

Oh well!

– J

Image Source : Multiple sources on the web / Google

Copyright Disclaimer: I do not own the images / media featured in the post. All rights belong to the rightful owner/owners. No copyright infringement intended.


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