In every four years, citizens of United States of America choose their president by presidential election. Each party selects one candidate to become the president. This is a ten-month-long process in which the candidates create their own campaign. In 2016, Donald Trump ran for president as a Republican candidate and Hillary Clinton ran for president as Democrat candidate. They both started an election campaign in order to gain votes from all around of United States. In order to do so, they both followed similar propagandas such as videos, twitter, and website. Even though both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton followed similar propaganda sources, their use of media and the messages they delivered were different; Donald Trump focuses on fears by blaming specific ethnic groups, Hillary focuses on reliance and safety.
Videos can highly impact its viewers. They appeal to emotions and make viewers think. So, in order to gain attention and supporters both party’s candidates created video ads for their campaign. They both put the ideas they believed in their videos and send messages to its viewers. Through his campaign, Donald Trump was mostly focused on immigrants and minorities of America. Trump and his followers believe that immigrants use resources and damage the economy while bringing crime and violence (Balie). The immigrants can be from any ethnic but he specifically targeted Mexicans and Muslims. In his campaign, Donald Trump shared a tv ad which directly focuses on Muslims in America. In the ad, the first scene is a shot of Obama and Hillary Clinton. A battleship launches a cruise missile strike which goes to the border of USA and Mexico. In the border, there are terrorist attacks. A narrator starts to talk in the background who mentions that Trump will shut down of Muslims entering the United States. The narrator continues to speak by saying Trump will cut off the head ISIS and stop illegal immigration by building a wall. (Rucker) Firstly, this ad blames Muslims for all of the terror attacks which is one of the main and the biggest concerns of Americans. By showing the border of Mexico and America, not only he blames Muslims but also he blames Mexicans too. As a solution to the terrorism, the video offers to deport all of them. Even though it’s the immigrants who got blamed mainly by Donald Trump, the video also targets his opponent Hillary Clinton and former president Barack Obama. The video gives a message that they are aware of the terror attacks but they have done nothing and plan on doing nothing to stop terrorism. In this ad, it can be clearly seen that Donald Trump uses a propaganda in which he offers an explaining to the problems that worries and concerns American citizens by mentioning that these problems have simpler solutions. The solution lays on the other groups which he believes are malevolent towards America and its citizens. He suggests the solution for these kinds of problems is to choose him for president. He guarantees to find the solution for the problem by eliminating the groups. Conversely, Hillary Clinton focused on human rights of all American citizens regardless of their ethnicity. Hillary has used Humayun Jhan who is an American soldier that was Muslim. Humayun Jhan died in Iraq while protecting the United States of America. In one of her video ads. Khizr Khan, Humayun’s father, talks about his son’s story and the sacrifices he has made for the country. In the ad, Khan walks around his house and look at his son’s photos and medals. In the end, Khan asks trump if Humayun was alive, would he have a place in Trump’s America.(Cillizza)The ad specifically reminds us that real people would be affected by Trump’s plans for the country. It gives the idea to that the result of the election is important to people. It connects Trump’s thoughts and comments towards Muslims with the real pain suffered by Muslims. Hillary Clinton released another ad which is focused on girls. The ad contains a diverse group of girls. In the ad, girls are staring at the mirror and evaluating themselves while trump’s voice appears in the background. The ad wants to remind viewers that Trump has commented ugly things towards women over the years and has no respect towards women and he has made comments which can highly affect the younger generation of girls. He has called women ‘’pigs, dogs and disgusting animals’’ for instance. The ad shows how Trump can affect the girls in the society leading them to feel bad about themselves. The ad wants to ask the question ‘’is Donald Trump the president we want for our daughters?’’ (Merica). The video shows not only women but especially girls will be badly affected by Trump’s presidency. The message it gives to its viewers can be clearly seen: the president of America should encourage and cherish young girls, not insult them and damage their self-esteem. Especially for young girls who actually need support from their elders, The video questions Donald Trump’s language and respect towards women. If their president makes them feel like they are not enough, there is a low chance for these girls to believe in theirselves. No parent would want someone to insult their daughter, so why they are letting someone who insults their daughter to be their president?
Social media is a crucial way to communicate in the 21st century. Most of teens and adults only use social media in order to gain and give information. Politicians are also using social media in order to gain attention and votes. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton had exponential growth in their followers in their social media accounts during their election propaganda. The opponents both used Twitter and Facebook actively. Firstly, to start with Twitter, since his tweets have been retweeted a
total of 12 million times – twice as many as Clinton’s, Donald Trump seems to outperform Hillary Clinton on Twitter. (Matthias) Donald Trump is an active Twitter user. He dragged a lot of media and attention by his tweets. Not just American citizens but also everyone around the world follows Donald Trump on Twitter. Through his campaign he used Twitter for call fake news and have feuds. One of Donald Trump’s use of Twitter is to call fake news. He has tweeted to inform his followers that News outlets such as CNN, New York Times and Washington Post published fake news about him. The fake news topic includes Russia investigation, nuclear weapons, and conversations with world leaders. The purpose of the fake news related tweets was to deny the news which can affect Trump’s campaign negatively. However, Trump’s tweets were mostly childish and entertaining rather than political. He continuously insulted and attacked a big list of people on twitter. This list includes politicians, celebrities, and other citizens. He specifically attacked Hillary Clinton in election time. For example, he has tweeted ‘’Obama just endorsed Crooked Hillary. He wants four more years of Obama — but nobody else does!’’ (Trump) which directly insults former President Obama and his opponent Hillary Clinton. Donald Trump’s another tweet was on Hillary Clinton’s email controversy and Melania Trump’s speech which gained a lot of attention from media ‘’The media is spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania’s speech than the FBI spent on Hillary’s emails.’’ (Trump). The Melania Trump’s speech received negative comments and criticism which affected Donald Trump’s campaign. In this tweet, Trump tries to shift the focus from his wife Melania Trump’s speech to Hillary Clinton’s email controversy. From these tweets, it can be easily seen that the main purpose of Donald Trump is to draw negative comments towards Hillary Clinton in order to make her look bad. While his tweets didn’t directly send a message, the attention he gained from them shows that Twitter has a huge impact on Donald Trump’s propaganda. On the contrary, Hillary Clinton used Twitter for more political reasons. Clinton’s posts are mainly about her campaign and are usually created by her social media team. Hillary Clinton’s tweets have a less personal touch than Trump’s. The tweets are more focused on the aim and show eager for the campaign. She has a social media team of 100 people. The social media tweets from the voice of Hillary. The tweets are direct and straightforward. However, there has been a few times Hillary and her team responded to Donald Trump. Hillary responded the tweet about Obama and Clinton mentioned above by tweeting ‘’Delete your Account’’. The media team mentioned that they wanted to make it very clear that Hillary is very proud of Obama’s record and of his support and is eager to continue and develop on the progress that he has made when they responded the Trump’s tweet. (Khan) Similarly, on Facebook, their use of the platform didn’t change. On Facebook, Donald Trump was more visual than he was on Twitter. He used graphics which supports his opinions, short videos where he talks about his views, texts of press releases and photos from rallies. His team spent a big percentage of their budget to find new ways of using the digital tools and platforms on Facebook. Trump and his team created ads on Facebook. These ads were focused on concerns of people. They tried to find specific problems which people cared about. Their aim was to make people watch the ads who normally wouldn’t watch and believe tv commercials. Thanks to Facebook, a lot of people did actually watch the videos that actually covered their concerns. Trump’s Facebook page sent a message to its followers that the subjects they worry about will be fixed by Donald Trump. Similarly, Hillary Clinton and her media team also invested a big part of their budget to facebook ads which helped her followers to find out information just with one click. She shared her movements through her campaign and kept her feed updated so that her followers can see the campaign.
Overall, the political propaganda played a huge role in the election campaign. For this reason, both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton invested in their media and ads. They both focused on tv ads and social media. Even though they used similar sources, their style and the message they delivered were different. While Donald Trump’s propagandas focused on citizen’s fears and sent a message that Trump will make ‘America great again’ by basically eliminating the factors for fear, Hillary Clinton focused more on equality and human rights. Her propaganda sent a message that she will be a president and do her best for not only her supporters but for everyone in the United States of America. While Hillary Clinton’s propaganda was more logical, Donald Trump’s propaganda gained more attention and said what citizens of America wanted to hear.
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