Chair of the Communication Studies department and associate professor Greg Payne shared his expertise for a piece discussing political rhetoric and varied strategies.
By repeating rehearsed talking points and integrating them with nuanced approaches, politicians can create what Emerson College professor Gregory Payne calls “a mediated reality that isn’t always consist with reality. But if [politicians] can get people to believe it, then it becomes reality.”
Once this augmented reality is in place, Payne says politicians can use “trigger signals” to particular groups as a way to scare people, though there is a difference in strategy between parties.
“Part of the whole thing is that one party tends to be more, what I would call, hopeful and [asks] ‘How can we try to move forward?’ while the other party tends to be much more fear-oriented,” says Payne. “So you scare people into submission.”