Donald Trump’s Process of Political Persuasion: Using Communication Theory to Explain an Unexpected Voter-Rally during the 2016 Presidential Campaign
Rebecca K. Dixon, Justin C. Velten, Ph.D.

Many have watched the 2016 Presidential campaign in shock at the events that have occurred up to this point; the most shocking of these being the rise of Donald Trump. This rise has brought to question how this man, who seemed to be the punch line of the 2016 Presidential Race, has gained such a large support group. This paper argues that Trump’s rise in the polls can be understood at the intersection of symbolic convergence theory, rhetoric, and dramatism. Through this analysis and implementation, we might understand how politicians may create shared fantasies that result in symbolic convergence, utilize the dramatic pentad to persuade their audience, and enact the elements of rhetoric to create a persuasive argument.

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