Influence of Political Rhetoric on Political Behavior
Wade (2015) defines political rhetoric as the art of using language in a persuasive and effective manner. From a political point of view, these words could be selected carefully in order to trigger intellectual and critical thinking among the listeners.
On the other hand, politicians may use words that are insincere, yet intelligently presented in order incite people into taking action. Political behavior describes actions taken by the public as a result of incitement from their political figure heads (George 24; Fearon, 578).
These actions can either be positive or negative, depending on the influence and perceived social value of the person initiating the rhetoric. This essay posits that the use of angry yet persuasive words by politicians could escalate people’s emotions into breaking their physiological and social inhibitors. Overall, political rhetoric may influence political behavior in a wide range of ways. According to Munroe (9), political rhetoric entails the use of persuasive arguments aimed at winning over followers during political debates. This is due to the fact that rhetoric tends to be deeply touching to the listeners. In other words, rhetoric has an intrinsic ability to impact people’s emotions. Ultimately, heightened emotion influences the people’s attitude to the government or the political subject in question.
According to George (55), it has been observed that political rhetoric could most likely trigger violent behavior. This argument is supported by previous activities conducted by NGOs and government agencies in order to reduce the impact of political rhetoric on people. Most times, civil strife has been associated with political rhetoric, where politicians incite people using carefully selected, yet insincere, words (George 71). Such remarks, most commonly referred to as hate speech may turn people against others resulting in violent behavior and associated socio-economic destruction.Apart from the use of political rhetoric to trigger negative political behavior, it has been observed that rhetoric could be used to enhance cooperation, leading to collective team building (George 70). This is a positive element of political rhetoric.
In fact, it is imperative to note that the ability of rhetoric to trigger political behavior is entrenched in the belief that politicians often make their speeches based on the behavior of their followers (Borchers 16). Before staging their speeches, they ensure that they select terms that will gratify these needs. In the process, the politician creates an emotion which then translates to mob or group psychology. This implies that if carefully shaped to seem to address people’s immediate needs, the people may be united for a common goal.The key theoretical frameworks behind political rhetoric include the game theory, general systems theory, communication theory and decision theory. A combination of these theories support the fact that politicians can use rhetoric to influence the behavior of people towards political institutions.
These political behaviors are made evident when conducting/undertaking electoral processes (Trevor 39). As already indicated, this behavior could be positive or negative, depending on the situation.Central to the issue of political rhetoric is the fact that the environment also …