Properly comparing political narratives of the two final running candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, a variety of News Media sources should be looked upon. The different news media that I looked at was NBC and New York Times as well as using CNN’s election announcements and Ballotpedia as a base start. The first candidate for the 2016 presidential election that I looked at was Hillary Clinton. She as a hardworking woman that is bent on change based off of her election announcement: “Clinton has since become even bolder while speaking about economic issues.”
Clinton: Some narratives that were noticed for Clinton was that she has the capacity to rise to challenges-to be a hero for middle-class. ‘Americans have fought their way back from tough economic times, but the deck is still stacked in favor of those at the top'(NBC, Clinton). New York Times states that she is “one of the most tenacious politicians of her generation, whose willingness to study and correct course is rare in an age of unyielding partisanship”. However; there are also the narratives that she is cold, defensive, and corrupt. Next I looked at Trump.
Trump: NBC stated that “Donald Trump has been a fixture of American culture for decades”. With everything that comes out of his mouth he is speaking his mind, doing what businessmen do when he blusters and brags about gaming the system. The New York Times article says that he is “a powerful rejection of the establishment forces that had assembled against him”, a ‘champion’ of sorts.
What social forces were at work during the time of the election? Most Americans are poor and in need/want of a noticeable change. There is no patience for slow and secretive change. In this view, the political incorrect honesty of Trump is appealing as the wild man that will “make America great again’. By outsmarting the system, he is shown to be clever about tax return and health record release. NBC wrote that Trump is a part of American culture connects him to the public as most are all about being American and supporting America. By the slogan ‘Make America great again’, Trump draws voters in to painting himself as an American messiah.
The fact that NBC points out that Clinton has made missteps and has admitted them, leads readers to think that ‘she is just like me’, which makes her more human/relatable. However; the tendency of non-disclosure has placed her away from connecting with the public. This unwillingness to depart information has made her untrustworthy in the eyes of voters. Especially, with her more recent actions that “show her duplicity”. Such as the email scandal where she was exchanging correspondence on a private server about White House issues and National concerns. In this way especially, Clinton is seen as the liar with dishonest tendencies. Her silence is often taken to extremes and she is viewed to not be transparent/trustworthy as Media expects public figures to be.
With the variety of narratives shown in media, Clinton often seemed as the lesser of the two evils, while Trump showed confidence that appeals to Americans. Providing keywords like missteps and tenacious for Clinton, clever and fixture for Trump leads the voters to believe that Clinton is just like everybody and Trump is a better version/ what we all want to be.
The messages and narratives were fairly correct; however, depending on the bias of the media outlet, they were taking things to the extreme. By many outlets pointing to Trump as out of control or the next best thing, I think opinion towards Trump was tilted because Americans have had the same kind of presidential candidate elected for so long they were willing to go for the out of ordinary ‘wild man’.
- Diamond, J. (2015, June 17). Donald Trump is running for president in 2016 – CNNPolitics. Retrieved from https://www.cnn.com/2015/06/16/politics/donald-trump-2016-announcement-elections/index.html
- Donald Trump 2016 Presidential Election Candidate. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/candidates/donald-trump
- Donald Trump presidential campaign, 2016. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ballotpedia.org/Donald_Trump_presidential_campaign,_2016
- Flegenheimer, M., & Barbaro, M. (2016, November 09). Donald Trump Is Elected President in Stunning Repudiation of the Establishment. Retrieved from https://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/09/us/politics/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-president.html
- Hillary Clinton 2016 Presidential Election Candidate. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/candidates/hillary-clinton
- Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, 2016. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://ballotpedia.org/Hillary_Clinton_presidential_campaign,_2016
- Media Narratives Imprison Clinton, Trump – And Voters. (2016, September 14). Retrieved from https://billmoyers.com/story/hillary-clinton-donald-trump-media-narratives/
- Zeleny, J. (2016, June 7). Election 2016: Hillary Clinton’s journey to the campaign trail. Retrieved from http://www.cnn.com/interactive/2015/04/politics/hillary-clinton-2016-election-announcement/