Read Ginger Kuenzel’s column and do the exercises below to find out how much you’ve understood.
Recently, I read a piece about how politicians to leverage sth.etw. wirksam, zu seinem Vorteil einsetzenleverage the nuances of specific words. President Biden, for example, often uses the word “still” to offer a sense of hope that we haven’t lost our way. He likes to tell us that America is “still” a democracy or that Americans “still” believe in equal justice and the rule of law. These are the values that have made our country great in the past, and he wants to let people know that we “still” to adhere to sth.an etw. festhaltenadhere to those values. Simply stating that America is a democracy does not offer the same solid sense of hope.
Trump, on the other hand, prefers to paint a picture of America as a country in steep decline, telling crowds at his rallyKundgebungrallies that he will make America great “again.” He cite sth.etw. vorbringencites rampanthier: steil ansteigendrampant crime, runaway inflationgaloppierende Inflationrunaway inflation, and uncontrolled immigration as evidence that the U.S. is on a dangerous downward spiral. He tells us that he’s the only person who can stop this slide. He fires up his base by to instill sth.etw. einimpfeninstilling fear and hate. He makes them believe they should be very afraid of people who don’t look or act like them – immigrants, Blacks, people in the LGBTQ community.
These individuals are all a danger to the American way of life, according to Trump, who has been to espouse sth.für etw. eintretenespousing his plan to “Make America Great Again” (MAGA) since his first campaign for president, in 2016. Michelle Obama has criticized this slogan, pointing out that America is “still” the greatest country on earth.
Our vision of and for America depends on the lensLinse; hier: Blickwinkellens through which we view the country. Those in Biden’s camp believe that our democracy will to weather sth.etw. standhaltenweather the current storms of discontentUnzufriedenheitdiscontent. Those in Trump’s camp believe they need to create a firestorm and to fan sth.etw. anfachen, schürenfan the flames to save the country. The incumbent amtierendincumbent president convey sth.etw. vermittelnconveys a sense of continuity by using the word “still” and reminding us that we are in a good place. His opponent makes repeated calls for change, claiming that the country needs to get back to a better place “again.”
The words “still” and “again” can also have other nuances. The statement that our country “still” believes in honesty, decencyAnstanddecency, and respect for others gives us a sense of stability and continuity. On the other hand, we “still” have a long way to go before there truly is equal opportunity for all. Trump uses the word “again” in his MAGA slogan to plant seeds of fear and emphasize the need for change. Yet one could also use the word in a positive way: “Again and again, we see examples of just how strong our democracy really is.”
In November 2024, we in America will vote on who we think should be president. Perhaps our president will still be Biden. Or maybe it will be Trump again.