Gianrico Carofiglio: political communication in the age of Trump

Emptied of content, regardless of the truth, using expressions to give in to resentment: writer Gianrico Carofiglio analyses Trump’s communication (and the future political language)

From institutional to political communication, writer Gianrico Carofiglio – interviewed during the Festival of Adriatic Literatures – reflects on the languages of debates, focusing his attention on US Presidential elections and on the momentous shift marked by Trump.

What characterises civil language, the one used to communicate with citizens?

The language to communicate effectively within a democratic dimension is a clear language: the one that includes instead of excluding, communicates instead of hiding in a more or less manipulative way.

Is it possible to communicate values when it comes to politics?

It is not only possible: it is a duty. The only form of ethical political communication is the one that effectively communicates values: all the rest is either more or less despicable manipulation/propaganda or wrong and ineffective expression of values and contents and it is not by chance that those who behave like this usually fail in politics, even though they might have the best motivations.

From the point of view of someone who deals with both storytelling and communication of values, do you think these American elections will bring some sort of change at a language level?

I believe the current American facts mark a historic turning point: it’s the definitive divorce between political communication and the truth. Trump said everything he wanted, things he himself didn’t believe in for one second, but this worked out because people are more and more intoxicated by a language emptied of content. People – a banal yet sadly relevant expression – want to hear a number of things through which they can give in to resentment, hatred towards the rest of the world, towards the different: he won because he understood this mechanism. We don’t  know what he will do, maybe he will behave in a completely different way, but one thing is sure: after these facts, political communication will never be the same again.



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