Major Criticism Assignment
Numerous examples of political communication have both direct and hidden meanings. It is necessary to comprehend positions of different political leaders, especially in the context of the global political environment. In this regard, the comparison of claims by various political figures allows understanding the actual distribution of power and influence between nations, parties, and interest groups in the world. It is possible to focus the analysis on the following three artifacts: Fox News’ interview with Hillary Clinton (“Full Interview: Hillary Clinton”). The O’Reilley Factor’s interview with Donald Trump (“Interview with Donald Trump”), and Bloomberg’s interview with the Russian President Vladimir Putin (2016). All three refer to the same time period and focus on similar issues in international politics. A systematic investigation reveals an implicit conflict of interests between different political figures and their desire to maximize the own power at the expense of others.
Political Messages and Techniques Used
In her interview with Fox News, Hillary Clinton agrees the interviewer’s suggestion about the plausible Russian President Putin’s involvement in the U.S. elections campaign through revealing some confidential information about to the Democratic Party (“Full Interview: Hillary Clinton”). Thus, the existing evidence suggests Putin’s support of Donald Trump as the potential U.S. President. Hillary Clinton also communicates her political message that concerns some general aspects of her campaign, including the moderate immigration policy, the government’s support to people with low income, and economic tools for facilitating the economic growth in the country. Clinton utilizes the negativity technique in relation to Trump and Putin by outlining the serious opposition from their side (“Full Interview: Hillary Clinton”). However, she indicates the confidence in her political and economic program for reaching ultimate objectives.
In his interview with The O’Reilley Factor, Donald Trump assesses the results of the recent debates and expresses the opinion about the moderator’s preferences to Hillary Clinton (“Interview with Donald Trump”). However, Trump demonstrates his confidence in gaining a substantial support from women and other population subgroups. He stresses that Clinton and her followers have spent several hundred million dollars on trying to maximize her political image. In contrast, Trump appeals to people’s consciousness and desire to restore the leadership positions of the US in the global arena (“Interview with Donald Trump”). At the same time, Trump does not provide any information about the funding of his campaign, as well as does not outline the advantages of his political, immigration, and economic proposals in comparison to those of Clinton. He also utilizes the negativity technique by appealing heavily to the deficiencies in Clinton’s campaign and naming his program the only viable alternative for the US.
In his interview with Bloomberg, the Russian President Vladimir Putin discusses the major issues in the sphere of global politics and international relations. Putin does not express any explicit preferences in relation to any foreign political figure. However, his messages reveal his strong orientation to the protection of the Russian national interests regardless of the existing international negotiations and even some norms of the international law. The Russian President presents the own opinion on the relations with China, Japan, and the United States (“Exclusive: Full Interview with Vladimir Putin”). He outlines the major difficulties and sources of the disagreement between countries in the global arena. Putin declares the willingness of the Russian government to establish a long-term and mutually beneficial cooperation with foreign governments regarding the key political and economic aspects.
Putin also utilizes some negativity elements while discussing the key controversial events and issues at the international level. In his interpretation of any actions of the Soviet Union and Russia, he asserts that the two always responded to the external aggression rather than initiated the one (Exclusive: Full Interview with Vladimir Putin). Putin stresses that any attempts to reconsider the results of the World War II can lead to substantially negative outcomes for all countries. In fact, he tries to persuade other political leaders to recognize the Russian interests and goals.
Analysis of the Above Artifacts
In addition to the outlined political messages and techniques used, it is reasonable to provide a general analysis of artifacts and establish any hidden relationships between them. From a formal perspective, the analyzed artifacts focus on different issues. Hillary Clinton provides a general overview of her political views; Donald Trump examines the outcomes of political debates, and Vladimir Putin presents his thoughts about the general state of international relations. However, the focus on the hidden ideas and messages allows tracing some strong relationships between all analyzed pieces.
Firstly, Clinton’s interview signifies her belief about the external intervention into the U.S. elections process. She agrees with the position presented by the interviewer regarding the plausible Russian involvement in hacking the secret information of the Democratic Party. Correspondingly, the facts of revealing it can be interpreted as an attempt to disturb the current balance of political preferences in the U.S. society in favor of Donald Trump (“Full Interview: Hillary Clinton”). The presented logical chain between the measures taken by the Russian secret agencies, their unauthorized access to the Democratic Party’s documents, and informing the general public about those facts that may have a negative impact on the Party’s image allow developing a consistent understanding of the hidden motives of other involved parties.
Secondly, Trump’s discussion of the comparative positions of candidates is based on stressing the substantial financial resources and investments made by Clinton’s supporters. However, Trump does not mention those leaders, who support him and provide the proper financial and organizational assistance of his campaign. Moreover, his general ideas about the Russian government are positive, and his campaign is based on strengthening the cooperation with Russia and countries that advocate similar views (“Interview with Donald Trump”). Thus, the implicit Putin’s support of Donald Trump and his party seems to be realistic.
Thirdly, although Putin uses general terms for analyzing the global political and economic events, it is evident that he aims at expanding the international influence of Russia. His rhetoric aims at both shaping the intellectual climate in various countries and outlining his implicit offers to Western leaders. Thus, Putin has two target groups of his audience while communicating his messages. In relation to affecting the general public, the Russian President utilizes the elements of propaganda especially in the context of interpreting the key international events. Comprehending the lack of understanding from the vast majority of ordinary people in relation to comparing and evaluating some objective historical facts, Putin relies on the propaganda technique for revealing the real facts and intentions of the Western countries and attempts of the Russian government to restore justice and protect the interests of developing countries (Exclusive: Full Interview with Vladimir Putin). In reality, Russia utilizes all available methods for strengthening its international positions and influence even if it presupposes the violation of other parties’ rights. However, the persuasive communication style and Putin’s political image contributes to reaching the expected effect.
In relation to sending implicit messages to other political leaders, Putin offers them to neglect some violation of the international law by Russia in order to ensure the global stability. The President states implicitly that Russia should restore its influence in several regions of the world, while Western countries should respect its interests and intentions. Otherwise, Russia can use the radical military, political, and diplomatic means (Exclusive: Full Interview with Vladimir Putin). Although the majority of potential Russian responses are not actual or even plausible, many Western leaders prefer addressing their interests for some short-term gains. However, such a policy is going to lead to the more problematic international environment in the long run.
Regarding the current elections campaign in the US, Putin believes Donald Trump to be a preferable candidate for Russia due to his social and economic views. Thus, the President tries to utilize the power of Russian secret agencies and other resources for affecting the ultimate outcome of the U.S. elections. In any case, the demonstration of the Russian influence can be beneficial regardless of the ultimate elections’ outcomes (“Full Interview: Hillary Clinton”). According to Putin’s view, it may create additional incentives for the future U.S. President to adopt a more liberal policy towards Russia, especially in the international arena.
The above analysis proves that all analyzed artifacts are closely interrelated as they support the implicit involvement of the Russian government in the current political campaign in the US. The objective evaluation of the presented evidence means that the existing Russian interests are oriented at supporting Donald Trump. The corresponding political communication techniques, including rhetoric, propaganda, and political image, are used for changing the balance of power in the desired direction. However, other political figures are also aware of intentions of the Russian government regarding its international political impact (“Full Interview: Hillary Clinton”). The investigation of these artifacts indicates the ability of other parties to develop counter-measures for protecting their political interests.
The provided analysis proves that political messages can operate at several levels. First, they reflect objective concerns of the population and are used for maximizing the population’s attention to the issues under consideration. Second, political leaders try to influence the general public about the ability to impact the current situation in an optimal way. At this stage, they combine logical arguments with emotional appeals in order to maximize the general effect (“Interview with Donald Trump”). Third, political speakers stress the inability of their opponents to understand the situation and provide an adequate response to the existing threats and challenges. It seems that the utilization of the negativity technique is much more widespread nowadays in comparison to previous historical periods. Fourth, experienced political leaders try to send hidden messages to their colleagues and opponents. They may utilize a variety of persuasive elements in order to encourage them to provide the expected responses.
However, the examined artifacts outline that different political figures utilize various combinations of the communication techniques and level of influence mentioned above. Some leaders focus on a single target audience, while others try to affect several simultaneously. Moreover, they may select different priorities for their short- and long-term political campaigns. Therefore, it is reasonable to consider not only political messages per se but also the general political climate, the structure of political interests, and the balance of power in the world.
To summarize, the analyzed political artifacts address the same political issue, namely, the 2016 U.S. elections and the Russian involvement in it, from different perspectives. Every political leader utilizes available communication techniques for advocating the own viewpoints and strengthening the overall influence. The existing political environment proves to be highly competitive, and the implications of a competition extend much beyond the formal elections. The presence of international forces that try to gain additional political privileges is substantial. Specified communication techniques include the use of rhetoric and even some propaganda elements. They allow distorting the public perception of some events or processes to the advantage of a speaker. Moreover, the substantial spreading of the negativity in the political discourse is observed as many leaders try to create the negative image of their opponents rather than communicate their personal ideas or offers. The existence of hidden political messages and multiple target audiences makes the actual analysis of the political communication even more challenging. However, the complex evaluation of the political communication process from several perspectives allows revealing the key biases and verifying the major hypotheses. As a result, the ultimate conclusions and implications may be reliable and applicable to the changing political environment.