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UFCJC Doctoral Student Comments on Presidential Candidate Use of Political Language on 2024 Campaign Trail

Brittany Shaughnessy, University of Florida College of Journalism and Communications doctoral student, is featured in “Discussing the Power of Language in the 2024 Presidential Election” posted on on April 15.

Shaughnessy commented on President Joe Biden’s and former President Donald Trump’s political discourse on the 2024 campaign trail.

According to Shaughnessy, language is used by political candidates to set an election’s issue agenda through media.

“Alot of communication research since the ‘70s has showed us that the media are really what set the public agenda. And in the modern era, a lot of candidates are using social media. We saw Donald Trump in the lead-up to the 2016 election and, of course, in the lead-up to the 2020 election use social media to really guide the conversation,” she said.

With a looming 2024 rematch, Shaughnessy said voters should listen to how both candidates use moral language.

“The Republican Party frames that a lot differently than the Democratic Party does. But at the end of the day, both parties are really relying on language that your morals are at stake. And that as a country, our way of living and our way of governing is at stake,” Shaughnessy said.

She called this use of language an electoral strategy and noted that morals are guiding how some Americans will vote, or whether they will vote at all.

“I think morals have been used for a very long time in electoral politics. And I think that today, you see it get amplified, because people and politicians are using particular buzzwords that they know get their voters to the polls, and we see this on the right and the left,” Shaughnessy said.

Posted: April 17, 2024
Category: College News, Student News
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