With just three days before Donald J. Trump stands in front of the US Capitol in Washington D.C. to take the oath of office and be inaugurated to arguably the highest office in the globe, it seems like an opportune time to look at what makes the man beneath the hair. It has been common for the media and in turn the public to place a lot of emphasis on the Mr Trump’s words, which is, of course what the man himself wants, whether it be in the form of an orator or a keyboard warrior. But an element of President-elect Trump’s persona that fascinates me is his body language. One thing that struck me about Wednesday’s (11th January) news conference at Trump tower was not the bizarre style of the set piece event, (which I have seen described by some commentators as Gaddafiesque), or the characteristically colourful language used by Mr Trump, but it was the body language of the businessman turned politician. ‘The Donald’s’ body language has fascinated me right through his campaign. Some may overlook things like simple hand gestures, and prefer to concentrate on Mr Trump’s generally provocative language. While of course what he says is of paramount importance, and indeed is more important than how it is said, I would argue that key to his appeal (and equally the opposite) is the way he says it.
If you were to watch, side by side, a speech, or indeed press conference given by a standard politician, for example Theresa May, with one of Mr Trump there would be striking differences. Of course, one would be rhetoric, but this differs between all politicians, but another would be the gesture. Key to Mr Trump’s speech is actions. When pinpointing an ‘issue’, for example at Wednesdays news conference CNN’s lambasted Jim Acosta, Trump points with one finger. This of course draws the viewer into watching the action more closely, and therefore to Trump’ words more closely. Another patent Trump gesture, is the double OK signs, (making in OK gesture with both of his hands simultaneously), this also adds a clarity to the accompanying remark, but also gives a sense of reassurance to the audience, and tries (and many would say fails) to tell the audience that everything will be OK, ‘He’s got this’, he can ‘Make America Great Again!’ These observations are not solely those of myself, as once I found myself intrigued by them I tried to find out more, and they have been picked up analysed, I fear more eloquently, by respected political commentators; http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/election-us-2016-37088990
But where better to finish my sweeping analysis of Trump’s body language, than his very own sweeping hand gesture, (where, palms flat, he swooshes his hands through the air). This creates a somewhat preposterous sense that Trump understands the genuinely tough circumstances his disenfranchised supporters find themselves in, even though as a billionaire, these problems seem as alien to him as, say, climate change. The voters liked this, he got them, he would ‘drain the swamp’.
Mr Trump’s calculated use of body language, has, in my opinion, been a huge part of his cocktail of success, a cocktail that most certainly has shaken up America’s political establishment. But like his rhetoric can convey a sense of the absurd. Maybe on January 20th Mr Trump will leave behind the playground behind, and start acting his age, or maybe, just maybe he’ll begin to act like the Commander-in-chief of what is currently the only true superpower on earth. But what does my opinion matter, I just want to be a member of the corrupt ‘media establishment’. Ask an estate agent.