In a groundbreaking study recently, researchers have identified former President Donald Trump as a key catalyst in the dramatic escalation of hostile political rhetoric in the United States. This comprehensive research, published in the esteemed journal 'Scientific Reports,' marks a pivotal moment in understanding the evolution of political discourse during Trump's tenure.
The study, led by Robert West, a professor at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and his team delved into the intricate dynamics of political language. Before this research, the exact impact of Trump's presidency on the tone of the political conversation was largely speculative.
Political analysts and media commentators frequently attributed the burgeoning negativity in American politics to Trump, but concrete evidence was lacking. This gap in empirical data led West and his colleagues to embark on a rigorous four-year data collection endeavor.
Their efforts culminated in the assembly of nearly a quarter-billion quotes from 127 million online news sources from mid-2008 to April 2020. This extensive compilation of data was meticulously organized into 'Quotebank,' a publicly accessible database enabling users to search for specific quotes related to their topics of interest.
This unique resource contains over 24 million quotes from more than 18,000 U.S. politicians.
Trump's Impact: 40% Rise in Negativity
Utilizing the 'Linguistic Inquiry and Word' tool, the researchers meticulously analyzed millions of political quotes to assess changes in the tone and content of U.S.
political discourse. The study found a significant surge in negative language coinciding with Trump's entry into the political arena in 2015. This shift persisted throughout his presidency, intensifying political polarization across online platforms.
Strikingly, the study revealed that Trump's rhetoric contributed to a 40% increase in negative language in political discourse. Removing his quotes from the analysis led to a substantial drop in negativity, underscoring his profound influence on the political climate.
This finding corroborates the widespread perception that the tone of U.S. politics took a sharp turn towards negativity with Trump's rise to prominence. In conclusion, the study confirms the public's intuition about the souring tone of American politics under Trump and provides a quantifiable measure of his impact.
It serves as a critical reference point for understanding the dynamics of political communication and its evolution in recent years.