New research into Donald Trump’s speeches reveal why the president’s scripted brand of populism doesn’t come easy
Donald Trump spent much of his presidential campaign mocking his rivals for relying on teleprompters – until, reluctantly, he was forced to do the same. “If you run for president you shouldn’t be allowed to use teleprompters,” he complained. “Because you don’t even know if the guy’s smart.”
But intelligence isn’t the only trait that politicians can fake by relying on automated scripts. New analysis suggests Trump struggles to express populist ideas unless he’s reading remarks prepared by his scriptwriters.
The research by Team Populism, a network of political scientists, analysed Trump’s speeches – both scripted, and off-the-cuff – looking for three core elements of populist discourse.