1) The Threat
- use of emotions --> predictable fears: death and destruction, domination, invasion, restriction, inequality, chaos
- conservative pep-talk directed to an audience of haves: stirring fear of loss
- progressive pep-talks directed to an audience of have-nots: stirring fear of existing evil, nothing will improve
- difference between "what is" and "what should be" can lead to a cognitive dissonance which then is considered to be a problem
- "Persuaders are often "problem-makers". Often, their first task is an attempt to make their audience aware of a situation, then to perceive it as a problem, fear it as a threat to self or to the group, feel responsibility for the situation, the ability to do it, and the desire, will, or commitment to change it." (Rank,Hugh. The pep talk: Cause rhetoric, 2008)
Ways to give a warning
- derogatory words to insult other groups; ethnic, national, religious
- words relating to sexuality and bodily functions: "dirty words"
- words suggesting that a person is non-human or less-than-human (monster, savage, rat; dumb, jerk)
- efforts to make the opponent look incompetent, untrustworthy and self-seeking
- ad hominem attack: criticism of the physical appearance or anything else irrelevant to the issue
- such criticism might be logically invalid but rhetorically effective
2. Telling of "Horror Stories"
- refers to the detailed narrative which describes the evil deeds of the opponents and the sufferings of the vicitms
- they vary in truthfulness and accuracy
- from gossip and rumour ("Did you hear what happened to XYZ?") to well-planned movies and novels
- famous "Horror Stories" in American Literature about social injustice: Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom's Cabin
- war propaganda: uniting the own people by emphasizing the savagery and barbarity of the enemies
3. Use of "Atrocity Pictures"
- visual counterpart of horror stories: include drawings, paintings, photographs, movies
- depiction of dead bodies: the victims
- Juxtaposition: contrasting "the good and the bad guys"
- use of stereotypes
(mental dramas in the imagination)
- Threat Metaphors used to intensify fear
- Hidden Danger: Tip of the Iceberg, Snake in the Grass, Wolf in Sheep's Clothing, Pandora's Box
- Beginning Sequence: Domino Theory, Foot in the door, Ticking Timebomb, Fall of Roman Empire
- Contamination: Drop of Poison, Poisoned Well