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Oddly or predictably, this coincides with a just-out pub by 2 from Warwick on the USA 2016 election, one of many possible angles. The build on a basic Kahnemann and Tversky distinction from 1981: we often opt for risk aversion in choices involving gains and risk seeking 1/
in choices involving losses. This is a “loss frame.”

Homolar & Scholz apply this aperçu to the 2016 American election but it works equally well for Brexit:

"Political rhetoric often encourages individuals to interpret a situation as a crisis by using terminology that evokes 2/
images of defeat, costs and unfairness. While this interpretation heightens the sense of ontological insecurity ..., it also creates a ‘loss frame', which paradoxically fosters preferences for both more unconventional, riskier policy options & outsider political candidates. 3/
Political rhetoric influences attitudes towards risk-taking.

At the heart of ‘Trump-speak’ is a _politics of reassurance_, which relies upon a three-fold rhetorical strategy:
1) it tells audiences what is wrong with the current state of affairs;
2) it identifies the 4/
political agents responsible for putting individuals and the country in a state of loss and crisis;
3) it offers an abstract pathway through which people can restore past greatness by _opting for a high-risk outsider candidate._ [economists use this in other cases, e.g. 5/
Wolfers on bettors' "long-shot bias." Etc.]

For many Trump voters, _rational arguments or detailed policy proposals pale in comparison with the emotive pull and self-affirmation of an _us-versus-them crisis narrative_ [works in Thucydides too], 6/
which creates a cognitive feedback loop between individuals’ ontological insecurity [a term we'll be hearing more of], their preferences for restorative policy, and strongmen candidate options. In short, for political gain,* ‘Trumpspeak’ relies on _creating the very 7/
ontological insecurity that it promises to eradicate._"

*In original "for political gain" follows "eradicate." I've improved the prose -- perhaps incorrectly! -- to make it modify "relies" not "promises" or "eradicate" DPT 8/
Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 2019

"The power of Trump-speak: populist crisis narratives and ontological security"

Alexandra Homolar and Ronny Scholz
University of Warwick 9/
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