It is believed that it was Trump who brought insulting rhetoric into American politics. That the former president is using it in his campaign is no surprise to anyone, but Biden has recently started to act the same way, The Guardian reports. In recent months, the incumbent president has begun calling his opponent weak, confused and “mentally deficient.” Such a sharp change in rhetoric is attributed to Biden’s low ratings and the failure of his campaign strategy.

In November, one of the most important presidential elections in history will be held in the United States. Each of the candidates has their own style of political rhetoric. If everyone is used to Trump’s rudeness and insults, no one expected to hear such a thing from Biden, The Guardian reports.

It seems that Biden’s campaign team decided to “fight fire with fire,” which once again shows how Trump has changed the standards of American politics. Acting through rudeness has now become profitable. For example, in recent months, Joe Biden began calling his opponent “mentally defective” and his campaign said that the US “deserves better than a weak, confused and tired Donald Trump”. The incumbent president also began to rebuke the multi-billionaire for his inability to pay his $454 million bail. In this regard, Trump even received a nickname from Biden’s team – “the homeless Don.”

This rhetoric from Biden contrasts with what people heard during his State of the Union speech, where he didn’t even call Trump by his first name.

Marjorie Hershey, professor emeritus of political science at Indiana University in Bloomington, believes that such a change is because Biden’s policies just weren’t working and needed to be changed. She also believes “Biden was under a lot of pressure from his advisers, from activists.”

Trump has spent the last four years poking fun at and sometimes insulting Biden, the publication writes. So the president’s team realised “that ignoring negative campaigning doesn’t yield good results”. Since people often remember better and pay more attention to the negative. This behaviour of Biden correlates more with the popular meme about the president, where he is depicted with “red laser eyes”, notes the author of the article.

According to a study published in 2023, the frequency of using words with negative connotations increased when Trump entered the 2016 presidential race. Also, Robert West, a professor at the School of Computer and Communication Sciences at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, believes “there was a massive spike in negativity when Trump started his campaign.” That said, the other side is now starting to act in exactly the same way.

That said, there is no guarantee that the change in rhetoric will definitely win Biden the election. However, all of this just reinforces the fact that Republicans and Democrats have grown to hate each other more. In 2022, a Pew Research survey found that 72% of Republicans think Democrats are “more immoral” than the average American, up from 47% who thought so in 2016. The situation is similar with Democrats – 63% in 2022 versus 35% in 2016.

Also, don’t assume that Trump is the first to use insults in a presidential campaign. There is the example of George Bush Sr. and John Adams and Thomas Jefferson themselves in the 1796 election. Even then, Adams’ supporters claimed that “Jefferson would promote prostitution and incest,” and Jefferson’s supporters, in turn, called Adams a “hermaphrodite.”

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