Donald Trump wants you to know that he sees you, and more importantly, he sees… that you see… what’s happening.
If you’ve watched our video on Donald Trump’s public speaking tricks, then you’re aware of the standout methods our president employs to not only hold an audience’s attention but also connect deeply with them.
Now we can add “You see what’s happening” to that bag of tricks.
How does it work exactly? Well, it’s very simple: Just say “You see what’s happening with …” and then slot in any topic of your choosing. It can be specific (say, the company Chrysler) or vague to the point of meaninglessness (what they’re doing with certain countries) or ominous-sounding to stoke fear (what's happening in our country). And — boom! — you accomplish multiple things at once. For one, you convey the impression that you have some knowledge of the topic, without having to provide specifics (Uh-oh, I’m in the middle of an important policy speech and I just realized I don’t have the precise details or statistics on this subject at my fingertips). Not a problem! You already see what’s happening, so I don’t need to give you those details.
Just as importantly, “You see what’s happening” flatters the audience by telling them you realize they’re smart and savvy enough to already see this thing themselves. And what is it that they see, exactly? Well, that’s the genius of “you see what’s happening”: You give the audience the freedom to fill in that blank with whatever opinions/hopes/fears/fantastical conspiracy theories they might have. By saying “You see what’s happening,” you’re not only complimenting your audience’s intelligence, you’re also implicitly saying that you share whatever opinion they fill that space with.
It’s just one more rhetorical trick Trump uses to give people the feeling that he feels what they feel. And he's got a bagful of 'em.