Over the years, language has been a vital tool in communication and has been developed to suit individuals’ needs. People and animals have established their languages for them to communicate efficiently and pass the intended message. Individuals have changed the concept of language and incorporated it into many platforms to enhance communications. Language has been used to communicate, express identity, as a way of imaginative expression, for entertainment, and as a tool for emotional release. Politically, language has been termed as the expression of ideas through speech sounds coined into words. Linguistic is an extensive discipline and has been grouped into different types, including living, extinct, ancient, historical, and constructed languages. Understanding language is crucial as it helps us comprehend how it is used by those who wish to gain power, those who intend to remain in force, and those who exercise power (Li and Su, 2020). To know how language is infused in politics, people need to look deeper into the way different leaders use it in their speeches. Political language can have a massive unconscious impact on political thoughts that rise daily.
Language has been advanced in different fields, and politically some terms have been developed as labels. For example, nouns used to describe forms of government include regime, dictatorship, and junta. Those used to describe opponents of the people in power comprise critic, partisan, fundamentalist, liberator, and revolutionary. Militant hawk and moderate can be used to describe the magnitude of the political issue (Li and Su, 2020). Politically, leaders have been seen to use language to convey messages to their followers about the developments they will undertake once elected to office. These messages can be coded in language as a way to lure people into voting for them (Melis and Apthorpe, 2020). They can give much information concerning what they will do but when they get into office things change. Others fulfill their promises as others use them as an opportunity to gain more power and or enrich themselves. The language used in politics manipulates the minds of people that got them into power while making unfulfilled promises. With power comes responsibilities, and without fulfilling the stakes, the followers will lose trust in the individual and not vote for them in the next elections.
Languages come in handy during the campaign period as leaders search for suitable ways to entice their followers into voting them into office. With the contemporary media landscape, misinformation has been known to trend fast, conveying a negative message about individuals. Additionally, opponents use this to their advantage to paint the competitors as a bad image for leadership. If language is not used appropriately by politicians, it can tarnish their name. It has been seen to be important in controlling human thoughts as it limits and structures ideas that individuals can express and formulate. Different scholars argue that if language could be centralized in any political agency, there are high chances that it would alter the structure of language to make it impossible for people to conceive rebellious thoughts (Melis and Apthorpe, 2020). People with power are capable of anything, and so in the new era, people are redefining and perfecting a particular goal. The goal is to make sure that no one conceptualizes anything that raises questions about those in power.
Language has been used as a controlling force and has been simplified and modified by critics and writers to handle colonialism’s legacy. In ancient times, the leaders in power took control of the military and the politicians in many regions. They instituted their language in various operations ranging from business to governmental running. By assimilating the new colonial power language, different colonies lost their culture, language, and historical connections (Jordan et al., 2019). Influential individuals and organizations use language as a way of maintaining and retaining power. Hence, to maintain strength, language is essential for any language to be affected; it has to rely on the individuals and organizations in control. Power is sustained and built upon indirect ways that involve language use and coercive practices that involve force. With such control, language becomes a medium that enforces commands between the leaders and their subordinate staff.
Being able to speak and understand different languages as a politician, one can comprehend international matters. As a leader only depending on the local dialect, one is imprisoned to a particular way of thinking hence missing the realities revolving. Having lingua franca capabilities is an added advantage to people in political seats as they have first-hand experience (Li and Su, 2020). They can raise their voices and give opinions regarding different matters that arise internationally. Language creates understanding between nations, and leaders can communicate effectively on matters affecting their states. Additionally, when a country is in need, politicians can ask for help from the developed nations through the proper use of language.
Politicians should follow proper language use as it is essential for maintaining power given to them by their people. Great use of language can lure people into keeping persons influential in office by conveying messages that their followers need to hear. It is not suitable for people in power to exercise control over language while oppressing alternative ways in which voices can be inculcated into structures and processes that took them to power. A leader with consistent language use is a reliable leader, and so, leaders should adopt such values.
Jordan, K.N., Sterling, J., Pennebaker, J.W. and Boyd, R.L., (2019). Examining long-term trends in politics and culture through language of political leaders and cultural institutions. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 116(9), pp.3476-3481.
Li, J. and Su, M., (2020). Real talk about fake news: Identity language and disconnected networks of the US Public’s “Fake News” discourse on twitter. Social Media + Society, 6(2), p.205630512091684.
Melis, S. and Apthorpe, R., (2020). The politics of the multi-local in disaster governance. Politics and Governance, 8(4), pp.366-374.