What a president says matters: Presidential rhetoric in times of polarized political environment analysis


The word crisis brings to mind ideas of instability and exigent circumstances. Referring to a situation as crisis indicates especially threatening conditions, alerting the public to a significant problem. In many countries, during crisis citizens have increasingly turned to their president for leadership. The president’s response is an important component of the identification, explanation and ultimately the resolution to any crisis. Studying the effects of presidential rhetoric on public opinion in times of national despair is important for a number of reasons. Today in particular, the president is considered an authoritative source of information. Presidential rhetoric plays an important role in our government, where the president functions as the spokesperson for all citizens. We all look up to our president in terms of crisis to offer reassurance and solutions. The recent rhetoric from President Barrow in our heightened political environment, is very worrisome and the nation should make a demand to stop it.

The office of the presidency is understood to be a position of leadership and executive power. The office is both an institution and a person. We the people expect our president to represent our country and we demand regular discourse from him not a danger a powerful executive might pose to the system. It is necessary to recognize that presidency has changed greatly from the past when it comes to dictatorship tendencies. When the president speaks to the Gambian people, but also to a very divided and polarized country, his ability to manage the crisis is limited and necessitates persuasive rhetoric and not be threatening to shot down freedom of assembly after he wins the elections. Considering we have four months before Gambian’s cast their ballots that is enough time to sway many voters to vote for other political parties. Politics should always be about persuasion of ideas not insults or mud slinging.

Our president must concentrate the discourse on a course of action that will reestablish order and stability in our security and economic system, calling for public support, more so than throwing tantrum at some political gathering at the state house. As a Republic, we must work towards a definite goal, which is to prevent the return of conditions which came very close in destroying what we call modern civilization. Our President should note the serious tone to our current crisis in terms of lack of better health care, lack of stable electricity and high prices of goods. He should share and explain the crisis, while offering further solutions, which serves to rally support. At this point in our political environment, the message from our president should not polarize the source of the problem. President Barrow’s rhetoric should focus on the resolution of our political problems and unification of the Gambian people during this tremendously difficult time.


Finally, the future of the world demands it and we have each of us pledged ourselves to the best joint efforts to salvage our country from immense poverty and lack of economic stability. In the end, our present spirit of mutual confidence and mutual encouragement we can move forward as a country. The news cycle which President Barrow finds himself lately does not help his public image but further drive his negative ratings. I will also offer some informal advice from afar, minimize your hand gestures, control your body posture and not to look angry in front of the cameras when speaking to any audiences. As the elections draw near, we pray the Almighty bring everlasting peace and blessings to our motherland.