[1356a] Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind; the third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself. Persuasion is achieved by the speaker's personal character when the speech is so spoken as to make us think him credible. We believe good men more fully and more readily than others: this is true generally whatever the question is, and absolutely true where exact certainty is impossible and opinions are divided. This kind of persuasion, like the others, should be achieved by what the speaker says, not by what people think of his character before he begins to speak. It is not true, as some writers assume in their treatises on rhetoric, that the personal goodness revealed by the speaker contributes nothing to his power of persuasion; on the contrary, his character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion he possesses.
Beyond not trusting what the person says, do the poll numbers show we don't trust the person who is speaking? Support for Republicans is eroding away like the sandbank of a river. Have they lost the faith of their supporters for this simple reason? The more people realize the true goals of their elected Republicans, the less they like them. Could it be the People spoken of by Abraham Lincoln are no longer being fooled--and are fed up with it?