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Articles on Political rhetoric

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Surrounded by army cadets, U.S. President Donald Trump watches the first half of the 121st Army-Navy Football Game at the United States Military Academy in New York City on Dec. 12, 2020. (Shutterstock)

From biblical times to Trump, false messiahs have doomed societies

The messianic language used in relationship to Donald Trump and QAnon conspiracy theories have their roots in Christian expectations of messianic deliverance.
With the American flag reflected in the teleprompter, President Donald Trump speaks at a campaign rally at Duluth International Airport on Sept. 30, 2020, in Duluth, Minn. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

Why Donald Trump’s words work, and what to do about it

Because dramatic tension fuels attention, Trump's words work to generate tension, anxiety and conflict. We need to react with civility, care and calm to undo the cycle of attention and persuasion.
Both Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump have been accused of using hate speech. AP Photo/Aijaz Rahi

When politicians use hate speech, political violence increases

My research shows that when politicians use hate speech, it's not just empty rhetoric or political theater: Domestic terrorism increases, in the US and in other countries.
President Trump told four Democratic Congresswomen of color to ‘go back’ to the ‘corrupt’ countries they came from. AP/Carolyn Kaster

The rhetorical trick Trump used on the ‘Squad’ and how it could affect the vote

Difficult to pronounce, synecdoche is the form of rhetoric used by President Trump when he told four Democratic congresswomen of color to “go back” to the “corrupt” countries they came from.
After the Manafort and Cohen news dropped, many wondered how Trump would respond. By the following morning, a messaging strategy seemed to coalesce. Nick Lehr/The Conversation via Reuters and AP Photo

Michael Cohen’s guilty plea? ‘Nothing to see here’

Trump's surrogates have deployed tried and true rhetorical techniques to defend the president.

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