The Twitter Presidency: Donald J. Trump and the Politics of White Rage

1st Edition

Brian L. Ott, Greg Dickinson

Routledge
February 8, 2019 Forthcoming
Reference - 120 Pages
ISBN 9780367149758 - CAT# K413213
Series: NCA Focus on Communication Studies

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Summary

The Twitter Presidency explores the rhetorical style of President Donald J. Trump, attending to both his general manner of speaking as well as to his preferred modality. Trump’s manner, the authors argue, reflects an aesthetics of white rage, and it is rooted in authoritarianism, narcissism, and demagoguery. His preferred modality of speaking, namely through Twitter, effectively channels and transmits the affective dimensions of white rage by taking advantage of the platform’s defining characteristics, which include simplicity, impulsivity, and incivility. There is, then, a structural homology between Trump’s general communication practices and the specific platform (Twitter) he uses to communicate with his base. This commonality between communication practices and communication platform (manner and modality) struck a powerful emotive chord with his followers, who feel aggrieved at the decentering of white masculinity. In addition to charting the defining characteristics of Trump’s discourse, The Twitter Presidency exposes how Trump’s rhetorical style threatens democratic norms, principles, and institutions.

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