Event

Trump, Clinton, and the Rhetorical Construction of Democracy in Campaign 2016

Dr. Martin J. Medhurst (Baylor University) // November 2nd, 2016 // 1:00pm-2:00pm // Jesse H. Jones Communication Center (CMA) 5.136

From their announcement speeches to the final debate, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton have rhetorically constructed portraits of American democracy in their campaign rhetoric. What do those portraits look like? How are they constructed? What assumptions lay behind them? And what implications for democracy going forward attend their acceptance or rejection? Through a close reading of their presidential nomination acceptance addresses, I identify the kind of democracy called into being by each of the candidate’s speeches, the ethical implications of endorsing such a portrait, and the portents for democratic governance that each speech suggests. By focusing on rhetorical form, we can shed light on political content.

Dr. Martin J. Medhurst is a Distinguished Professor of Communication and Professor of Political Science at Baylor University. He is the author or editor of thirteen books and a frequent contributor to communication journals.

This talk is free and open to all.