‘Heart’, ‘Hope’, and ‘Tombstones’: Donald Trump and Populist discourse

Like other actors in the public sphere, politicians manipulate our emotions to achieve an “emotional re-framing of reality”[i]. Either in their spontaneous or prepared addresses, those in public office usually trigger a myriad of emotions ranging from fear, anger, frustration, resentment, happiness, grief to nostalgia. This chameleonic communication is often… Continue reading

“The Greatest Infomercial in Political History”: A Presidency in the Age of Entertainment

  ‘Do me a favor. Do you paint houses too? What is this?’ asked House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in her final speech at the 2020 impeachment of Donald Trump.[i] By thus referencing Martin Scorsese’s 2019 film The Irishman, Pelosi likened the president’s language in his notorious phone call to Ukrainian… Continue reading

An Epidemic of Presidential Ignorance: The AIDS Crisis and the US Presidency  

‘Epidemic’ is a powerful word. For something to be deemed an ‘epidemic’, it suggests something has gone terribly wrong. The ongoing response to COVID-19 has attracted a wide array of criticism from medical professionals, politicians and the American public. From downplaying the severity of COVID-19 to neglecting testing protocols and… Continue reading