1887
Volume 19, Issue 5
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
USD
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes

Abstract

Abstract

The construction of a wall along the US/Mexico border was one of the main political platforms upon which the 2016 US presidential election campaign was fought. Ahead of the upcoming 2020 US presidential election, and with the border wall still not yet built or funded, this article uses the authorisation component of Van Leeuwen’s (2007) framework for the discourse of legitimation to show how President Donald J. Trump has sought legitimacy for the construction of the border wall. Data is taken from Trump’s @realDonaldTrump Twitter postings between October 18th, 2018 and February 3rd, 2019, a period inclusive of the longest federal government shutdown in US history. We show how Trump’s Twitter language is frequently accompanied by evidence-less attacks on sources of rival opinion or information, while the president tends to reaffirm himself as the exclusive source of credible and truthful information.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.1075/jlp.19105.riv
2020-05-04
2020-09-30
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

References

  1. Anthony, Laurence
    2016 AntConc (Version 3.4.4) [Computer software]. Tokyo, Japan: Waseda University. www.laurenceanthony.net
  2. Anthony, Laurence, and Hardaker, Claire
    2019 FireAnt (Version 1.1.4) [Computer software]. Tokyo, Japan: Wasada University. www.laurenceanthony.net
  3. Asch, Solomon E.
    1956 “Studies of Independence and Conformity: A Minority of One Against a Unanimous Majority.” Psychological Monographs: General and Applied70 (9): 1–70. 10.1037/h0093718
    https://doi.org/10.1037/h0093718 [Google Scholar]
  4. 1951 “Effects of Group Pressure upon the Modification and Distortion of Judgment.” InGroups, Leadership and Men, edited byHarold Guetzkow, 177–190. Pittsburgh, PA: Carnegie Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Baronett, Stan
    2008Logic. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Bhatia, Aditi and Ross, Andrew S.
    2020 “Trumpian Tweets and Populist Politics: A Corpus-Assisted Discourse Analytical Study.” InPopulist Discourse across Modes and Media, edited byRuth Breeze and Ana M. Fernández-Vallejo, 21–38. Berne, Switzerland: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Blake, Aaron
    2017 “Kellyanne Conway says Donald Trump’s Team Has ‘Alternative Facts’. Which Pretty Much Says It All.”: The Washington Post, January23 2017 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-fix/wp/2017/01/22/kellyanne-conway-says-donald-trumps-team-has-alternate-facts-which-pretty-much-says-it-all/?utm_term=.f6c805c616fb
    [Google Scholar]
  8. Blankenship, Christina M.
    2019 “President, Wrestler, Spectacle: An Examination of Donald Trump’s Firing Tweets and the Celebrity Appresident as Response to Trump’s Media Landscape.” Journal of Communication Inquiry44 (2): 117–139. 10.1177/0196859919833785
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0196859919833785 [Google Scholar]
  9. Block, Elena, and Negrine, Ralph
    (2017) “The Populist Communication Style: Toward a Critical Framework.” International Journal of Communication11: 178–197.
    [Google Scholar]
  10. Burroughs, Benjamin
    2013 “Obama Trolling: Memes, Salutes and an Agonistic Politics in the 2012 Presidential Election.” The Fibreculture Journal22: 257–276.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Cap, Piotr
    2008 “Towards the Proximization Model of the Analysis of Legitimization in Political Discourse.” Journal of Pragmatics40 (1): 17–41. 10.1016/j.pragma.2007.10.002
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2007.10.002 [Google Scholar]
  12. Choma, Becky L., and Hanoch, Yaniv
    2016 Cognitive Ability and Authoritarianism: Understanding Support for Trump and Clinton.” Personality and Individual Differences106: 287–291. 10.1016/j.paid.2016.10.054
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.paid.2016.10.054 [Google Scholar]
  13. Connolly, William E.
    2017 “Trump, the Working Class, and Fascist Rhetoric.” Theory & Event20 (1): 23–37.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Davies, Julie H., and Tackett, Michael
    2019 “Trump and Democrats Dig in After Talks to Reopen Government Go Nowhere.” The New York Times, January2 2019 https://www.nytimes.com/2019/01/02/us/politics/trump-congress-shutdown.html
    [Google Scholar]
  15. Degani, Marta
    2016 “Endangered Intellect: A Case Study of Clinton vs. Trump Campaign Discourse.” Iperstoria – Testi Letterature Linguaggi8: 131–145.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Dinan, Stephen
    2018 “Support for Trump Border Wall Sets Record, Focus on Impeachment Plummets: Poll.” The Washington Times, January18 2018 https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/dec/18/support-trump-border-wall-sets-record-though-still
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Enli, Gunn
    2017 “Twitter as Arena for the Authentic Outsider: Exploring the Social Media Campaigns of Trump and Clinton in the 2016 US Presidential Election.” European Journal of Communication32: 50–61. 10.1177/0267323116682802
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0267323116682802 [Google Scholar]
  18. Fairclough, Norman
    2002 “Critical and Descriptive Goals in Discourse Analysis.” InCritical Discourse Analysis, edited byMichael Toolan, 321–345. London, UK: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Francesconi, Robert A.
    1982 “James Hunt, the Wilmington 10, and Institutional Legitimacy.” Quarterly Journal of Speech68 (1): 47–49. 10.1080/00335638209383591
    https://doi.org/10.1080/00335638209383591 [Google Scholar]
  20. Goodwin, Jean
    2011 Accounting for the Appeal to the Authority of Experts. Argumentation25 (3): 285–296. 10.1007/s10503‑011‑9219‑6
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-011-9219-6 [Google Scholar]
  21. Gutmann, Amy, and Thompson, Dennis F.
    1996Democracy and Disagreement. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. Harsin, Jayson
    2015 “Regimes of Posttruth, Postpolitics and Attention Economies.” Communication, Culture & Critique8 (2): 327–333. 10.1111/cccr.12097
    https://doi.org/10.1111/cccr.12097 [Google Scholar]
  23. Hochschild, Arlie R.
    2016 “The Ecstatic Edge of Politics: Sociology and Donald Trump.” Contemporary Sociology45 (6): 683–689. 10.1177/0094306116671947
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0094306116671947 [Google Scholar]
  24. Iraq Survey Group
    Iraq Survey Group 2004 “Iraq Survey Group Final Report.” https://www.globalsecurity.org/wmd/library/report/2004/isg-final-report/index.html
  25. Jamieson, Kathleen H., and Taussig, Doron
    2017 “Disruption, Demonization, Deliverance, and Norm Destruction: The Rhetorical Signature of Donald J. Trump.” Political Science Quarterly132 (4): 619–650. 10.1002/polq.12699
    https://doi.org/10.1002/polq.12699 [Google Scholar]
  26. Kahane, Howard, and Cavender, Nancy
    2006Logic and Contemporary Rhetoric: The Use of Reason in Everyday Life (10th ed.). Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Kayam, Orly
    2018 “The readability and simplicity of Donald Trump’s language.” Political Studies Review16 (1): 73–88. 10.1177/1478929917706844
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1478929917706844 [Google Scholar]
  28. Kellner, Douglas
    2018 “Swamp King: A Cultural Studies Parable.” InHandbook of Cultural Studies and Education, edited byPeter P. Trifonas and Susan Jagger, 277–294. New York, NY: Routledge. 10.4324/9781351202398‑19
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9781351202398-19 [Google Scholar]
  29. Kreis, Ramona
    2017 “The ‘Tweet Politics’ of President Trump.” Journal of Language and Politics16 (4): 607–618. 10.1075/jlp.17032.kre
    https://doi.org/10.1075/jlp.17032.kre [Google Scholar]
  30. Lakoff, George
    2017 “A Taxonomy of Trump Tweets.” https://twitter.com/GeorgeLakoff/status/948424436058791937
  31. Lau, Richard R., Sigelman, Lee, and Rovner, Ivy B.
    2007 “The Effects of Negative Political Campaigns: A Meta-Analytic Reassessment.” Journal of Politics69 (4): 1176–1209. 10.1111/j.1468‑2508.2007.00618.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1468-2508.2007.00618.x [Google Scholar]
  32. Maddalena, Giovanni
    2016 “Political Communication in the (Iconic) Trump Epoch.” European View15 (2): 245–252. 10.1007/s12290‑016‑0403‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s12290-016-0403-9 [Google Scholar]
  33. Majdik, Zoltan P., and Keith, William M.
    2011 “Expertise as Argument: Authority, Democracy, and Problem-Solving.” Argumentation25 (3): 371–384. 10.1007/s10503‑011‑9221‑z
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s10503-011-9221-z [Google Scholar]
  34. Martín-Rojo, Luisa and Van Dijk, Teun A.
    1997 “‘There Was a Problem, and It Was Solved!’: Legitimating the Expulsion of ‘Illegal’ Migrants in Spanish Parliamentary Discourse.” Discourse & Society8 (4): 523–566. 10.1177/0957926597008004005
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926597008004005 [Google Scholar]
  35. McGranahan, Carole
    2017 “An Anthropology of Lying: Trump and the Political Sociality of Moral Outrage. American Ethnologist44 (2): 243–248. 10.1111/amet.12475
    https://doi.org/10.1111/amet.12475 [Google Scholar]
  36. Mercer, Andrew, Deane, Claudia, and McGeeney, Kyley
    2016 “Why 2016 Election Polls Missed their Mark.” Pew Research Center, November9 2016 https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2016/11/09/why-2016-election-polls-missed-their-mark/
  37. Milgram, Stanley
    1974Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View. New York, NY: Harper & Row.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. Morris, Jonathan S.
    2007 “Slanted Objectivity? Perceived Media Bias, Cable News Exposure, and Political Attitudes.” Social Science Quarterly88 (3): 707–728. 10.1111/j.1540‑6237.2007.00479.x
    https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1540-6237.2007.00479.x [Google Scholar]
  39. Nai, Alessandro, Coma, Ferran M., and Maier Jürgen
    2019 “Donald Trump, Populism, and the Age of Extremes: Comparing the Personality Traits and Campaigning Styles of Trump and Other Leaders Worldwide.” Presidential Studies Quarterly49 (3): 609–643. 10.1111/psq.12511
    https://doi.org/10.1111/psq.12511 [Google Scholar]
  40. Ott, Brian L.
    2017 “The Age of Twitter: Donald J. Trump and the Politics of Debasement.” Critical Studies in Media Communication34 (1): 59–68. 10.1080/15295036.2016.1266686
    https://doi.org/10.1080/15295036.2016.1266686 [Google Scholar]
  41. Pfiffner, James P.
    2018 “The Contemporary Presidency: Organizing the Trump Presidency.” Presidential Studies Quarterly48 (1): 153–167. 10.1111/psq.12446
    https://doi.org/10.1111/psq.12446 [Google Scholar]
  42. ProPublica
    ProPublica 2017 “About Us.” https://www.propublica.org/about/
  43. Reyes, Antonio
    2011 “Strategies of Legitimization in Political Discourse: From Words to Actions.” Discourse & Society22 (6): 781–807. 10.1177/0957926511419927
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926511419927 [Google Scholar]
  44. Ross, Andrew S., and Rivers, Damian J.
    2018a “Discursive Deflection: Accusation of ‘Fake News’ and the Spread of Mis- and Disinformation in the Tweets of President Trump.” Social Media + Society doi:  10.1177/2056305118776010
    https://doi.org/10.1177/2056305118776010 [Google Scholar]
  45. 2018b “Political Twitter Discourse Corpus (PTDC).” https://www.damianrivers.com/ptdc/
  46. Rudolph, Thomas
    2019 “Populist Anger, Donald Trump, and the 2016 Election.” Journal of Elections, Public Opinions and Parties. doi:  10.1080/17457289.2019.1582532
    https://doi.org/10.1080/17457289.2019.1582532 [Google Scholar]
  47. Sanghani, Radhika
    2020 “How I make the average UK salary from being an Instagram influencer.” The Telegraph, February5 2020 https://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/business/make-average-uk-salary-instagram-influencer/
    [Google Scholar]
  48. Santa Ana, Otto
    2017 “The Rhetoric of Our Celebrity Demagogue.” Aztlan: A Journal of Chicano Studies42 (2): 267–283.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. Schneiker, Andrea
    2018 “Telling the Story of the Superhero and the Anti-Politician as President: Donald Trump’s Branding on Twitter.” Political Studies Review17 (3): 210–223. 10.1177/1478929918807712
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1478929918807712 [Google Scholar]
  50. Stolee, Galen, and Caton, Steve
    2018 “Twitter, Trump, and the Base: A Shift to a New Form of Presidential Talk?” Signs and Society6 (1): 147–165. 10.1086/694755
    https://doi.org/10.1086/694755 [Google Scholar]
  51. Time
    Time 2015 “Presidential Announcement Speech.” https://time.com/3923128/donald-trump-announcement-speech/
  52. Union of Concerned Scientists
    Union of Concerned Scientists 2017 “Attacks on Science.” https://www.ucsusa.org/resources/attacks-on-science
  53. Van Leeuwen, Theo
    2007 “Legitimation in Discourse and Communication”. Discourse & Communication1 (1): 91–112. 10.1177/1750481307071986
    https://doi.org/10.1177/1750481307071986 [Google Scholar]
  54. Vaara, Eero
    2014 “Struggles over Legitimacy in the Eurozone Crisis: Discursive Legitimation Strategies and their Ideological Underpinnings. Discourse & Society25 (4): 500–518. 10.1177/0957926514536962
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926514536962 [Google Scholar]
  55. Valverde, Miriam
    2019 “Donald Trump Stalls on Promise to Build a Wall, Have Mexico Pay for It.” Politifact, January14 2019 https://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/promises/trumpometer/promise/1397/build-wall-and-make-mexico-pay-it/
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Wahl-Jorgensen, Karin
    2018 “Media Coverage of Shifting Emotional Regimes: Donald Trump’s Angry Populism.” Media, Culture & Society40 (5): 766–778. 10.1177/0163443718772190
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0163443718772190 [Google Scholar]
  57. Waldman, Katy [Google Scholar]
  58. Wang, Yaqin, and Liu, Haitao
    2018 “Is Trump Always Rambling Like a Fourth-Grade Student? An Analysis of Stylistic Features of Donald Trump’s Political Discourse During the 2016 Election.” Discourse & Society29 (3): 299–323. 10.1177/0957926517734659
    https://doi.org/10.1177/0957926517734659 [Google Scholar]
  59. Winberg, Oscar
    2017 “Insult Politics: Donald Trump, Right-Wing Populism, and Incendiary Language.” European Journal of American Studies12 (2). https://journals.openedition.org/ejas/12132. 10.4000/ejas.12132
    https://doi.org/10.4000/ejas.12132 [Google Scholar]
http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.1075/jlp.19105.riv
Loading
/content/journals/10.1075/jlp.19105.riv
Loading

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): authority , border wall , Donald J. Trump , legitimation and Twitter
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error