International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Extreme Vetting: Rhetoric, the 2016 U. S. Presidential Election and Immigration Policy
Gayle K. Berardi

U.S. presidential candidate, Donald Trump, for a variety of reasons conducted an unusual campaign. This included his lack of funding and political party support. However, perhaps the most unusual aspect of his campaign was his inflammatory rhetoric on immigration that continued throughout the election process. This research analyzes Trump’s immigration rhetoric from his initial announcement speech through election day. This includes speeches, tweets and other social media sources. Utilizing Habermas’ theory of the public sphere, it is asserted that Trump’s rhetoric negated an active public sphere where informed decisions are made. Although the rise of technology has been proposed as a venue to develop a “virtual” public sphere, this research finds that did not happen in the 2016 presidential election.

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