International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

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

The Manipulative Tendency of Racist Ideology in American Politics
Taher Ben Khalifa

The present paper uses a multi-disciplinary CDA framework ranging from argumentation theories, discourse representation theories and pragmatics elaborated in Van Dijk (2000) focusing mainly on representation, humanitarianism, evidentiality and implication to explain how racist ideologies are explored in political discourse to manipulate the addresses and justify elite policies. Exploring how these discursive strategies are used to legitimize power, domination, inequality and injustice is carried through the critical analysis of the Republican Jeb Bush’s live aired interview on CNN (November the 15th 2015) and the Democrat Barack Obama’s press conference speech delivered in Antalya, Turkey (November the 16th 2015). The results of the analysis proved that: a) the polarization of Us vs. Them and the strategies of positive self-representation and negative other-representation are used to serve for the anti-racist arguments, b) the humanitarianism strategies are used to humanize Us and de-humanize Them and evidentiality, which is based on the use of different sorts of proofs that are close to the audiences’ minds, are employed to justify the American migration policies and war strategies, and c) implication is employed to demystify such racist ideologies that do not fit with the speakers’ arguments. Hence, the manipulative nature of these discursive strategies is justified.

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