The fragmenting of the civil sphere: How partisan identity shapes the moral evaluation of candidates and epistemology
The 2016 U.S. presidential election upended a number of scholarly expectations about electoral politics. Many academics and pundits predicted that president Donald Trump’s flaunting of democratic norms, from his rhetoric on the campaign trail to his financial conflicts of interest, would undermine his candidacy. How do we explain Trump’s appeal to his core supporters and Republicans more generally? First, this paper argues that Trump was able to exploit partisan identity becoming the key basis for moral evaluation among the democratic public. Second, this paper argues that partisan identity has fractured civic epistemology, the basis upon which people understand and agree upon political facts and truths.
Keywords2016 U.S. presidential election Donald Trump partisanship journalism epistemology
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