Donald Trump, Twitter, and Islamophobia: The End of Dignity in Presidential Rhetoric About Terrorism
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Donald Trump’s rhetoric is markedly different than that of just about every other American president. Trump’s speeches on terrorism and his related Islamophobia and anti-immigrant rhetoric are examined in this chapter. Trump’s use of Twitter and view of the presidency as a “permanent campaign” keep his followers in a state of near-permanent mobilization. Trump uses the rhetoric of fear to push his followers against Muslims and immigrants by linking terrorism to both groups. As Jeffrey Tulis opines, Trump is America’s first demagogue. This chapter highlights how Trump’s demagoguery and novel method for communicating with his followers has framed the terror threat and, in turn, eroded American society. Trump’s view of the terrorist as “Other” has also created a large blind spot where domestic terrorism is concerned.