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In 2016, attitudes related to racism and sexism were strong predictors of vote choice for president. Since then, issues related to race and gender have continued to be an important part of the political agenda. This letter shows that hostile sexism and denial of racism emerged as stronger predictors of the House vote in the 2018 cycle than they had been in 2016. The results show that the increased importance of these factors came largely from the shifting of less sexist and less racist voters from voting Republican in 2016 to voting for Democrats in 2018. Overall, the results suggest that Trump's hostility towards women and minorities is becoming part of the Republican Party's brand, and that this appears to have created an electoral penalty for Republican candidates in 2018.
This substantial introduction covers Trump’s divisive verbal shock tactics during his rise. It offers a history of presidential oratory and speech style, discusses Trump’s use of social media, and his rhetorical feedback loop with his supporters. It analyzes the way the “culture wars” over so-called “politically correct language” feed into Trump’s popularity and the dismay of his critics. Trump supporters often refuse the notion that word choice creates problems, arguing instead that linguistic care stokes oversensitivity, or that it evades harsh realities that harsh language merely describes. They also feel his simple, profane verbal style and even his spelling and grammatical errors reflect his “authenticity” and positive masculinity. Trump’s critics, meanwhile, believe his insulting words and hate speech incite violence while his style denotes lack of education and care, possibly even dementia, while demoting the verbal standards expected of a president. Disagreements over Trump’s verbal style and propriety have sometimes played out over class lines. Trump’s well documented prevarications have exhausted journalists and seemed to influence his supporters, some of whom take his statements as merely hyperbolic articulations of a deeper underlying truth.
This paper explores the “crybaby/snowflake” name calling leveled by Trump’s supporters against his detractors, a discourse that exploded in the immediate wake of the 2016 election. It explores interdiscursive (or intertextual) relationships and functional similarities between the crybaby discourse and the language historically used by Drill Instructors during basic training in the United States Marine Corps. In both cases, someone in the role of “ritual elder” uses language as a punitive and didactic cudgel to weed out the weak (whether literally, from the military, or more symbolically, from cultural citizenship/the nation) while signifying that the interlocutor needs to “grow up” or “man up” by attenuating their sensitivity to both suffering and linguistic meaning. The ideal citizen then has a calloused quality, in the model of military masculinity, ready to face harsh realities and to turn a blind eye to the suffering of others. The crybaby discourse is intended to discredit political opposition and discourage empathy as part of Trump’s new nationalism. Its interdiscursive passage between military personnel and American conservatives can be seen in memes and mass media. The crybaby discourse has also been taken up by many of Trump’s detractors and leveled at Trump himself to infantilize and discredit him.
Solicitation of foreign interference in an election represents a betrayal of public trust because it threatens to undermine the people’s right of self-determination – a foundational norm of our constitutional order. Section 1 of the chapter focuses on candidate Trump’s solicitation of Russian email hacking during his speech in Florida in July of 2016 – a speech that set the tone for much of what was to come during the Trump presidency. Likewise, Section 2 focuses on an even more daring solicitation: President Trump’s solicitation of interference from Ukraine during a call with its President, Volodymyr Zelensky. Section 3 looks at the legal status of the domestic norm against soliciting foreign interference. This chapter argues that, for the removal of all doubt, Congress should pass a new statute criminalizing the solicitation of foreign involvement in elections. Section 4 responds to the argument that such a statute could not be applied against the President because doing so would conflict with the President’s constitutional authority to conduct foreign relations. Finally, Section 5 examines the ultimate remedy of impeachment as a tool for sanctioning a President who solicits foreign involvement in an election.
Although election interference is not new, Russia’s social media strategy for election interference in the 2016 election represented a new form of interference in the political affairs of the United States. The advent of social media electioneering raised a number of important political questions. While political commentators were debating these questions, international lawyers were engaged in a parallel conversation, one that was more technical but just as consequential: Did Russia’s interference violate international law? Did Russia do something wrong by operating a troll farm to promote divisive rhetoric in the American political landscape? Did the use of cyber technologies turn the Russian interference into an illegal cyber-attack that triggered a right of response, a form of cyber self-defense? International lawyers generally fell into two camps, with one camp viewing the interference as illegal and another camp viewing it as regrettable but probably lawful under existing legal frameworks. But everyone agreed that Russia’s aggressive use of social media technology was a game-changer. This book argues that the “illegal” camp had it right – Russia did violate international law – but that the “illegal camp” had the wrong reasons for reaching this conclusion.
Russian interference in the 2016 election was not an isolated event but was, rather, a cluster of related techniques, each of which will be described in this chapter. There is wide agreement in government and intelligence circles about what happened, though the Trump administration has at times stated contradictory things about whether the interference occurred, or contradictory characterizations of the interference. There was: (1) hacking of email accounts and the public release of information stolen from these accounts; (2) social media campaigns, including paid advertisements on Facebook and postings on Twitter engineered by so-called troll farms; and (3) the infiltration of advocacy organizations such as the National Rifle Association, with the goal of influencing the domestic political landscape. These activities raise two important issues that are analyzed in this chapter. First, are the actors who engage in this interference private actors or state agents, and does it make a difference? Second, based on the methods used, what conclusions can be drawn about Russia’s strategic objectives in interfering in the 2016 elections? These questions must be answered in order to answer the fundamental question, i.e., whether election interference violates international law, and if yes, in what way.
Limited strikes are arguably different from war insofar as they are more circumscribed, less destructive, and cost less in blood and treasure to employ. However, what they can achieve is also considerably more circumscribed than what is set out by the goals of war. How do we morally evaluate limited strikes? As part of the roundtable, “The Ethics of Limited Strikes,” this essay argues that we need to turn to the ethics of limited of force, or jus ad vim, to do so. Two moral assumptions that are the keystone to jus ad vim can shed light on the moral imperatives and ethical dilemmas of undertaking limited strikes. First, such strikes should be seen as an alternative to war, and not part of the jus ad bellum last resort process. What I call the “Rubicon assessment” determines at what level force should be used: at the level of war, with all its costs and unpredictability, or at that of the more predictable and less costly limited force. Second, limited strikes should adhere to a “presumption against escalation”; that is, a moral commitment not to escalate to war. This essay highlights these moral principles in five different limited strike scenarios: “hot pursuit,” “red line,” “the last straw,” “the point of no return,” and “the right of retaliation.” The conclusion explores the notion of justice after limited strikes, or what I call jus post vim, to show that while what can be accomplished by limited strikes is inherently constrained, they can, if used morally and in tune with diplomacy, be of service in the quest for peace.
Elections represent group contestations over political power. The rise of Latino candidates for public office and campaigns that emphasize anti-Latino immigration appeals have created an environment where animus toward Latinos is a dominant consideration in the minds of many White Americans. This chapter shows the pervasiveness of White animus toward Latinos across a range of federal and state elections, including its role in the election of Donald J. Trump as president in 2016. It then shows that candidates are often motivated to take a “hard-line” stance on issues like immigration when their constituents harbor resentment toward Latinos.
The election of Donald Trump and his decision to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) represented a shock to the Canadian and Mexican governments and business elites. Drawing on the New Regionalism(s) Approach (NRA), this article reviews the response of the Canadian state to the crisis in the North American regional project. I argue that this newer theoretical approach better explains the dynamics of regionalization or regional decomposition than mainstream theories by integrating the role played by uneven globalization, normative and ideational dimensions, and civil society in processes of regional integration and/or decomposition.
In this second set of case study I examine the performances and representation of Julia Gillard (Australian Prime Minister 2010–2013) and Hillary Clinton (democratic presidential candidate, 2016 US election). I start by analysing adversarial language and sexism in Julia Gillard’s parliamentary performances in the Australian House of Representatives. These highly adversarial exchanges with Tony Abbott are extremely confrontational and adversarial. As with Theresa May, this discussion is developed into an analysis of a critical gendered moments when Gillard delivered her famous ‘sexism and misogyny speech’, which was followed by gendered media representations of the performance, and accusations that she ‘played the gender card’. Secondly, the case study of Hillary Clinton analyses critical gendered moments in the US televised debates against Donald Trump in 2016. Clinton is found to have performed well against Trump, given that she is positioned in gendered ways in relation to his sexist discourses. However, her political success is identified as resting on her ability to negotiate a tightrope of double binds – for example emotionality vs toughness – which mean that she is constantly attending to and negotiating her femininity in terms of both her appearance and her behaviour.
The conclusion briefly analyzes the enduring relevance of rogue diplomacy in U.S. foreign policy. I cite economic adviser Gary Cohn's filching of an executive order off of President Donald Trump's Oval Office desk as representative of how American diplomats remain willing to step out of line if their judgment conflicts with the boss's. Cohn did not want Trump to dissolve the U.S.-South Korean Free Trade Agreement, so he pocketed the document before the president could sign it, an act no non-American government official would have even considered. I also highlight Trump's choice of David Friedman to run Embassy Tel Aviv, noting that Friedman, like so many American diplomats, has no foreign-policy experience and secured this plum assignment because of his friendship with the president and his lavish campaign contributions. Although such an approach to statecraft might seem a recipe for disaster, it has, as my book demonstrates, served America surprisingly well over nearly 250 years of national existence. If the past is any guide, we have cause for optimism as a new generation of rogue diplomats confronts the myriad international challenges of the twenty-first century.
This introduction provides an overview of the argument of the book. Although citizenship is often believed to reside exclusively at the national scale, the introduction describes how there is a distinctively local idea of citizenship that exists alongside federal citizenship. Where federal citizenship is distributed based on nationality, local citizenship has generally been made available to all residents regardless of nationality. Although local and federal citizenship have long been complementary, globalization is now causing them to come into conflict. That Donald Trump was elected on a stridently nationalistic, anti-immigrant, and anti-urban political platform at the same time that cities like San Francisco extended local voting rights to noncitizen residents who are ineligible to vote in state and federal elections illustrates how divergent ideas about local and federal citizenship are the sources of a major political crisis.
Chapter 7 brings the three case studies of women, noncitizens, and landowners together to show how, as globalization has caused the public/private distinction to come apart, the distinctively local form of citizenship has seeped into the sphere of national citizenship and threatened the meaning of citizenship. With increasing labor and capital mobility across national borders, nation-states confront the same pressures cities have long faced to confer citizenship on the basis of interest and choice rather than nationality, but there is fierce opposition to doing so on the grounds that it will undermine the basis of national citizenship by fraying the ties of ethnicity, history, and territory that supposedly link the members of the state’s “imagined community.” This opposition takes the form of growing animosity toward free trade, immigration, and the cities that symbolize an open and flexible approach to citizenship.
This chapter argues that although the poverty narrative has been a source of dramatic empowerment for those in desperate need, the effectiveness of this instrument has also become clear to others. It provides illustrations of the increasingly indiscriminate overuse and deliberate misuse of poverty narratives by the less rich and the more rich, respectively. Through four cases focusing on the misuse of this narrative in trade negotiations, and further examples in multiple areas of bargaining, I make a sombre central point. The poverty narrative, because of its many demonstrated wins, has been appropriated and hijacked by multiple players. As more and more states and people learn to effectively play the role of the powerless victim, the poverty narrative is attracting a major backlash. There is a tragic irony to this: as the (still relatively newly discovered) power of the powerless loses credibility through overuse and misuse, the biggest losses accrue to the neediest and the poorest. The potential damage to the international system of rules is also severe.
This chapter frames the discussion that follows by examining the concept of populism, which is debated among political scientists, and the negative effects that populism may produce on internationally recognized human rights. The chapter emphasizes an understanding of populism as a form of politics that employs an exclusionary notion of the people as opposed to disfavored groups that are unworthy and that purports to rule on behalf of the people, whose will should not be constrained. The chapter describes both internal and external effects of populists' rise to power. Domestically, populist governance threatens the human rights of the excluded group, but also poses danger for members of the majority, as leaders seek to entrench themselves in power and undermine checks. Externally, the influence of populism on foreign policy reduces support for the international human rights regime, in a manner that has become increasingly problematic as populists gain power in more countries that previously played key roles in maintaining it.
This chapter explores the effects of the Trump presidency in human rights foreign policy. Taking into account the mixed character of U.S. foreign policy in previous decades, it provides a measured account of how the populist rhetoric of “America First” was translated into concrete actions, initially under Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and more intensely under National Security Adviser John Bolton and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. The disorganization of the administration has left room for career officers to implement a relatively traditional human rights policy in some areas. The Trump administration has departed most significantly from past administrations in declining to embrace the core principles on which human rights policy is based. Its support of strongmen because of – not in spite of – their authoritarian qualities may leave its most distinct (and damaging) human rights legacy.
In July 2019, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched a Commission on Unalienable Rights, charged with a reexamination of the scope and nature of human rights–based claims. From his statements, it seems that Pompeo hopes the commission will substantiate—by appeal to the U.S. Declaration of Independence and to natural law theory—three key conservative ideas: (1) that there is too much human rights proliferation, and once we get things right, social and economic rights as well as gender emancipation and reproductive rights will no longer register as human rights; (2) that religious liberties should be strengthened under the human rights umbrella; and (3) that the unalienable rights that should guide American foreign policy neither need nor benefit from any international oversight. I aim to show that despite Pompeo's framing, the Declaration of Independence, per se, is of no help with any of this, whereas evoking natural law is only helpful in ways that reveal its own limitations as a foundation for both human rights and foreign policy in our interconnected age.
This chapter examines the controversy over psychiatric comment on Donald Trump. In 2016, Trump’s election led many psychiatrists to grow concerned for the country’s safety and to argue that when the country is unsafe, commenting on a public figure’s mental health is in fact an ethical obligation. The APA, on the other hand, held firm to and even strengthened its ban on such comment. For my narrative and analysis, I draw on original interviews with APA officials – including medical director Saul Levin and ethics chair Rebecca Brendel – and with critics of the APA, including Bandy X. Lee, Judith Herman, Robert Jay Lifton, and Leonard Glass. Using this new material and looking at the age of Twitter, this chapter presents the first sustained analysis of the controversy and its importance for psychiatry, ethics, and journalism in the age of Trump. As I note, in recent years, several prominent figures have argued for a revision of the libel standard articulated in New York Times v. Sullivan. These figures include the late Justice Antonin Scalia, current Justice Clarence Thomas, and President Donald Trump himself – leaving the future of libel law contested, as it has been since 1964.
Over the years, through my research on sexual violence, it becomes clearer that these problems of disparate sentencing, lenient sentences for some rapists, the stigmatization of female and transgendered victims, and the punishment of women – both as victims and perpetrators – occupy a global space not confined to the United States. That is, judges globally are making poor decisions regarding rape and incest.
This article explores the effect of explicitly racial and inflammatory speech by political elites on mass citizens in a societal context where equality norms are widespread and generally heeded yet a subset of citizens nonetheless possesses deeply ingrained racial prejudices. The authors argue that such speech should have an ‘emboldening effect’ among the prejudiced, particularly where it is not clearly and strongly condemned by other elite political actors. To test this argument, the study focuses on the case of the Trump campaign for president in the United States, and utilizes a survey experiment embedded within an online panel study. The results demonstrate that in the absence of prejudiced elite speech, prejudiced citizens constrain the expression of their prejudice. However, in the presence of prejudiced elite speech – particularly when it is tacitly condoned by other elites – the study finds that the prejudiced are emboldened to both express and act upon their prejudices.