This article examines how Donald Trump remade the modern jeremiad during his 2016 presidential campaign. We argue that Trump differed from recent oppositional candidates for the presidency in his invocation of American exceptionalism. Our findings show that unlike his predecessors: (1) Trump's use of the jeremiad was constrained by his limited conception of American exceptionalism; (2) Trump routinely portrayed the country as no longer exceptional; and (3) Trump offered a vision for restoring American exceptionalism, focusing primarily on “self-exceptionalism.” We discuss how these findings contribute to our understanding of the modern jeremiad and examine how these dynamics may play out during Trump’s reelection campaign.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sociology and Political Science
- Public Administration