Exceptional “We” or Exceptional “Me”? Donald Trump, American Exceptionalism, and the Remaking of the Modern Jeremiad

Jason Gilmore, Charles M. Rowling, Jason A. Edwards, Nicole T. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPresidential Studies Quarterly
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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