The Hyperreal Nature of the Trump Administration's Post-Truth Rhetoric
Alexander Vincent Sharp
Recently political rhetoric has entered an era that many scholars refer to as the "post-truth era." This is defined as a state in which the truth no longer has any bearing on discourse. Although many scholars identify post-truth as a purely 21st century phenomenon, I use the scholarship of Jean Baudrillard as a lens to interpret the post-truth rhetoric of the Trump administration. Baudrillard's prescient work is particularly instructive when analyzing post-truth rhetoric because he correctly identified many of the causes and effects of the post-truth era. First, I identify the parallels between modern post-truth studies and Baudrillard's work on simulation. Next, I use the scholarship of Baudrillard to determine the rhetorical goals of the Trump administration and analyze how these goals have changed over time. It is only with a clear understanding of how post-truth rhetoric functions that it can be effectively countered.
Margaret M. Strain
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium project, College of Arts and Sciences
"The Hyperreal Nature of the Trump Administration's Post-Truth Rhetoric" (2020). Stander Symposium Projects. 2002.