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The Podium, the Pulpit, and the Republicans: How Presidential Candidates Use Religious Language in American Political Debateby Frederick Stecker
Synopses & Reviews
In The Podium, the Pulpit, and the Republicans: How Presidential Candidates Use Religious Language in American Political Debate, a veteran minister analyzes the religious metaphors Republicans use at the podium and alleges that the party deliberately employs blaming tactics, fear metaphors, and coded references to apocalyptic judgment to sway undecided voters.
Over the past 40 years, Frederick Stecker charges, the Republican Party has created fear for political expediency. Stecker's book traces the development of the Republican rhetoric of polarization and applies the linguistics-based "nation-as-a-family" political typology of George Lakoff to an analysis of the presidential debates of 2000, 2004, and 2008. He demonstrates how Republican candidates select their language and metaphors to signal adherence to rigid belief systems and simple, black-and-white choices in domestic and foreign policy.
Book News Annotation:
This interesting and timely work on religious imagery in political rhetoric examines the strategies used by Republican presidential candidates to frame national debates in biblical terms. Stecker, an Episcopal minister, examines the language used by Republican politicians in the 2000, 2004 and 2008 presidential debates, and finds that the metaphors and rhetorical devices delivered by the candidates often feature coded apocalyptic themes seemed designed to foster an atmosphere of blame and fear that requires black and white solutions and strong paternalistic rulers. Introductory chapters discuss the development of the religious right and its influence on religious belief systems. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
In this book, the presidential debates of 2000, 2004, and 2008 are analyzed in terms of linguistics, rhetoric, and religious context to offer a unique perspective on the styles, beliefs, and strategies of the two major parties and their candidates.
Since 1973 the Republican Party has spent hundreds of millions of dollars each year to field metaphors that project a "tough love," "strict father" ideology in their campaign discourse. Through repetition, these metaphors have become imbedded in the subconscious of American voters of all types. Do they have the desired results?
• Offers a rhetorical study of the 2008 presidential debates and also covers the 2000 and 2004 debates, allowing contrast and comparison
• Analyzes the efficacy of the religious metaphors Republicans use in speeches, advertising, and debates
• Compares Republican and Democratic metaphors
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