Quick Thought on Political Agency …and an insight into why this year’s Republican Presidential debates are so intensely personal …


Why are the Republican Presidential debates so intensely personal? And, seemingly, why are this year’s debates more personal than they seem to have been in past years’ debates?

My theory is that as nearly every aspect of society becomes de-formalized, including the de-formalization of “knowledge,” it (whatever “it” happens to be, in this case, political campaigns) becomes less revered as “expertise” or “factual” or “true” and, therefore, is vulnerable to the types of casual, de-formalized rearticulations that we see as “personal attacks” in this case. In terms of the Republican Presidential debates, is it possible that the candidates’ perception that knowledge, as it is democratized, can be manipulated, splintered, into various “truths,” that they’re deferring to the rhetorical affects of their responses to one anothers’ attacks, versus verification of their “facts” as opposed to the other’s “facts”?

What are the consequences, positive, negative, and otherwise, of the democratization of knowledge and the rearticulation of “truth,” the renegotiation of its power and prestige as “expertise”?

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About klangbehn

Doctoral Candidate: Rhetoric of Science University of South Florida 4202 E. Fowler Avenue Tampa, FL 33620-5550 View all posts by klangbehn

One response to “Quick Thought on Political Agency …and an insight into why this year’s Republican Presidential debates are so intensely personal …

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