Blood at the Root: Donald Trump and the Rhetoric of White Supremacy




Abel, G. Jon

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This thesis examines and elaborates on the connection between the rhetoric of President Donald Trump, and the ideologies and rhetorical appeals of white supremacists, both contemporarily and throughout American History. Blood at the Root examines two case studies of Donald Trump’s rhetoric as candidate and president, and traces the appeals of these words to their origins in white supremacist, anti-Semitic, and anti-immigrant rhetoric in the United States. We also show that these connections are unlikely to be coincidental, and that either Trump himself or those around him are aware of the racial signaling that pervades Trump’s political rhetoric. Finally, Blood at the Root demonstrates that Trump is aware of and seeks to capitalize on racial tensions in the modern United States, as evidenced by the tailoring of his rhetoric to the language of White Supremacy today. In summary, Donald Trump uses old modes of racial signaling in ways that appeal to new, racist constituencies. President Trump capitalizes on modern racial tensions by invoking old racial tensions, framed through modern issues such as globalism, trade, and illegal immigration.