Anti-Compromise Rhetoric, Rabid Factionalism, and the Threat to Democracy

Project Veritas (or PV, for short) released a new “gotcha”-style video exposé this week in which a Bernie Sanders field organizer, Kyle Jurak, makes a series of troubling, violent claims about what will happen if Bernie isn’t the Democratic nominee and eventual President of the United States. Much as I hate to say it, I … Continue reading Anti-Compromise Rhetoric, Rabid Factionalism, and the Threat to Democracy

Electability Politics and the Dwindling Democratic Diversity

Cory Booker suspended his presidential campaign this morning, leaving Andrew Yang, Tulsi Gabbard, and Deval Patrick as the only remaining candidates of color in what began as the most diverse candidate pool in American presidential history. According to RealClearPolitics’ poll averages, Yang is polling at about 3.5%, Gabbard at 2.3%, and Patrick didn’t even make … Continue reading Electability Politics and the Dwindling Democratic Diversity

Maybe Let’s Leave “I Don’t Care” to the Fascists, Yeah?

Beginning as early as 2009, a series of memes began circulating on social media that were intended to demonstrate in comical ways the lack of interest or care someone felt on a particular day or about a particular issue. Colloquially, they’re the “Look at all the fucks I give” memes, with the unmistakable implication that … Continue reading Maybe Let’s Leave “I Don’t Care” to the Fascists, Yeah?

Nazi "Science" and Jewish "Genius"

In March 1966, rhetoric and communication scholar Haig A. Bosmajian published an article in ETC.: A Review of General Semantics called, “The Magic Word in Nazi Persuasion.” In the article, Bosmajian wrote about how Adolf Hitler and other prominent Nazis realized very early on that, while they needed terror, violence, and intimidation to gain and … Continue reading Nazi "Science" and Jewish "Genius"

"Everything in Moderation" Doesn’t Prevent Extremism

“Everything in moderation” (or EIM, for short) is a hegemonic commonplace in 21st century American culture. That means, it is a belief that is so commonly accepted as to be nearly unquestionable. And it’s a serious problem for supporters of democracy in the 21st century. The reasons for the phrase’s popularity are easy to see. … Continue reading "Everything in Moderation" Doesn’t Prevent Extremism

Burke’s Unending Conversation in the Social Media Age

Imagine that you enter a conversation thread. When you arrive, others have long preceded you, and they are engaged in a heated discussion, a discussion too heated for them to even notice that you’re there, but it’s okay because it’s all archived. You listen for a while, like/heart a few things, and click through to … Continue reading Burke’s Unending Conversation in the Social Media Age

‘Remediation’ in the United States: A Brief History

‘Remediation’ in the United States: A Brief History San José State University Academic Retreat February 11, 2016 My area of research is the history of writing instruction in American higher education. More specifically, I study the functions that writing instruction plays in institutions of higher education. The organizers of today's event invited me to talk … Continue reading ‘Remediation’ in the United States: A Brief History