The 2016 presidential candidates and their discourse: a reflection of a XXI century cultural and ideological conflict in the United States
Doyle Robles, Saioa Aisling
MetadataShow full item record
The recent result of the 2016 presidential election in the United States of America has left many of the nation’s experts at a loss for words, immediately following the announcement of the results, professionals from various fields attempted to calculate the economic and political significance of Trump’s victory. Few, however, have studied the cultural importance of this election. America’s growing diversity would lead one to believe governmental institutions would adapt to accommodate the changing population yet this was not the case. Trump’s election was a very clear symbol of strength from the traditional conservative part of the country that in a way, imposed its power on the rest of the population. Thus, it will be the aim of this paper to discuss the cultural implications of the election by analysing four of the most significant candidates’ speeches and how said speeches reflect the different cultural and ideological identities currently present within the American population but what is more, that those identities radically oppose one another. Each candidate’s speech will be closely studied, detailing the cultural and ideological references made and their importance in the construction of American identity to support the hypothesis that President Trump does not in fact represent the entirety of America’s cultural values, but that each candidate is illustrative of different tendency making this the election of most cultural significance in recent history.