[KB] Questions for discussion at my panel

Edward C Appel edwardcappel at frontier.com
Fri Jun 23 12:23:09 EDT 2017


Burkophiles,

At the risk of being reprimanded again for injecting current politics into our sacrosanct parlor discussion, allow me to respond to Carrol’s response to Herb’s conference panel question.

Many factors account for Clinton’s “loss” to Trump in 2016. I put “loss” in quotation marks because, if the U.S. were actually a democracy, Clinton would have won by almost three million votes. Everything’s gerrymandered to beat the band, including our outdated Electoral College. You can read the chapter “Program” in CS as a paean to democracy as a discursive necessity.

But let’s get to the most intriguingly proleptic Burkean commentary on 2016, “The Destiny of Acceptance Frames” in ATH. Trump’s irregular burlesque-cum-factionally tragic campaign discourse (that’s how I see it) went with, and signaled, the frame-breaking we surely must note in the altered voting patterns in rustbelt states like Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. A must-read essay on this potentially tectonic shift appeared in yesterday’s NYTimes: “The End of the Left and the Right as We Knew Them,” by Thomas Edsall. The frame-breaking is occurring across the Western world, most notably in recent elections in the U.K. (June 8), France, the Netherlands, and Austria.

Across the board, the new and most prominent demographic indicators of left vs. right are education and income: Those with college and advanced degrees go left; with high school or less, they go right. The same with income: Kensington in London, the richest voting district in the UK, went Labour on June 8 for the first time ever. The formerly class-based politics is being replaced by culture-based. Labor/social-democratic parties lost ground precipitously in all recent European elections, except in England. And there, it was enhanced Labour Party-voting in Conservative districts that inflated their vote total. Now, it’s “a more racially and zenophobic politics, on the one hand, and a politics capitalizing on increasing levels of education and open-mindedness in the electorate, on the other.”

The upshot, as Edsall seems to see it, translated into Burkean terms: Don’t expect too much from the symbolic species. What is required of the left is “some thoughtful and humane co-optation in the form of deference to our limits and boundaries.”

Reckoning by their pieties and allegiances, how much accelerating “diversity” and social marginalization can the working class, already beset by economic globalization, absorb?

Ed     

--------------------------------------------
On Wed, 6/21/17, Cox, Carrol <cbcox at ilstu.edu> wrote:

 Subject: Re: [KB] Questions for discussion at my panel
 To: "kb at kbjournal.org" <kb at kbjournal.org>
 Date: Wednesday, June 21, 2017, 9:23 PM
 
 The black voters of Philadelphia
 stayed home on election day, and that gave Pennsylvania
 & the election to Trump. 
 
 Actually, the 2016 election was decided by what
 Obama did and (more importantly ) did not do in the first
 two years of his presidency. 
 
 Carrol
 
 -----Original Message-----
 From: KB [mailto:kb-bounces at kbjournal.org]
 On Behalf Of Edward C Appel
 Sent: Monday,
 June 05, 2017 10:05 AM
 To: Edward C Appel;
 HERBERT W. Simons
 Cc: gayle simons; kb at kbjournal.org;
 Cem Zeytinoglu
 Subject: Re: [KB] Questions
 for discussion at my panel
 
 Great questions, Herb! Thanks a bunch. Looking
 forward to our panel.
 
 
 
 Ed
 --------------------------------------------
 On Mon, 6/5/17, HERBERT W. Simons <hsimons at temple.edu>
 wrote:
 
  Subject: Questions
 for discussion at my panel
  To: "Edward
 C Appel" <edwardcappel at frontier.com>
  Cc: "Cem Zeytinoglu" <czeytinogl at po-box.esu.edu>,
 "David Blakesley" <dblakes at clemson.edu>,
 "gayle simons" <gaylesimons at yahoo.com>,
 kb at kbjournal.org,
 "David C. Williams" <dcwill at fau.edu>
  Date: Monday, June 5, 2017, 9:48 AM
  
  KB CONFERENCE Session on
  TRUMP Herb Simons
  
  1.   
  What does discourse
 about Trump in the media
  tell us about who
 “we” are? Who “they” are? i.e. our
 
 beliefs and values; 
  
 
 2.   
  What roles are played by money and
 power: e.g.,
  in the GOP on issues like
 climate control? 
  
 
 3.   
  Assess U,S. news media re Trump,
 including SMS,
  Cable, social media, radio.
 How did GOP achieve control? Was
  Edelman
 right on
  media?: a passing parade of
 symbols? Ritual elements?
  Theater? Dramatic
 in
  outline; empty of detail?
  
  4.   
 
 Investigative journalism: liberal? Unbalanced?
  Immature? Praiseworthy
  
  5.   
  Is there a deep
 state in the U.S.? A media elite?
  Intel
 CIA, academies??  FBI,infotainment?
  Role
 of old money?Do we amuse ourselves to death?
  (Postman)
  
 
 6.   
  RE explaining Trump what’s Rhet
 theory/crit’s
  distinctive 
 contribution
  
  a.   
  Mercieca on threats, appeals to pity? Ad
 hominem?
  Ad populum? Trish Roberts on
 demagoguery. Trump as cult
  leader
  
  b.   
 
 Appel & others on burlesque, truthful
 
 hyperbole, ridicule, satire, role of political
  cartoons?
  
 
 c.    
  Fishman on Trump’s
 boasts—e.g. I’m rich; I own
  them; they
 owe me.
  
  7.   
  What can (or does) Burkean theory/criticism
  contribute? E.g., Dramatism,Perspetive by
 incongruity, 4
  master tropes?
  Hitler’s “battle”, paradox,
  dialectic?
  
 
 8.   
  What’s admirable about Trump?
 What’s the secret
  of his allure? His
 power to persuade? His distinctive
 
 contribution? His
  successes with the white
 working class? With evangelicals?
  His
 tweets?
  
  9.   
  The investigations of Trump & CO’s
 alleged
  wrongdoing?
  
 
 10.                     
  Impeachment debates; the obstruction of
 justice
  issue? Trump & Putin& other
 Russians; Trump &
  Flint.
  
 
 11.                     
  Hacking issue
  
 
 12.                     
  Subverting the Presidential election
  
 
 13.                     
  How will it all turn out?
  --
 
  Herbert W. Simons,
 
 Ph.D.
  Emeritus Professor of
 Communication
  Dep't of  Strategic
 Communication, Weiss Hall 215
  Temple
 University, Philadelphia 19122
  Home phone:
 215 844 5969
  http://astro.temple.edu/~hsimons
  Academic Fellow, Center for Transformative
 Strategic
  Initiatives (CTSI)
  
  
  
 
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