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Disruption, Demonization, Deliverance, and Norm Destruction: The Rhetorical Signature of Donald J. Trump

During his first 100 days as the 45th president of the United States, Donald J. Trump launched Twitter attacks against “Fake Tears Chuck Schumer,” members of the Republican Freedom Caucus, and a district court judge; accused his predecessor of “wiretapping” his phone, though there was no evidence for the claim; and baffled observers by appearing to lament a nonexistent terrorist attack in Sweden. Here we argue not simply that Trump’s norm-shattering rhetoric deviates from that of his predecessors but also that his discursive patterns constitute a double-edged rhetorical identity or signature.