Donald Trump, Civility, Norms, Manners, American Politics, Dissent, Hierarchy, Democracy
American Politics | American Popular Culture | Leadership Studies | Political Theory | Politics and Social Change | President/Executive Department | Public Affairs
According to supporters and opponents alike, Donald Trump has been an unconventional candidate and president. In this article, I evaluate the relationship between Trump’s unconventional behavior and the requirements of civility. I provide a definition of civility, and I explain why it makes sense to relate Trump’s actions to civil norms. I then discuss how civility is enacted, I examine criticisms of civility’s triviality, and I explore the ways in which civility may repress dissent and maintain hierarchy. Although I consider the degree to which Trump’s actions are strategic, I ultimately argue that Trump’s incivilities should be understood as an effort to initiate a revolution in manners. In this regard, Trump’s behavior is not unprecedented. He is participating in a longstanding American tradition of determining standards of appropriate conduct through political conflict.
Bybee, Keith, "The Rise of Trump and the Death of Civility" (2018). Institute for the Study of the Judiciary, Politics, and the Media at Syracuse University. 4.
American Politics Commons, American Popular Culture Commons, Leadership Studies Commons, Political Theory Commons, Politics and Social Change Commons, President/Executive Department Commons, Public Affairs Commons