Donald Trump, legitimisation and a new political rhetoric

Andrew S. Ross, Damian J. Rivers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


The rise to the US Presidency of Donald Trump has been accompanied by the emergence of a new political rhetoric, one that is most frequently observed on the social media platform Twitter. Although Twitter has been a feature of political campaigns and communication for several years now, the public has not been exposed to the de-professionalised, informal use demonstrated by Trump. The rhetoric of Trump can be said in large part to be influenced by his personal history, and his persona as a celebrity TV star, especially through the informality, insults inclusive of nicknaming, and framing himself as a winner and opponents as losers. Although this new rhetorical style is present in all his discourse on Twitter, we focus this study on Trump's pursuit of legitimacy for his proposed border wall on the US–Mexico border, and do so from a Critical Discourse Analysis perspective by utilising Reyes’ (2011) framework for legitimisation in political discourse.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)623-637
Number of pages15
JournalWorld Englishes
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


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