Author Information

Kelly Long


Since the events that transpired on the morning of September 11th, 2001, “terrorism” has become a part of the vocabulary of modern American culture. The word “terrorism” has become a powerful ideograph—a word or phrase that is abstract in nature, but has a great deal of ideological power—in American culture. This commonly used abstract word can be heard almost daily in the media and within the larger lexicon of American political discourse. Rhetoricians use the word to describe their motives and persuade audiences to align their ideological principles with those of the larger cause. This study examines how during President Barack Obama’s first year in office, he utilizes “terrorism” in opposition to the “rule of law” and “democratic values” in order to create a hybrid identity which combines the Democratic and Republican understanding of the issue that ultimately contributes to a sense of “exceptionalism”.

Note on the Author

Kelly Long (’13) is a dual major in Communication Studies and English. This project began as part of the 2012 Adrian Tinsley Summer Research Grant Program under the direction of Dr. Jason Edwards.

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