Title page for ETD etd-1110103-141920

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Hunt, Lyman Davis
URN etd-1110103-141920
Title The Dual Paths of a Political Movement: Convergence and Divergence in Contemporary Conservative Public Address
Degree Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
Department Speech Communication
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Andrew A. King Committee Chair
Hugh W. Buckingham Committee Member
James Honeycutt Committee Member
Michael Bowman Committee Member
Mary J. Sirridge Dean's Representative
  • discourse
  • god term
  • identification
  • transcendence
  • charismatic term
  • ideogragh
  • rhetorical homology
Date of Defense 2003-10-28
Availability unrestricted
This study examines the rhetorical choices made in public addresses by members of the contemporary conservative movement in the United States during the 1990s. The contemporary conservative movement in this instance is defined as a post World War II phenomenon. Specifically, it is argued that the popular notion of a unified conservative ascendence in America is but an illusion. Rather, two distinct tribes of conservatives, the economic and the traditional conservative, participate in a rhetorical homology that serves to hide significant ontological differences beneath the dialectical God terms freedom and order. Additionally, the charismatic nature of the term freedom authorizes allegiance to several abstract policy positions for differing reasons. It is only when the abstract is offered as concrete policy proposal that each wing of the movement is confronted with the gap between their core beliefs and those held by their ally. Because of the transcendence achieved in their discourse, conservatives are able to continually win election while experiencing policy defeat. Several implications for the future of conservatism in particular and political movements in general are asserted in the conclusion.
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