George Bush, <Human Rights>, and American Democracy

Mary E. Stuckey, Joshua R. Ritter

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This article examines the role the ideograph <human rights> plays in George W. Bush's presidential rhetoric. By strategically wielding <human rights> throughout his presidency, and by using it to amplify his use of association and dissociation, Bush connects his actions in important ways to the foundational myths of American democracy. In so doing, he provides powerful warrants for his actions, which undermine the very practices he claims to be supporting. That is, by using <human rights> as a way of tapping into the myth of America as the synecdochic representation of freedom in the world, Bush rhetorically reaffirms that myth while acting in ways that also subvert it.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)646-666
Number of pages21
JournalPresidential Studies Quarterly
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • History
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Public Administration

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