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Small Screen, Big FeelsTelevision and Cultural Anxiety in the Twenty-First Century$
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Melissa Ames

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780813180069

Published to Kentucky Scholarship Online: September 2021

DOI: 10.5810/kentucky/9780813180069.001.0001

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“I’m (Not) with Her”

“I’m (Not) with Her”

How the Political Commentary Surrounding the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election Reflects Anxieties Concerning Gender Equality

(p.209) 10 “I’m (Not) with Her”
Small Screen, Big Feels

Melissa Ames

University Press of Kentucky

The final study presented in this book focuses on one of the most impactful events of the 21st century: the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, which likely ended as it did in part due to a combination of the cultural fears discussed throughout the previous chapters. For example, the presidential campaign run by Donald Trump played on post-9/11 insecurities about homeland security and employed fear-based, divisive rhetoric about race, gender, class, and sexuality. The acceptance of this rhetoric -- and his ultimate victory -- may be explained by the process of phobic construction highlighted in this text. Chapter 10 analyzes the final months of the election cycle, in particular the televised presidential debates between Trump and Hillary Clinton and the ways in which they stimulated conversation among viewers during the live broadcast and ongoing dialogue and activism beyond it.

Keywords:   016 presidential election, Donald Trump, presidential debate, Hillary Clinton, Twitter, Live Television, internet, sexism

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