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Presidential rhetoric has minimally changed from the narrative set by George W. Bush after the 9/11 attacks. Bush’s policies and agenda have also largely remained. This chapter provides proposals for change given the empirical and theoretical findings made in the book. The counterterrorist policy agenda needs to be narrowed and made more precise. The public needs to educate itself about the terror threat to understand that it is not a significant risk when weighed against others. Presidents need to be more careful with what words they use when describing America’s terrorist adversaries and with who they call terrorists. Recalibrating the terror threat will be difficult as it will take the public changing how it views the world and the threats within it.
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Goldsmith, Jack, The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration (New York: WW Norton, 2007), pp. 183–184; Schlesinger, Arthur, The Imperial Presidency (New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1973).
Tulis, Jeffrey K., The Rhetorical Presidency (Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017), p. 202.
Tulis, The Rhetorical Presidency, p. 208.
The Economist, “Learning to Live with It,” The Economist, 3 September 2016, http://www.economist.com/news/international/21706250-people-are-surprisingly-good-coping-repeated-terrorist-attacks-america-and.
Widmaier, Wesley W., Presidential Rhetoric from Wilson to Obama: Constructing Crises, Fast and Slow (New York: Routledge, 2015).
Goldsmith, The Terror Presidency, p. 187.
Goldsmith, The Terror Presidency, p. 188.
Goldsmith, The Terror Presidency, p. 190.
James Fallows made a similar case in an article in 2006. Fallows, James, “Declaring Victory,” The Atlantic, September 2006, https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2006/09/declaring-victory/305124/.
Gambetta, Diego, “Reason and Terror: Has 9/11 made it hard to think straight?” Boston Review, February/March 2004.
Nye, Joseph S., Jr., The Paradox of American Power: Why the World’s Only Superpower Can’t Go It Alone (New York: Oxford University Press, 2002) in Ivie, Robert L., Democracy and America’s War on Terror (Tuscaloosa, AL: University of Alabama Press, 2005), p. 2.
Vice, “SOFEX: The Business of War,” 5 July 2012, https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/mvp73b/sofex-the-business-of-war-full-length.
Saunders, Elizabeth N., Leaders at War: How Presidents Shape Military Interventions (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 2011), p. 221.
Saunders, Leaders at War, p. 222.
Winkler, Carol K., In the Name of Terrorism: Presidents on Political Violence in the Post-World War II Era (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2006), pp. 200–201.
Rubin, Gabriel, Freedom and Order: How Democratic Governments Restrict Civil Liberties After Terrorist Attacks—and Why Sometimes They Don’t (Lanham, MD: Lexington Books, 2011).
Levitsky, Steven and Daniel Ziblatt, How Democracies Die (New York, NY: Broadway Books), p. 93.
Levitsky and Ziblatt, How Democracies Die, p. 94.
Zakaria, Fareed, “It’s hard to be an optimist about America right now,” The Washington Post, 29 November 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/its-hard-to-be-an-optimist-about-america-right-now/2019/11/27/8020e526-115b-11ea-b0fc-62cc38411ebb_story.html.
See Salvatore, Christopher and Gabriel Rubin, “A Socio-Demographic Analysis of Responses to Terrorism,” Journal of Homeland Security and Emergency Management, 12:4 (December 2015).
Whitlock, Craig, “At War With the Truth,” The Washington Post, 9 December 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2019/investigations/afghanistan-papers/afghanistan-war-confidential-documents/.
See Wike, Richard, “7 Charts on How the World Views President Obama,” Pew Research Center, 24 June 2015, https://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2015/06/24/7-charts-on-how-the-world-views-president-obama/; Wan, William and Scott Clement, “Most of the world doesn’t actually see America the way Trump said it did,” The Washington Post, 18 November 2016, https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/national/obama-legacy/global-approval-rating.html.
Gerson, Michael, “Trump and his Fox News Supporters are no longer Content just spewing propaganda,” The Washington Post, 18 November 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/trump-spurs-a-wild-west-of-continuously-worsening-political-rhetoric/2019/11/18/59185e5a-0a3a-11ea-97ac-a7ccc8dd1ebc_story.html.
Winkler, In the Name of Terrorism, p. 211.
Winkler, In the Name of Terrorism, p. 191.
Winkler, In the Name of Terrorism, p. 198.
Winkler, In the Name of Terrorism, p. 199.
Ivie, Democracy and America’s War on Terror, p. 10.
Ivie, Democracy and America’s War on Terror, p. 15.
Ivie, Democracy and America’s War on Terror, p. 188.
DiMaggio, Anthony R., Selling War, Selling Hope: Presidential Rhetoric, the News Media, and U.S. Foreign Policy since 9/11 (Albany, NY: SUNY Press, 2015), p. 187.
Hodges, Adam, The “War on Terror” Narrative: Discourse and Intertextuality in the Construction and Contestation of Sociopolitical Reality (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2011), p. 160.
Ivie, Democracy and America’s War on Terror, p. 176.
Miller, Greg, “Rise of far-right violence leads some to call for realignment of post-9/11 national security priorities,” The Washington Post, 5 August 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/rise-of-far-right-violence-leads-some-to-call-for-realignment-of-post-911-national-security-priorities/2019/08/05/5a9b43da-b7ad-11e9-a091-6a96e67d9cce_story.html.
- How Can Presidents Properly Calibrate the Terror Threat?
- Chapter 5