The construction of America’s crisis and the fear of loss: - A study of Donald Trump’s second presidential campaign in 2020
This study identifies the structure of populist rhetoric in Trump’s second presidential election campaign in 2020. This is done through the combination of three key theoretical concepts: col-lective action frames; populist ‘othering’ based on vertical and horizontal dimensions; and framing of loss based on prospect theory. More specifically, the study explores the role of the framing of the ‘enemy’ in the motivational frame and the framing of ‘the problem’ in the diag-nostic frame in relation to different forms of othering and the role of framing of ‘loss’ in Trump’s rhetoric. The analysis shows that, Trump has used ‘othering’ to divide the society between ‘us’ ‘the people’ and ‘them’ ‘the enemy’ or ‘problem’. The study further demonstrates that there are three outcomes of strategies that Trump has used in his speeches: 1) intersections or overlapping different types of othering; 2) blurring the lines between ‘the enemy’ and ‘the problem’ or ‘the corrupted elites’ and ‘other’ groups as well as the framing of losses; and 3) the losses has been framed as a catastrophic threat for the nations’ values, economy and social security.