Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2020

Published In

Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies

Keywords

Vulgarity, Laughter, Populism, Comedy, Ridicule

Abstract

Laughter can provoke both cultural catharsis and sociopolitical critique. However, in an era of Trumpism, laughter has become troubled by vulgar rhetoric of shrugging off comic possibilities insofar as the act of “laughing-at” has overtaken US media culture. This essay argues that political laughter in the shadow of President Donald J. Trump is at risk of being enervated by an overwhelming sense of humorless ridicule. Nowhere is this more apparent than the infamous manifesto, “The Flight 93 Election,” which makes Trumpism into the laughable outgrowth of a crude comicality so prevalent in democratic—and anti-democratic—affairs.

DOI

10.1080/14791420.2020.1714067

Comments

This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis in Communication and Critical/Cultural Studies on January 25, 2020, available online: https://doi.org/10.1080/14791420.2020.1714067.

Rights

© 2020 National Communication Association

Available for download on Sunday, July 25, 2021

Included in

Communication Commons

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