Baylor Presidential Rhetoric Expert Featured in USA TODAY re: Scalise, GOP shootingJune 15, 20171 min read
Martin Medhurst, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor of Rhetoric and Communication, is featured in this USA TODAY story regarding the role of rhetoric in the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R-LA) and four others. Medhurst, a renowned expert on presidential rhetoric and political communication, helped put into historic context the role of violent and divisive rhetoric in American history.
"You can go back to the election of 1800 between Jefferson and Adams and find a whole lot of quite outrageous statements made on both sides," he told USA TODAY. "The same is true throughout American political history. We had one guy, [Charles] Sumner, who was caned on the floor of the Senate and almost killed. We have a long history of violence in this country, both rhetorical and otherwise."
"I think what has changed in the 21st century is the nature of the different media of communication and especially the rise of social media, where people apparently believe that they can pretty much say anything," he said.