Cover

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Half Title Page, About the Series, Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

pdf iconDownload PDF
 

Contents

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. vii-viii

List of Tables and Figures

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. ix

read more

Acknowledgments

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. xi-xii

My father taught me to read. My professor and friend Mark Perlman taught me what it was good for. His family has continued to look after me since his passing. I owe many debts, to these souls and others, that I am unlikely to repay but can at least acknowledge...

read more

Introduction

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 1-3

This book is about the significance of the political sacred, moving beyond the pretense that citizens respond most readily to reasoned arguments geared to their self-interest. Sacredness can be understood as the sense in which a value is absolute, resisting the normal compromises and trade-offs with...

Part I: The Psychology of Sacred Rhetoric

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 5-72

read more

1. Sacred Rhetoric in American Politics

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 7-23

Mircea Eliade, the great historian of religion, wrote that human experience occurs in “a world capable of becoming sacred.”1 Eliade meant that this is true of all human societies, not merely among the explicitly religious. The sacred is not only for the pious. Perhaps more important is his recognition...

read more

2. Values and Value Conflict, Sacred Values and Sacred Rhetoric

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 25-40

Conceptualizing sacred rhetoric relies on an understanding of value conflict, the inevitable result of the condition that our political judgments rely on core values that cannot be justified. Sacred values are the most clear form of beliefs for which we make no pretense that their superiority can...

read more

3. The Reasoning Effect: Sacred Rhetoric and Deliberation

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 41-59

The form as well as the content of an appeal can affect how we perceive its message. An example of the influence of rhetorical form is the negative reaction of many American citizens to flag burning during the protests of the 1960s and 1970s. The same message without the same emotional response...

read more

4. The Activation Effect: Sacred Rhetoric and Participation

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 61-72

The shift from mundane opinion to sacred value signals not only a change in how citizens reason but also a change in how they engage in politics. The sacred shift engendered by absolutist rhetoric may have important consequences for American democracy, increasing citizen engagement at the...

Part II: Political Consequences of Sacred Rhetoric

pdf iconDownload PDF

p. 73

read more

5. “From My Cold, Dead Hands”: Sacred Rhetoric and Social Movements

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 75-102

Social movements throughout American history have not shied away from sacred commitments. Prominent examples include abolition, free silver, temperance, women’s suffrage, and civil rights, to name only a few. Contemporary movements grounded in sacred rhetoric include both the...

read more

6. The Absolutist Advantage: Sacred Rhetoric in the Bush Era

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 103-138

The significance of value language may be more clear to rhetoricians than to politicians. A popular rhetoric text from the 1960s concluded with this “moral law” of speaking...

read more

7. Sacred Rhetoric from Carter to Clinton: The 1976-1996 Presidential Debates

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 139-159

While the 2000 and 2004 elections are powerful examples of the role of sacred rhetoric, we may learn more by examining the influence of sacred appeals across a broader scope. In this chapter I examine the rhetoric of presidential hopefuls in the decades prior to the George W. Bush years, and...

read more

8. Sacred Rhetoric, the 2008 Campaigns, and the Democratic Party

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 161-207

Given the evidence for an absolutist advantage, our discussion ends with two questions of some importance to citizens and leaders on the left: can Democrats also gain the advantages of sacred rhetoric, and what impediments do they face? In this chapter I focus on the 2008 campaigns as an...

read more

Conclusion: "A Cure for Thought and the Diseases It Breeds"

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 209-214

Whether sacred rhetoric is a disease depends on your view of the groups who are gaining its political advantages, as well as your view of what constitutes a healthy democracy. One can easily come to a negative view, as sacred appeals increase discord and decrease deliberation. But this may be...

read more

Methodological Appendix: Subjects, an Experimental Approach

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 215-221

“If we are to talk about the human mind, let us start with human beings.” With these words, Robert Lane starts his classic text on American thought, Political Ideology: Why the Common Man Believes What He Does. Like Lane, our purpose is to understand a facet of political thinking—in this case how...

Notes

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 223-247

References

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 249-258

Index

pdf iconDownload PDF

pp. 259-263

Back cover

pdf iconDownload PDF