Abstract

This essay reads the oratory and policy platforms presented at the 2004 presidential nominating conventions as markers of U.S. national identity. The analysis reveals that Democrats present a complicated, nuanced vision of U.S. national identity, a vision premised upon the toleration and celebration of difference and a value of equality. Republicans, conversely, articulated a more straightforward sense of national identity that was convinced of American superiority, suspicious of government involvement in economic matters, and ultimately guided by a responsibility to protect long-standing values. The essay concludes with a call to reexamine even the most banal and mundane campaign discourse for its capacity to express national values and a sense of U.S. national identity.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1534-5238
Print ISSN
1094-8392
Pages
pp. 639-656
Launched on MUSE
2006-03-30
Open Access
No
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