Date of Graduation

Spring 2016

Degree

Master of Arts in Communication

Department

Communication

Committee Chair

Elizabeth Dudash

Keywords

myth, discourse, conservative, functional, formal

Subject Categories

Communication

Abstract

In 2014, Republican Senator Thad Cochran became "the fifth-longest serving senator in the nation's history" (Ward, 2014, para. 5). Yet, Cochran lost to an upstart conservative in the first round of Mississippi's Republican primary and, in response, wielded the power of myth to realign his state's conservative trajectory. In light of this event, the following analysis positioned a rhetorical reading of Cochran's campaign materials thru the lens of myth, revealing three strategic elements that allowed the senator to coalesce an unlikely base. Particularly highlighted are Cochran's transcendence of party labels and ideology, his attempt to position himself as the hero of a new narrative, an attempt to negate the existing conservative order, and a demonization his competitor. It is argued that these rhetorical elements were constructed in such a way as to ultimately change the trajectory of Mississippi's conservative narrative.

Copyright

© Nickolas James Nickols

Open Access

Included in

Communication Commons

Share

COinS