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ST. ONGE, Jeffrey

Fall 2017, 47.4, pages 295-312

Neoliberalism as Common Sense in Barack Obama’s Health Care Rhetoric

Abstract: This essay explores the rhetorical qualities of neoliberalism through an analysis of economic and rhetorical theories of conventional wisdom and common sense. I analyze Barack Obama’s health care advocacy to demonstrate how neoliberal language animated his arguments for reform and frustrated his appeals to community. I argue that neoliberalism maintains its influence on political culture in large part because of its deep embeddedness in political language. The essay concludes with a discussion of how rhetors might operate within a culture marked by this prominent and often problematic discourse.





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