National Crises and Public Opinion as Political Symbols

As the President and many of his political allies in government chip away at democratic political institutions and processes, I think once again about my late colleague Murray Edelman, and the chapter he wrote on the political uses of “crisis” in his excellent book, Political Language. We should also think carefully about using the war metaphor to describe our struggles with the pandemic. Deeply problematic.  I doubt younger generations are familiar with Edelman’s work, so I share this particular chapter here. It’s well worth reading and thinking about.