Resolute Square

Jennifer Mercieca

Award-Winning Professor, Author, and Resolute Square Contributor

About Jennifer Mercieca

Dr. Jennifer Mercieca is an award-winning Professor in the Department of Communication & Journalism at Texas A&M University. She writes about American political discourse, especially as it relates to citizenship, democracy, and the presidency. Jennifer has published three books: Founding Fictions, The Rhetoric of Heroic Expectations: Establishing the Obama Presidency, and Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump.

Her 2020 book on Donald Trump’s rhetoric (Demagogue for President: The Rhetorical Genius of Donald Trump) was reviewed in the Washington Post, which said, “it deserves a place alongside George Orwell’s ‘Politics and the English Language’ and Harry G. Frankfurt’s ‘On Bulls---.’ It’s a brilliant dissertation on Trump’s patented brand of balderdash. That makes it one of the most important political books of this perilous summer.” Reviews in Politico and Salon called the book a “must read” and “highly recommended.”





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Stormy Daniels Has Already Won.
With Trump's indictment looming, the culmination of a 17-year battle is upon us. But Jen Mercieca writes that we don't need to wait to see who won in the grand scheme. Way to reclaim your humanity, Stormy Daniels!
May 16, 2024
Authoritarians Like Trump Don’t Debate
Dr. Jen Mercieca writes, "Trump has repeatedly shown the nation that while he might stand on the debate stage and look like someone who is there to debate, he most definitely is not." Why? Authoritarians don't debate.
April 24, 2024
On Defining Democratic America
Need a dose of hope? Jen Mercieca brings it writing, "Not only...does it make good strategic sense for Democrats to embrace the terms of stability in American political discourse, not only would it help to defend American democracy from autocracy, but embracing these terms now might ultimately help to make America more democratic than it was before Trumpism."
March 14, 2024
Dumbest MAGA Move: Attack Taylor Swift
Jen Mercieca explains how wanna-be dictators like Trump try to turn the weakest in society into "hate objects" which makes attacking Taylor Swift one of MAGA's dumbest ideas in a long time.
January 31, 2024
Trump Is A Huge Loser
Dr. Jennifer Mercieca explains why Trump is a huge loser and how she can tell that he knows what a loser he is and is scared.
January 31, 2024
Strategy Session with Special Guest: Dr. Jen Mercieca!
Strategy Session

Strategy Session

This episode is a banger! Jen Mercieca, Rick, Stuart, and Joe cover everything from Trump as the "Second Coming" to MAGA's VERY BAD IDEA of declaring war on Taylor Swift and the Swifties. Jen unpacked the rhetorical tricks that fuel MAGA and hijack their brains. Catch up now!
January 30, 2024
We, The Political Tune-Outs And Political Junkies
Jen Mercieca writes: "Modern-day tune-outs might still get political news in ambient ways—when they do, it’s usually from unreliable sources and tends to be heavily skewed toward outrage-bait and conspiracy lies."
January 25, 2024
Fascism Watch
Dr. Jennifer Mercieca writes: "Conditions are right for fascism, we have all the ingredients for fascism, but fascism is not pre-determined—we can still stop it."
December 21, 2023
Trump is Running for Dictator
"Dictators don’t typically self-limit their own power to two issues and then give up power, but Trump would like his followers to believe that he would be a special, one-day-only, limited-time dictator," writes Jenn Mercieca. Don't believe him.
December 7, 2023
Trump’s Hitler Strategy (Reductio ad Hitlerum)
"Trump’s staff has quasi-denied that his fascist turn of phrase is actually fascist—they did it with a wink by threatening fascist violence. We’re once again debating whether or not Trump is literally or figuratively Hitler. Don’t debate that," writes Dr. Jen Mercieca.
November 15, 2023
Gagged, and Gagged Again
"'I can do whatever I want,' Trump said in a speech on October 11, 'but I did nothing wrong'... it could have just as easily been a statement about any of the cases against him. Or, really, it could have been a statement about anything he might ever be accused of doing wrong. It’s his life philosophy," writes Dr. Jen Mercieca.
October 19, 2023
Joe Biden’s Heroic Presidency
"While the Republican Party uses the chaos and outrage spectacle to dominate our public sphere, Biden’s presidential achievements receive little attention," writes Dr. Jennifer Mercieca and she suggests we all might need to ask ourselves why that is.
October 5, 2023
Why Trump’s Supporters Want The Long Con
Dr. Jennifer Mercieca examines how Donald Trump used communication to con his supporters and suggests strategies to cool out his marks and defend democracy in America.
September 12, 2023
Attacking Democracy: It’s All Upside For Trump
Violence is essential to fascism, as Benito Mussolini explained: “fascism does not, generally speaking, believe in the possibility or utility of perpetual peace.”
August 16, 2023
Rhetorical Tricks New
Propaganda Power of Nostalgia
Jen Mercieca warns of the propaganda power of nostalgia: Your memories about the past are incomplete, easily shaped by others, and a vulnerability to propaganda. Fascists know that.
July 7, 2023
Rhetorical Tricks New
Trump Violates Democracy on CNN
"Trump has not changed. Trump will not change. Trump continues to be a threat to the United States and the free world—and Republican audiences still love it," writes Jen Mercieca after CNN's 90-minute demagogue festival.
May 11, 2023
Rhetorical Tricks New
Tucker Carlson's Show Was Bad For America
White genocide, fake vaccines, Ukrainian bio-labs? Tucker has spent his time at Fox pushing a whole lot of poison into the American public.
April 27, 2023
Rhetorical Tricks New
Oh Yes, He’s The Great Pretender
America has a President of the United States and a Pretender in the United States. When it comes to Trump, playing pretend is no game and this time, the media can't come to play.
April 6, 2023
Distinction without a Difference: Weirdifying Anti-Trans Discourse
Conservatives like Michael Knowles have made it clear that their goal is to erase trans people from existence - with GOP laws already attempting to forcibly detransition people in the south. Jen breaks down how to dissect this anti-trans rhetoric and weirdify it.
March 8, 2023
Rhetorical Tricks compact
Biden Weirdifies Putin’s War Propaganda
At every turn leading up to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Putin and his mouthpieces lied about their intentions and Biden and his team weirdified them.
February 23, 2023
Rhetorical Tricks compact
How To Save Democracy: Weirdify Fascism
Fascists want to control what we talk about and how we think about it. To save democracy, we have to weirdify what fascists desperately want to make normal.
February 8, 2023
Rhetorical Tricks compact
Why Some Will Forever Buy The Big Lie
Some will never quit believing Trump's big lie and he has proven that he'll never stop telling it. Jen Mercieca explains why this conspiracy works despite the facts.
January 26, 2023
Rhetorical Tricks compact
The Truth About Conspiracy Theory
We're wired to find conspiracies appealing, but they are a trap door into a maze. But unlike a maze, the conspiracy makes our brain less capable of finding the way out - or even wanting to.
January 12, 2023
Rhetorical Tricks compact
Ideas Are Weapons: the Overton Window And Fascism
Propagandists use “conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses.” Why? Because it works.
December 29, 2022
Rhetorical Tricks compact
Frame Warfare: The Battle Over Your Brain
The propagandists' battle to control how we think about things, events, people, and political controversies is called framing. Right-wing framing is dangerous to democracy.
December 13, 2022
Rhetorical Tricks compact
Treason To The Democratic Way Of Life
Fascists and authoritarians are working to end American democracy. If we don’t “do democracy,” Dr. Jennifer Mercieca warns, they might succeed.
November 29, 2022


Donald Trump
Donald Trump
Twice-impeached 45th POTUS and wannabe authoritarian dictator who orchestrated a violent insurrection to overthrow the US Government in order to remain president despite losing re-election to Joseph R. Biden by 7,059,547 votes.
2024 Presidential Election
2024 Presidential Election
The 60th quadrennial presidential election, scheduled for Tuesday, November 5, 2024, is considered to be the most consequential election of our lifetimes where Americans will have the opportunity to protect democracy and democratic norms from extreme right-wing policies, racial violence and growing threat of authoritarianism by Republicans.
Defending Democracy
Defending Democracy
Democracy is under attack. The authoritarian GOP knows they can't win if democracy does, so they attack voting rights and Civil Rights. They are wrong. We are right.
MAGA - Make America Great Again
MAGA - Make America Great Again
The MAGA movement enabled the Republican Party to fully become what it had evolved into, an anti-democratic, authoritarian movement set on disenfranchising voters and enabling a shrinking white majority to wrest control from an increasingly diverse majority.
The Ultra MAGA Movement
The Ultra MAGA Movement
President Biden coined the term “Ultra-MAGA” to describe the current extremist contingent within the Republican Party that has become the driving force for the GOP’s increasingly radical agenda. Of course, they embraced the description.
Authoritarianism has been making progress in the US for years. Today, that movement is best known as the Republican Party. We will stop them.
Joe Biden
Joe Biden
President of the United States since 2021
Donald Trump indictment
Donald Trump indictment
Some say fever dream. Others say inevitable. We say, no democracy can survive without accountability mete out through the rule of law, and its equal application regardless of status, power, or position. The threat of the GOP's fascistic authoritarian movement increases with the belief that there is no accountability for people at the top.