Turning Point USA’s “Exposing Critical Racism Tour” website incorporates imagery and language to purport an alternate reality of critical race theory (critical race theory) in opposition to intellectuals in order to incite an ideological war against teachings of intellectuals. In order to create a sound argument and analysis of the historical and political framework constituted within their page and advertisements, I introduce a bridge between the largely political theory of anti-intellectualism and the rhetorical theory of rhetorical narrative. I propose Anti-Intellectualist Narrative Theory (ANT) as a new theoretical lens for analyzing the nationalistic and populist rhetorical frame created by an extensive history of oppositions to individuals who purport an intellectual authority over the common people. In constructing ANT, I aim to recognize how anti-intellectualism functions as a rhetorical narrative through three rhetorical strategies: anti-rationality, anti-elitism, and unreflective instrumentalism.
- “Critical Racism”: Anti-Intellectualism as a Rhetorical Narrative