The American public is told that they can trust what the president says, except when he is joking. Jokers do not commit to the truth of what they are saying, but they do not commit to speaking untruth either. The joking frame discounts utterances, introducing not certainty, but endless ambiguity and argument. The White House’s invocation of the joking frame is one more element in the destabilizing of epistemology and in widening political, cultural, and social divisions.

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