Rhetorical studies, especially those outside of the traditional canon of rhetorical theory, can benefit from the work done by empirical researchers who study psychology and persuasion. A cross-pollination of disciplines opens many new lines of inquiry. For example, one way of unraveling and explaining the exigencies of a rhetorical moment is by deploying explanatory devices. For those who study political science, analysis of threat construction is used to understand how repressive regimes justify themselves. A scapegoat is constructed in order create a threat. Inoculation is related to this construction. In order to inoculate a public against an outside group, the group must be rhetorically presented as a threat. Threat construction is a modality of inoculation. This is the pernicious logic of scapegoating. Inoculation, a concept born in the study of persuasion, has much to offer rhetorical critics because it explains certain rhetorical maneuvers. It is a means of figuring out how we have arrived at a particular moment.