Domestic Politics in Netherlands
Caribbean Nations to Seek Reparations, Putting Price on Damage of Slavery by Stephen Castle
The trade on slavery is mercenary, indefensible barbarity, brutal and inhuman in totality as describe by Britain’s Foreign Secretary in his 2008 biography. This was during the antislavery campaigner conducted against slavery across the world but majorly concentrated with Netherlands. The politics of Netherlands as highlighted by Steven in his article was majorly based on human resource and slavery in early years. They has a heated debate on whether apology to be issued publically and reparations accorded to all those involved. Although slavery is highly condemned in Netherlands, the aftermath of the country’s involvement in the trade haunt the political leaders even today. They are faced with a dilemma of whether to go public acknowledging the atrocities met by slaves especially Africans. Although Dutch Social Affairs Minister in 2006 expressed his deep sorrow and regret over slave trade, the cloud on Dutch officials with the country’s involvement in the trade is nowhere near to end according to Stephen (Stephen 1).
Dutch authorities believe that such actions would rubber stamp ancient injustices advanced by colonial master. Other countries in the Caribbean region have acknowledged the atrocities associated with slave trade and even paid up compensations. In addition, they are in the processes of presenting public apologies to all affected. Such countries include Britain when they offered an out of court agreement with descendants of Kenyan slaves taken captive by British authorities. In 1970, French authorities recognized their roles and responsibilities and offered a public apology.
The main reason why Netherlands are yet to initiate any reconciliation measures with countries and groups involved in slave trade is due to the political realignments. According to Stephen, the political system in Netherlands is so critical that any public behavior greatly determines the term of office of public servants. Therefore, any public apology or compensation for slave trade victims would vindicate the actions taken by their country. This is an action the countrymen are not ready to now or in future. Hence, public servants in political systems are more concerned with their political careers rather than uphold dignity for slave trade victims (Stephen 2).
Government Structure: Netherlands
Netherlands is a unitary State with a parliamentary representative democracy as well as a constitutional monarchy. A good example of a concociational State is Netherlands due to its governance structure and politics which are characterized by general consensus especially with regard to essential public deliberations. The government structure consists of the Monarchy, parliament (State General), cabinet and the judicial system. However, there are other three distinct high colleges of state with equal status and mandate just like parliament although they are limited with regard to political roles. These three colleges of state include the municipalities, provinces and the water boards. There are also well structured systems comprising of political parties in Netherlands as well as Social Economic Council although these two organs of the state are not enshrined in the constitution. The governance structure does not follow the traditional separation of powers and all state organs share legislative powers as stipulated in the constitution.
However, the legislative authority and power (privileges) is a reserve of the government without sharing with other state organs. Although social economic council and political parties have the right to make and enforce certain legislations, the government reserves the right to either revoke or endorse them. The judicial department in Netherlands is divided into two separate arms; the criminal and civil on one hand and the Supreme Court on the other independently executing its mandate and responsibilities without interference of other state organs (Amsterdam.info 1).
The government in Netherlands is charged to coalitions of political institutions and parties from different affiliations and ideologies. Democratic elections are held across the country to constitute parliament which in turn headed by the Prime Minister. Prime Minister comes from the party with majority of seats in parliament following a general election. The King in turn hands over the mandate of forming the government to the leader with majority seats in parliament or any other important political figure from the part who becomes the Prime Minister. However, no member of the parliament is permitted constitutionally to serve in any other capacity in the government. This clause in the constitution clearly demonstrates how democratic political parties, institutions and systems are democratic with regard to government formation in Netherlands.
The political configuration in Netherlands allows the position of a Secretary General who forms the senior most civil servant below the Prime Minister. The structure of government in Netherlands clearly illustrates the rule of law and respect of constitution from the political institutions and parties in the country. Although as discussed earlier there is no traditional separation of power, every institution is tasked with various distinct responsibilities. In general, there is total power separation and every institution is constitutionally mandated with a special task. In conclusion, the political process in Netherlands is democratic anchored in the constitution (Amsterdam.info 1).
Amsterdam.info. Political System of the Netherlands, Retrieved on 31st October 2013 from: http://www.amsterdam.info/netherlands/political-system/
Stephen, Castle. Caribbean Nations to Seek Reparations, Putting Price on Damage of Slavery, Retrieved on 31st October 2013 from: http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/21/world/americas/caribbean-nations-to-seek-reparations-putting-price-on-damage-of-slavery.html?_r=0
Interest Group and Free-Rider Problem
The United States has two lasting political parties and numerous interest groups. Many wonder why the country has many interest groups and only two political parties. While political parties focus on issues affecting the government of the day, interest groups focus on one or few challenges affecting a specific group of people. This makes many people opt to join an interest group since they benefit from the group. One of the factors that make people join interest groups is the intricacy of the society. As the society becomes complex, it becomes hard for people to pursue their needs independently. Through interest groups, people are able to articulate their needs and push for their implementation. Another reason why people join interest groups is the desire to attain a state of equilibrium. Disadvantaged groups that do not have a voice in politics tend to establish interest groups as a way to reorganize them and gain stability.
Interest groups offer a number of incentives, which encourage many people to join the groups. The incentives include purposive incentive, solidary benefit, and expressive incentive. Purposive incentives are benefits that members of an interest group get after working on a particular cause. The majority of individuals that join interest groups due to purposive incentives are avid about the mission of the interest group. Expressive incentive refers to a situation where interest groups give individuals a platform to express their ideas. In many cases, these incentives are given by civil societies where people get an opportunity to express themselves without intimidation. Apart from expressive and purposive incentives, people join interest groups due to solidary benefits. These benefits include socializing amiability, fun, hospitality, and maintenance of social status. One of the factors that make people refrain from joining interest groups is the perception that the groups discourage democracy. Some people perceive that interest groups fight for interests of few people at the expense of the majority. For instance, while many Americans call for strict gun laws, the National Riffle Association works hard to thwart efforts intended at implementing such rules. Despite the incentives, interest groups encounter free-rider problems.
Free-rider problem refers to a situation where some members of the interest groups benefit from the activities of the group without partaking in these activities. In such a case, the members sit back and watch as others work hard to achieve the goals of the interest group, only to come in and enjoy the results. Interest groups may use different approaches to curb free-ride problems. These approaches include, coming up with selective incentives, spreading fear and instilling anger among the people, and seeking assistance from patrons as compared to all the group members. An interest group may package selective incentives with its products with an aim of benefiting its members. This would discourage free-riders since only the group members would benefit from the incentives.
A good example is the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) interest group, which gives discounts to its members when paying for automobile insurance or purchasing books and shoes from Noble and Rockport stores respectively. Another approach that helps to curb free rider problem is relying on patrons instead of depending on a big number of potential members. Patrons are individuals with financial capacity and who are dedicated to the group’s interests. Therefore, the patrons fund the group and solicit for financial assistance rather than depending on group members. Interest groups may also use fear and anger to discourage free-riders. This is normally utilized in instances where real events do not spur staid emotions especially in politics. Interest groups use fear-mongering to encourage or discourage people from adopting a particular idea.
Media, Public opinion, and Democracy
Democracies can be divided into two fundamental groups; direct democracy and representative democracy. In a direct democracy, citizens are able to participate in making public decisions without the intermediary of elected or appointed officials. Direct democracy is most practical when there are relatively small numbers of people in a community organization. They can meet in a single room to talk about any issue that is affecting the community. They usually arrive at decisions by consent or even by majority vote. Representative democracy is the most common form of democracy nowadays.
Citizens elect officials that are able to make political decisions, administer programs, and formulate laws for the public good as a whole (Pridham, 1997). Public opinion normally serves the entire population in its effort to present criticisms as well as incitements to definite actions. Every citizen has the right to gather round information and also contribute in one way or another to the expression of public opinion. The paper discuses public opinion and democracy, media and democracy, how media can be biased, media censorship, and government influence on public views.
Public opinion and democracy
Public opinion very influential as far as democracy is concerned. Citizens or specific groups can make up a public opinion as long as it reflects on their community, expresses their criticisms, proposals, or agreements to manipulate any construction of political will. In a plural society, it is not possible to talk about only one public opinions because there are always several stands. This means that public opinion is a tool that can be used to control politicians leading the country. However, this is imperative for the opposition because the politicians are only potentially on the go in front of the government through this public opinion (Laufer & Paradeise, 1989).
Media and democracy
As far as the dissemination of positions and opinions are concerned, the media such as radio, television, newspapers, and internet play a significant role in any democracy. Nowadays, mass societies communicate through mass media. Exchange of information is only possible through direct contacts of exchange of ideas. This is as a result of societies having seen a high growth in the population. Political parties are predominantly calling on the media to put down their projects as well as stands before the population through this media. It is widely acknowledged that democracies are no longer characterized by direct communication; it is through media communication (Laufer & Paradeise, 1989).
How media can be biased
Media plays an essential role in society. This is because they can provide information to the public for both individual and collective decision-making. Media bias has several sources. Bias could reflect the preferences of the owner of the news organization. In the United States, corporations own major news organizations. Media bias could also have demand-side explanations. Individuals have a demand for news as entertainment and may have a demand for stories that are consistent with their political or social viewpoints. This may provide an incentive for a news organization to bias stories to cater to particular clientele. Similarly, a news outlet that relies on advertising revenue may cater to high-income subscribers.
Bias can also arise from lack of balance leading to one side of a story receiving unwarranted attention. This may be ideological and in this case, the owners, editors, or journalists present stories that support particular worldviews. Bias could also be partisan, where owners, editors, and journalists present stories to support the policies or causes espoused by political parties or interest groups. Bias could also be due to the fabrication of information, from information hidden or distorted by sources, or from career concerns of journalists who compete to be published or be on the air. Bias could arise from the personal preferences of journalists.
Censorship shows a collective desire by government to protect its citizens from the manipulation of certain publications, it can also be materials deemed unwanted through regulations. These regulations may effect through banning and suppression. The regulations can also be effected by limiting its access according to age groups or qualifications. Such regulations works effectively when there is punitive measures put in place. Censorship of any form to any matter typically elicits some reactions to those who are affected by the move. Some will support the censorship move and there will be those who are absolutely not for it. On rare occasion, there will be convergence of opinion. The absolutely opposed responses indicate that there are some applicable issues that relate to censorship. These have been around for a long time, even before the advent of the digital age and the internet (Magoon, 2010).
Case study: Social media and censorship in China
In China, the use of social media is censored in at least three ways. The first censorship is seen in the Great Firewall of China. This does not allow certain total web sites from operating in china. This means that Great Firewall becomes a clear problem to the foreign-based Internet firms. However, this will not prevent the Chinese from expressing themselves through the social media. When Facebook is blocked in China, Chinese uses RenRen, which is a close substitute of facebook. When is blocked, Chinese use Sina Weibo which is a clone of Twitter in China.
The second media censorship in china is through keyword blocking. Keyword blocking stops users from posting messages or texts that have banned words as well as phrases. Chinese have come up with netizens that can easily outsmart automated programs. They employ metaphors, analogies, satire, and other evasions. This is possible because Chinese language provides room for evasions such as substituting characters for those banned with others that have unrelated meanings but sound the same or looking similar. The third form of censorship is hand censoring. Brainy phrasing cannot elude hand censoring. Anything that is difficult to understand and evades censors is likely to evade most of the audience as well (Deibert et.al. 2010).
Chinese citizens are increasingly calling for freedoms and reforms as far as social media use is concerned. Whereas China has observed a boom in the attractiveness of social media and Internet sites, the Chinese that access online sites nowadays stay put under the watchful eye of the state. China has locked up more Internet activists than any other country in the world, and its Internet consistently ranks amongst the most restrictive worldwide. Chinese citizens are not able to voice an assortment of criticism that they are facing as a nation. Chinese citizens tweeting in relation to local corruption face the threat of harassment. Citizens expressing dissatisfaction over tainted food supplies injuring children, who are the most helpless population, are subjected to harassment. In addition, Chinese who voice the desire for democracy as well as the right to protections are locked into the official custody of the state and this is where they will face anguish and confinement (Deibert et.al. 2010).
Government influence on public opinion by use of media
Government is the most powerful influence on people and their decisions today because government spends great amount of money a year and every dollar carry the power to affect decisions through laws, regulations, grants, entitlements, and tax credits. Media are considered as the forth power coming after the judiciary, the executive and the legislative powers, because they constitute in fact the most important controlling tools of the public opinion. Media practice is as diverse as it is dissimilar though in general, there are certain common tendencies shared by almost all the governments of the different states in regards to the manner in which they tolerate, or more appropriately suppress media freedom.
These include for instance the fact that almost all the governments have retained the panoply of media-unfriendly laws extensively used by their colonial predecessors to fight the activities of the press during the then violent wars of national liberation.
Authoritarian governments often use censorship laws or regulations to control the flow of news. In some countries, nothing may be printed or broadcast until the government censor has approved it. At times governments will direct papers or magazines to make deletions after their product has been prepared for printing or is already printed. This leaves tantalizing white spaces or missing pages.
Government officials often write or edit television and radio scripts, and media outlets must broadcast these without editorial changes. Media also may be controlled through the manipulation of access to news. Information may be put beyond the reach of media by declaring it to be confidential and by barring reporters from government archives. In addition to such formal control of potentially damaging news, informal restraints curb the actual flow of news. All government units, and often many of their subdivisions, have information control systems by which they determine which news to conceal or release and how to frame it.
Public opinion serves the whole population in its effort to display criticisms and its incitements to well defined actions. Each citizen has the right to gather information and to contribute somehow to the expression of public opinion when he/she organizes, for instance, a meeting in order to exchange information. In this context, political and social human rights play an important role: the freedom of opinion, as well as freedom to hold meetings and to set up associations, which allow citizens to participate in the expression of public opinion, without having to put up with any pressure. Public opinion then constitutes a controlling tool, which is very important in a democracy and which implies that it is only politicians who confront this public opinion who can display true interest for citizens’ desiderata.
China’s Internet censorship is first and foremost a deplorable practice that perverts what should be the greatest tool for communication and freedom into a tool for an authoritarian regimes control of information and of its citizens. However, the major economic distortions of this practice also demand action under the international trade system, one that China must at least be seen as respecting due to its own dependence on trade.
Deibert, R., Palfrey, J. G., Rohozinski, R., Zittrain, J., & OpenNet Initiative. (2010).Access controlled the shaping of power, rights, and rule in cyberspace. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press.
Laufer, R., & Paradeise, C. (1989). Marketing democracy: Public opinion and media formation in democratic societies. New Brunswick, N.J: Transaction Publishers.
Magoon, K. (2010). Media censorship. Edina, Minn: ABDO Pub. Co.
Pridham, G. (1997). Building democracy?: The international dimension of democratisation in Eastern Europe. London [u.a.: Leicester Univ. Press.
Media, Public opinion, and Democracy 5
Results of the Black Power Movement of the 1960s
Black Power Movement refers to a political movement that grew from the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. The movement emerged owing to the activities of black political activists claiming for a radical reform of institutions within the American society (Joseph, 273). It strove to express novel racial consciousness among the Blacks in the United States. Black movement called for Black people to recognize their heritage, unite, define their own objectives, lead their organizations, and build a sense of society. It stressed self-determination, social equality, racial pride, and economic independence through establishment of black cultural and political institutions. The Black Power Movement had numerous significant results on black cultural, societal, and political consciousness, an aspect that this entry endeavors at exploring.
Black Power Movement was a fundamental stage in the development of African American political consciousness. It contributed significantly to understanding of African American politics. It demonstrated the limitations of pluralism, and elucidated the concept of internal colonialism as a substitute theory in explaining black politics. Moreover, it introduced the novel concept of racism, whilst making clear the relationship of racism to White supremacy. Equally, it introduced individual and institutional racism as new typologies of racism. These contributions exercised significant influences in the study and research on African American politics. Ultimately, the contributions led to establishment of black politics as a recognized field of study within American political science. By the end of 1960s, the radical political consciousness that had been ostensibly a blip on the domestic radar screen emerged a major thrust in black politics.
The Black Power Movement resulted in entrenchment of positive racial identity in the African American consciousness. Black people started referring to themselves as Black as opposed to Negro. Various African Americans sought cultural heritage, and the pedigree of black identity as part of the movement. It was the first time that the African American culture perceived being black’ as a beautiful thing. The new black consciousness found its way into the culture of African Americans through African clothes and afro hairstyles as African Americans began celebrating their culture audaciously and publicly. Some Blacks settled on doing African garb and adopting African names. In 1966, the students of Howard University elected a homecoming queen, who wore an afro hairstyle, and ran on a black power platform.
The Black Powerites adopted the tune black is beautiful’.
The Black Power Movement did not solely represent a transformation in tactical strategy but also a transformation in mind-set. For example, the black music industry that had its roots in rhythm, blues, and gospel became nationalist in an unexpected manner. Many songs established a distinguishing sound, which became the preferred expression for the generation of politically conscious African Americans. The socially and politically conscious music offered an enormous background for the cultural experience of Black America. As Jeffrey establishes, one of the most pervasive influences of the Black Power Movement was the trendy music of the epoch (110).
Blues and music produced by artists such as Sam Cooke, Ike Turner, and James Brown gained a new name, soul music. Soul was a generic term for phenomena reflecting the unique attributes of blackness. Soul reflected the new black mood for self-determination and resistance that pervaded the black communities during the period. Additionally, the black press provided significant insight into the ubiquity of the black cultural nationalism during the Black Power Movement period. The advertisements for skin-whiteners almost disappeared as most cosmetic products and clothing exploited Black Power iconography. Therefore, the Black Power Movement resulted in cultivation and promotion of black culture. The focus of cultural autonomy of the Black Movement has survived and grown in strength up to date.
The Black Power Movement resulted in the establishment of Black student unions. The movement’s attempt to transform existing American institutions succeeded resulting in an increase in the number of African-American students, faculty, and staff in the White universities. The movement demanded more black faculty, proactive admission and recruitment policies, and black studies programs. Black power activists asserted that most African Americans knew hardly anything pertaining to their history. Equally, raising the level of political consciousness among Blacks, the Black Movement continued to utilize the universities as active sites of ideological and political struggle. The contemporary Black Studies Movement was a result of the radical politics liberation advocated by the Black movement activists.
The Black Power Movement resulted in the improvement of the African American communities. Black movement activists felt the power to prove to the Whites that Blacks deserved equal rights. Hence, the Black movement acted as the foundation for the formation of the Black Panther Party, which represented the ultimate point of the immense rebellion against poverty and racism that swept the United States in 1950s and 1960s. Militant philosophies of Malcolm X impelled frustrated activists within Oakland, California, to create the Black Panther Party in 1966. The party required immediate fairness for Blacks in terms of fair employment opportunities, health care, and educational services.
The Black Power Movement did not emerge from a vacuum. However, it was firmly rooted within the rich tradition of the Black protest. Owing to its extensive organization, it managed to heighten the cultural and political consciousness of the oppressed Black populace. Equally, the Black Power Movement had profound results on the struggle for equality among the Blacks. Ultimately, it is apparent that the Black Power Movement had significant results on African American politics and identity, which led to Black Nationalism.
Jeffrey, Ogbar. Black Power: Radical Politics and African American Identity. Maryland: JHU Press, 2005. Print.
Joseph, Peniel. The Black Power Movement: Rethinking the Civil Rights-Black Power Era. New York, NY: CRC Press, 2006. Print.
Interest Groups and Political Parties
Interest groups refer to private organizations or groups that strive to influence the ruling group or the government to respond to the attitudes and ideas shared by members of the group. Political parties, on the other hand, are organizations that endeavor to attain political power within the government by participating in an electro campaigns (Baumgartner & Leech, 1998).
How Interest Groups and Parties Have Developed
The growth of interest groups began in the 1940s and accelerated in the 1960s. During the 1960s, many Americans joined single issue groups to voice their concerns. At the same time, there was a change in the campaign financing policy, giving room for the formation of Political Action Committees (PACs). PACs organized for campaign financial pools for a given candidate in a given political party that could represent the issues of the interest group. Large organizations, such as universities, government agencies, and churches formed their own organizations to represent their political interests. Washington DC was the headquarter of the majority of the interest groups that formed under the phrase where the ducks are. Various factors, including federalism, heterogeneous environment demanding for the varying needs of each group, and principles of the constitutions that provides freedom of speech, and the right to petition fanned the growth of interest groups (Hays, 2000).
Towards 1940, the US had a rigid political party system with two parties representing two broad groups. The Democratic Party represented the poor or less affluent and the ethnically disadvantaged because it supported social programs and welfare. On the other hand, the republican was supported by the affluent as it reflected their demands. However, increase in the number of interest groups made it difficult for parties to remain in the same rigid representational. The emergency of the elite electro class has necessitated the need for the parties to change their ideologies to accommodate the interest of everyone (Hays, 2000).
Towards 2001, there were about 22,000 interest groups in the US, but only two parties. The formation of many interest groups has been necessitated by the fact that membership in each group shares a common interest, and thus, it has been able to form. Liberalization of human rights has made it easy for interest groups for special groups such as the gays and lesbians and thus the interest groups in the contemporary generation has developed into lobbyist groups.
The democratic system has allowed the formation of majority of interest groups. As a result, it is easy for the needs of anyone to be known to the elected officials irrespective of their political party. At the same time, the informal traditions and formal structure of the politics in the US means that interest groups have a fertile ground represent the interests of its members. For instance, in the US, the executive and the legislature have separate powers. This means that the congress and presidential elections are politically separate events. Each legislature must construct a winning coalition that focuses on the issues of the interest groups (Baumgartner & Leech, 1998). This means that a winning coalition is the one that represents the interest of its members.
Baumgartner, F., & Leech, B. (1998). Basic Interests: The Importance of Groups in Politics and Political Science . Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Hays, A. (2000). The Role of Interest Groups. Retrieved August 14, 2013, from The Bureau of International Information Programs: http://www.ait.org.tw/infousa/zhtw/docs/demopaper/dmpaper9.html
INTEREST GROUPS AND POLITICAL PARTIES 3
Running head: INTEREST GROUPS AND POLITICAL PARTIES
Television adverts are designed by political consultants and the campaign team to influence voters. The first TV campaign adverts were used in1952 USA general elections. Since then, subsequent elections have seen increased adverts (Devlin, 1993, pp. 70-98).This essay will establish pertinent issues in TV election adverts and how the candidates portray themselves and their opponents. The essay will also contrast and compare various TV adverts and identify their influence of negative adverts on the voters.
Issues in TV campaign adverts.
The first campaign TV advert was aired in the 1952 USA presidential elections. It was used by Eisenhower .It was a series of short spots that appeared during commercial breaks in advertising and entitled,”Eisenhover Answers America” (Blumler, 1979, pp. 60,61). Issues demonstrated in the adverts were education, inflation and the Korean War. These adverts intensified during the 1956 elections and covered issues of Communism and Segregation (Blumler, 1979, pp. 45,46,47).The 1960 election had issues of Cold War and corruption allegation against Richard Nixon (Devlin, 1993, p. 29). The 1964 elections had vigorous TV adverts .Major issues were social programmes and segregation. This continued in the 1968 presidential election where the adverts dwelled on the issue of the Vietnam War (Raymond, 2007, pp. 23-25).
How candidates portray themselves in campaigns adverts.
Presidential candidate Dwight D.Eisenhover in the 1952 elections portrayed himself as an ordinary man (Hofstetter, 1976, p. 88).In the 1960 elections ,Richard Nixon in a television address demonstrated himself as a stronger and experienced candidate. (Brabe, 1976, pp. 22,23,24).A similar scenario appeared in the 1964 elections where democrats portrayed themselves as experienced with right leadership.
How candidates portray their opponents in TV adverts.
Campaign teams design adverts that depict their opponents as weak (Raymond, 2007, p. 24).In the 1952 election,Eisenhover portrayed the Truman administration as perpetrators of corruption (Blumler, 1979, p. 34).In the 1960 elections, Jon F Kennedy was accused by Richard Nixon as a catholic sympathizer. In the 1964 elections democrats claimed that Goldwater’s policies were dangerous and would cause war (Ansolabehere & Shanto, 1995, p. 22)
Citation of Negative political adverts.
In 1952,Ricahrd Nixon,Eisenhovers running mate was accused of receiving $18,000 from wealthy donors in a TV advert (Ansolabehere & Shanto, 1995, p. 33).The advert went ahead to reveal Eisenhovers medical history to the public in a form of an animated cartoon (Blumler, 1979, pp. 76,68). Drama unfolded in 1964 when Johnson Barry designed a negative advert against Goldwater by using the, Daisy Girl” (Borman, 1993, pp. 22-24).The advert used fear and guilty. In the recent years, George Bush campaign team aired a spot advert entitled,’RATS” as way of making voters look at the word bereucrats.The most recent mudsling was in the 2012 election.
The republicans run an advert that depicted Obama as a non-American (Raul, 2012, pp. 45-47).They also depicted the Obama healthcare as a raid on Americans. The democrats countered the advert by portraying Mitt Romney as a tax evader (Raul, 2012, p. 27).It is clear that all these TV political adverts have similarity in that they all portray their opponents as people of quire characters. The initially adverts had emphasis on policies .This is contrary to today’s adverts where attention is on the individual. A clear example is the adverts on the birth of president Obama and the wealth of Mitt Romney (Blumler, 1979, pp. 23-34).
Why do candidates use negative adverts?
Candidates will use negative adverts when taking on an incumbent (Raul, 2012, p. 34).A candidate may also opt for the adverts if he is being outspent. Another reason for using negative adverts is when the opponent has little public image (Brabe, 1976, pp. 12-13).
Do negative TV adverts achieve the intention of the designers?
Yes. Negative TV adverts play a major in boosting the campaigns. Lyndon B Johnson won by a 44 to 6 landslide victory against Goldwater’s by applying the negative ’Daisy Girl” advert (Ansolabehere & Shanto, 1995, pp. 24-25).Negative adverts also promote mass political participation. In addition negative adverts mobilize voters. It has also been established that negative adverts sway away independent voters (Ansolabehere & Shanto, 1995, pp. 22,23). Finally, negative adverts provides learning to voters more than they would learn in debates (Raymond, 2007, p. 78)
However, on the contrary negative adverts have limitations. First of all is that they reduce voter turnout (Ansolabehere & Shanto, 1995, p. 68) .Secondly, they alienate centric and undecided voters and may have a backlash if they are well countered.
The essay has covered pertinent issues in TV political adverts since 1952 up-to-date. They are communism, corruption, Vietnam War, segregation and the Cold war. It has also been established that candidates using TV adverts portray themselves as efficient and strong while depicting their opponents as weak. The arguments for negative adverts include increase political participation, mobilization of voters and swaying away of independent voters. However, the argument against negative adverts is that they have a backlash. Besides, they reduce voter turnout. In conclusion, being a citizen and a voter that, I will go ahead and find the truth in the rhetoric and advertisements other than being swayed away by the negative advertisements.
Ansolabehere, S., & Shanto, L. (1995). Negative Campaigns. New York: University Press.
Blumler, J. (1979). Television in Politics. Illinois: University of Chicago Press.
Borman. (1993). Fantasy of Rhetoritical Creicism mof Social Reality. Quarterly Journal of Speech , 37-69.
Brabe. (1976). Television as opinion Resources in Presidential Campaign. Public Opinion Quarterly , 27-56.
Devlin, L. (1993). Contrasts in Presidential Commercials of 1992. New Jersey: Pricenton.
Hofstetter, C. (1976). Bias in the News. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.
Raul, R. (2012). The Television Ploitics. Southern Political Science Association , 23-28.
Raymond, R. (2007). The Journal of Politics. Southern Political Science Association , 70-73.
Americans knowledge about politics and does it matters
Citizens differ in the extent to which they take part in politics, and the extent citizens take part in politics plays a vital role in the demonstration of their desires and partialities. Thus, the identification of aspects determining how and how much people take part is vital. It has been recognized that people who are normally conversant about politics have a tendency to be involved more broadly in several manners of democratic involvement than less conversant people. Nevertheless, the outcome of particular political information on person’s involvement conduct still marks a shortage in political exploration.
Research advocate that knowledge of political players is an important factor for being a voter despite the fact knowledge of the guidelines of the game is of particular importance when it comes to being a more vigorous type of contributor. These outcomes have vital allegations for elucidating alterations in political participation and determining political awareness. Accordingly, a common political culture by no means suggests that all Americans have similar thoughts; for instance, some are generous and have the tendency to vote democratic, while some are conformist thus vote republican. Accordingly, others have negative attitudes toward public officials than other do. These attitudes therefore determine the way Americans take part in politics especially in the process of voting and political parties voted for during elections.
Current researchers compared to previous generation are more likely to accept that well-planned institutions are not enough. This is because a well ordered political entity needs people with the suitable knowledge, skills, as well as characteristic. It is sensibly clear that good people are developed, but not born. Democracies need independent populations, whose definite knowledge, capabilities, and character would not be as well suited to nondemocratic politics. There is an added level of complication, which involves how people think about the creation of democratic populations depends on the specific notion of democracy they embrace. It is argued that a significant number of Americans lack adequate public knowledge concerning politics because of lack of civic education. However, it is still argued that civic education is not the key determinative instrument. To start with, all edification is civic education in the sense that persons’ level of general educational achievement meaningfully influences their level of political information as well as the measure and character of their political involvement.
Additionally, noneducational organizations and procedures such as families, cultural groups, charitable associations, and existing political proceedings, among others are critical effects on public formation. Undeniably, the conservative understanding for the past three decades has been that formal public education plays an unimportant role in the overall process of public formation. It is only in the past few years that the weight has begun to fluctuate back. Subconsciously, it may seem unbelievable that public knowledge is essential to democratic nationality. Therefore, public education is very vital for the public knowledge of politics in America.
Public knowledge aids citizens comprehend their interests as individuals and as associates of groups. The more knowledge people have, the better they can comprehend the effect of public strategies on their interests, and the more efficiently can promote their interests in the political process. Research offer a wealth of indication that political knowledge nurtures citizens’ tolerant self-interest and the ability to connect individual/group interests with specific public subjects and to connect those matters with applicants who are more likely to share their views and promote their interests. Political knowledge, then, is a key element of instrumental prudence.
Public knowledge upsurges the constancy of opinions across issues and across time; there is a strong direct relation between political knowledge and the firmness of political outlooks. It has also been realized that more well-informed electors show much advanced levels of conceptual consistency (as measured along a one-dimensional liberal-conservative affiliation between issues than do the less well informed. Except citizens hold a plain level of public knowledge particularly regarding political institutes and procedures, it is hard for them to comprehend political actions or to assimilate new information into an existing structure. Essentially, political attractiveness entails demeanor judged in background of political obligations, establishments, issues, and duties.
Therefore, lowly informed residents will be much more likely to critic officials basing on their insight regarding non-circumstantial individual charisma. It is therefore important to note that, without knowledge of how government works, it is testing to weigh real primacies of a congressperson in the United States. Thus, voters who are not able to use such political prompts might rely on approximations of individual charisma instead of outlook regarding parties and issues. Consequently, reliance on individual conduct as a substitute for political conduct is linked to indecision, and indecision is linked to the lack of understanding regarding policymaking.
Furthermore, studies affirm that, general public information alters an individual`s views on specific communal affairs. For instance, the more information residents have the lesser they will practically fear new migrants and their influence on a country they shift or enter into. Moreover, more knowledge on civil affair reduces the likelihood of experiencing a generalized mistrust that alienates them from communal life. Analogously, ignorance is the father of fear and knowledge the mother of trust. Accordingly, residents that are more knowledgeable have the capability of analyzing conduct of public office holders the same way as the do to their own conduct. This concerns circumstances and incentives, with respect to guiltless inaccuracies and blunders, including absolute chance.
Contrarily, less knowledgeable citizens are very likely to interpret blunders made by public office holders as indicators of poor conduct. As such, when lowly informed residents experience forceful political deliberations with inevitable burdens and counter burdens will likely conclude that there are no real peaceable moments. However, for those who understand politics, view debate in clear and gain meaningful conclusions. In essence, civil knowledge promotes sustenance for democratic values. Evidently, the more knowledgeable a resident becomes concerning political principles and establishments, the higher the likelihood of them sustaining key domestic beliefs, like tolerance.
Some studies confirm that specific acquaintance concerning public privileges and public freedoms increases tolerance for hated subgroups. On the other hand, public knowledge acts a as a way of promoting political participation. Hence, more informed citizens have high participation rates in public affairs. In this regard, for correlated measures of sophistication knowledge concerning politics is a consistent strong factor that shapes decisions to choose and vote rightly. It is believed that, the dominant feature of nonvoting in America as many studies indicate is strongly linked to lack of information regarding the government and not is not distrust of government and lack of interest in politics. Furthermore, lack of media exposure concerning politics or a feeling of inefficiency of public office holders does not relate to the trend of low voting in the United States.
Subsequently, other studies show that, there is a link, which exists between total numbers of years of formal education and the development professional democratic beliefs and attitudes like tolerance for unpopular subgroups. Hence, education is seen as a sorting instrument; whatever median educational attainments may be at any given time, people vitally above the median tend to become members of social networks, which link their views in an effective manner to political leaders and establishments thereof. In essence, as education levels increase across the society, the positive impacts of real improvements in information and understanding are counter poised by the undesirable influences of higher competition levels targeting scarce positions of communal supremacy.
This gives the explanation concerning the superficial inconsistency that rising education levels in the past generation have not yielded proportionate gain in political engagements. Thus, in this regard, this finding places importance on education, and as it stands, compared to the past generation, education or information is more vital arranging instrument, while others have debilitated. In addition, education or information increases spoken cognitive proficiency and other interlinked intellectual skills. This allows improvement of a person`s capacity to comprehend political events; thus such individuals behave instrumentally coherent. Recent studies have concluded that there is a link between verbal capabilities and public participation among college graduates of the same age. Distinguishing between years of formal education and actual educational attainments is of essential public importance.
There are various conclusions that have been made from different researches concerning America`s knowledge of politics. The most dominant and prominent of these decisions is that the normal person is miserably ignorant about political bodies and procedures, practical rules and socioeconomic settings; political performers including nominated officials as well as political parties. This decision or conclusion has been strengthened, even mythologized, through prevalent press accounts of public unawareness. For instance, this conclusion can be illustrated through the Geneva summit between Ronald and Mikhail, where a majority of Americans were not in a position or could not name the leader of the Soviet Union.
Other studies have also contributed to this negative image of the American public; for instance, they concluded that a practical cottage industry has risen in the past few years in creating out the American public as a group of ignoramuses. This characterization is so well developed that, according to research, nothing attracts the learner of public opinion and democracy more powerfully than scarcity of information most people retain concerning politics. Proof from latest presidential campaigns has done little to restore the American elector`s appearance. A case in point includes a 1992 report done by the center for the study of communication found that despite the fact that eighty six percent of a random sample of likely voters knew that the Bush`s family dog was name Millie and eighty nine knew that Murphy brown was the TV character analyzed by Dan. However, it is only fifteen percent of the population that knew both candidates preferred the death penalty.
Additionally, only fifteen percent knew that both had proposed cuts in the capital gains tax. It is thus noted that there are various examples that can be used to demonstrate the public`s unawareness of politics with America. For instance, the single most commonly recognized fact concerning president George Bush`s attitudes while he was president was that he never liked broccoli. Furthermore, a significant number of people were in position to recognize judge Wapner a television host than Chief Justices Burger. Many people know John Lennon than Karl Marx. These are just some of examples that show the rate at which American knows about politics.
Noticeably, the average American is poorly knowledgeable concerning politics when equated to a flawless person. Another debatably reasonable way to evaluate the status of political awareness among American public is to equate present ranks of knowledge to the past ranks. Despite the fact that the facts permitting for a systematic comparison of knowledge levels over the past years is less comprehensive than one would expect, the proof powerfully suggests that Americans are about as knowledgeable about politics presently as they were thirty years ago.
These results could be understood as good news or ruthless news, depending on one’s perception. For instance, the good news is that, regardless of concerns over the superiority of education, the deterioration in newspaper readership, the growth of “sound-bite” broadcasting, the outburst in national political matters, and the declining obligation to civic commitment, people appear no less knowledgeable about politics today than they were half a century ago. On the other hand, the bad news is that despite an exceptional growth in public education, a communications revolt that has devastated national and intercontinental borders and the snowballing significance of national and global occasions and strategies to the daily lives of Americans, people seem not knowledgeable about politics today than they were half a century ago.
This comparative constancy in ranks of political awareness should not be wrongly understood as signifying that Americans are incapable to monitor alterations in the political setting. As an indication of this, it is vital to reflect the following instance. In utmost years for which statistics are obtainable, masses of the public were appropriately able to place the Democratic Party and its presidential contenders to the left of their Republican equivalents on matters such as the responsibility of women in society, assistance to interest group, occupations, edification, and school integration. However, despite the fact that the attitudes or opinions of the Democratic and Republican parties are frequently different on these matters, in many years the differences are understated at best, making it more problematic for people to learn where the parties stand in relation to each other.
When the positions of the parties become more diverse, significant rations of the public seem to learn this information. For instance, in 1956 and 1960 approximately twenty percent of those surveyed viewed the Democratic Party as more generous on national assistance to interest group than the Republican Party. On the contrary, nearly similar proportion saw Republicans as the more liberal party. Therefore, the two parties were regarded equally on their positions concerning school integration. This sense of balance is thoughtful of the genuine positions of the two parties during this era.
Another way to know or evaluate whether Americans know about politics is through comparing them to people of other nations. Respectable comparative statistics are again relatively scant, particularly for knowledge of local politics; the available proof offers a slightly vague depiction. Current evidence on awareness of foreign relationships advocates that Americans lag behind people of various western countries in awareness of significant political performers and proceedings. For example, analyses carried out in eight countries including France, Canada, and Italy among others recognized that, in terms of the percentage in position to respond to the present questions correctly, American placed third on one point, which was discussing the nation that threatened to withdraw from the nuclear prevention agreement.
Accordingly, America was listed sixth on two others points including being aware of the ethnic crowd that had subjugated much of Bosnia, and the term of the team that Israel had lately extended a peace agreement with. On the other hand, it appeared in seventh position for naming the president of Russia as well as eighth for recognizing Bourros Ghali on the other two. Of seven countries for which summary presentations were prepared, Americans had the second-lowest mean number right, but only Spain fell after; Mexico was not presented. Thirty-seven percent of Americans missed all of the questions, the uppermost percentage among the seven countries to do so.
Other studies comparing knowledge of national legislatures in the United States, and Canada also suggested that Americans are less informed about politics than are people of other countries. From the assessment carried out, the United State people averaged less than three right responses on a ten-issue scale measuring knowledge of the United State Congress, compared to Great Britain’s, who averaged over six right out of ten queries concerning their parliament, and Canadians, who were ranked with an outstanding nine right of eleven questions concerning their parliament. The magnitude to which knowledge levels differ across groups of people is evidently seen from various surveys done in the previous years. Despite the fact that the size of knowledge gaps concerning national politics differs from element to element, the overall design is persuasive.
For instance, men are more informed than women are, whites are noted to be more knowledgeable than blacks are; those with greater salaries are more knowledgeable than those with lesser wages, and grown-up people are more knowledgeable than younger ones. The degree of these variances can be shortened in a number of ways. Of the sixty eight queries inquired transversely the two studies, for only five was the ratio correct for women as high or greater than for men, and in no case was the percentage correct for blacks as high as for whites, or was the percentage right for low-income residents as high as that for upper-income ones. The comparison across age associates discloses a slightly more flexible array, though fifty-five of the sixty-eight queries were responded appropriately by a greater fraction of “pre-baby boomers” than “post-baby boomers. The magnitudes of these openings in awareness are considerable; for example, the average percentage correct through all the objects in the survey for men was 1.35 times that for women, the average percentage right for pre-baby boomers was 1.38 times that for post-baby boomers.
Accordingly, the median percent correct for more wealthy residents was 1.5 times that of comparatively underprivileged people, and the median percent correct for whites was over twice that for blacks. The increasing result of these question-by-question variances can be evaluated by summing across all the objects to make a knowledge directory or table. Completely three quarters of the women in the previous survey recorded underneath the average for men. Considerably, more than three quarters of those from relations receiving less than $20,000 annually recorded below the average for those receiving more than $5°, 000, as was the situation for post-baby boomers when equated to pre-baby boomers.
Moreover, three quarters of black Americans counted less than three quarters of white Americans, awareness gap of intense sizes. In overall, the patterns illustrated in both surveys display the unique close fit amid political knowledge and socioeconomic state. Shockingly, the magnitude of the race, gender, as well as class knowledge openings has remained relatively untransformed for the past thirty years, and the size of the generational awareness gap seems to have augmented.
Additionally, there are various approaches that have been used in order to evaluate or assess political knowledge in the United States; for instance, various objects have been employed in order to develop knowledge balance. The objects used assess participant`s knowledge concerning particular political facts. Different researches have been carried out concerning a political knowledge to define the dimensionality of political knowledge and to critic the rationality of various objects for quantifying political knowledge. It was concluded that the most efficient ways to measure political knowledge was through assessing people`s knowledge about the basic structure of government and political institutions. Accordingly, the assessment was about the knowledge of people concerning political parties and political leaders, knowledge of related fields including political geography, political history and political economy. It is noted that people that are aware of one aspect of politics are also aware about others.
Does it matter?
Research reveals that politics is concerned about who attains what from the government or the authoritative apportionment of goods and services, and values to significant individuals who are nominated for various government positions. With this in mind, indication of methodical variances in political knowledge that are tangled to other socioeconomic pointers of political influence should give one pause. Therefore, the political importance of these knowledgeable gaps relies, however, on whether or not knowledge matters to operative citizenship. Despite the fact that there are some disagreements concerning this, various researches powerfully suggests that knowledgeable people are better people in a number of ways. Particularly, studies have recognized that more knowledgeable people are more accommodating of democratic standards including political acceptance.
Accordingly, they are more efficacious regarding politics, more likely to be interested in, follow, and discuss politics. They are also more probable to take part in politics in various ways such as casting their vote, working for political party, as well as joining local community meetings. It is also noted that knowledgeable people in politics are more expected to have opinions concerning the pressing matters of the day, are more likely to hold stable ideas over time and are more likely to embrace views that are ideologically reliable with each other. They are also less likely to change their ideas in the face of new but divergent or deceptive information although likely to change in the face of new applicable or convincing information.
There is also proof that political knowledge influences the views embraced by different socioeconomic teams; for instance teams grounded on race, class, gender, and age variances. Subsequently, more informed citizens among these clusters embrace sentiments that are both eloquently varied from poorly cognizant residents, with same demographic physiognomies. Such informed groups are perhaps more unswerving with their physical state of affairs. For instance, informed women are more supportive of government programs that are designed to look into women`s rights. Further, informed and parsimoniously deprived residents will be supportive of government programs directed towards the creation and provision of jobs to improve their living standards. In essence, these groups` differences are large enough; it is portentous that collective outlook on a number of radical matters will be essentially different and more demonstrative of the public interest where residents are entirely and justifiably conversant about politics. Political knowledge increases a resident`s ability to reliably link their policy views to their evaluations of public officials and political parties, and their political behavior. As such, residents that are more conversant are very likely to identify with a political party and approve of the performance of office holders. Consequently, such group of residents will vote for aspirants whose strategy positions are most consistent with their individual understandings.
The relationship between knowledge and political involvement has been addressed in various researches. All these researches confirm that people that are more knowledgeable are more likely to be politically involved. This is because only people that have a basic knowledge of the political world who are able to organize political information during campaigns and to perceive differences between candidates. Abstention occurs from a lack of knowledge concerning what government is taking part in, as well as where different political parties stand on the key issues of the day.
However, other researchers propose a slightly different argument concerning the connection amid knowledge and participation. From these researchers, political knowledge is positively related with political involvement because it endorses a sequence of public attitudes including political interest and efficiencies that inspire involvement. It has also been demonstrated that the possibility of voting arises significantly for people that are more knowledgeable. Of course, the likelihood of endogenous information attainment makes appraisal of fundamental effects challenging. It is probable that the connections observed in surveys results from the point that electors pursue more political statistics than abstainers do. However, recent research suggests that this is not the case.
Furthermore, research shows that the positive influence of political evidence on electoral involvement in a national referendum in 2000 using information from a normal research in Copenhagen. Four of fifteen Copenhagen regions took part in a pilot plan, and established more data concerning the effects of devolution. Researcher`s outcomes show that being more informed on this issue meaningfully augmented the probability of partaking in the devolution vote. In a similar vein, other studies employed an instrumental variables method to capture the influence of political awareness on the possibility of balloting.
In line with previous studies, a powerful connection between knowledge and polling involvement was realized. Political awareness also endorses involvement in non-electoral political actions, including campaign practices s or contacting public officials. The justification for these other procedures of political participation is similar. Knowledge of political details and an understanding of the political scheme upsurge residents’ feelings of political effectiveness and political attention. Political knowledge leads to a better understanding of the significance of politics, which in turn growths the predisposition to get involved. Therefore, this shows or explains why it is important or it matters a lot for Americans to acquire knowledge concerning politics.
Accordingly, it is very significant for Americans to know more about politics because it helps improve their democratic moves. This can be proved from the various research that explored the association between political knowledge and democratic standards. All the accessible proof proposes that political unawareness upsurges dictatorial trends and has a undesirable impact on tolerance in the United States. According to studies, the more information citizens have about the norms and processes of a liberal egalitarianism, the more probable they are to upkeep essential democratic principles and to endure groups they hate.
These researchers postulate that political acceptance could be especially affected by information that is pertinent to this democratic standard such as awareness of public liberties. Further recent research, however, suggests that the connection is more general. There is a powerful connection between a general directory of political knowledge and Altimeter’s Right Wing Despotism (RWA) weighbridge. A research carried out in other nations in the early 1990s offers further backing for this relationship . The test measured American voters’ sentiments on diverse policies to fight criminality. A randomly designated group of electors received three days of widespread conferences on the criminal justice system. Electors that got this conduct were supportive of actions to ensure the practical rights of criminal perpetrators than the rest of the populace.
It matters a lot for Americans to acquire political knowledge because political awareness is connected with party identification. The cognitive organization theory proposes that more well-informed individuals are less likely to be attached to a political party. In fact, governmental parties are often viewed to be heuristics that allow unrefined electors to make democratic choices. If this argument holds water, the dependence on party identification should reduce as the level of education and political cleverness upsurges.
At the cumulative level, edification has augmented in all developed nations while prejudice has deteriorated, which seems to back the cognitive organization argument. This was for a long time the conservative understanding. Nevertheless, a latest reanalysis argues that preceding studies suffered from important ecological problems. When the association between political awareness and party identification is evaluated at the individual level, a strong positive connection develops research proposes that party identification is not an inactive characteristic but relatively a running note that is rationalized when citizens are unprotected to new information. Subsequently, the capability to bring up-to-date one’s political inclinations needs a convinced level of political cleverness; narrow-mindedness should essentially be greater for more individuals that are knowledgeable.
Using wide-ranging survey data from several developed nations, research shows that more informed persons are indeed more probable to be recognized with a political party. In this exploration of the sources of mass narrow-mindedness in Brazil, also determines that political knowledge is a positive forecaster of party identification. Therefore, political knowledge is very vital for all American citizens.
Accordingly, political opinion is highly impacted by political knowledge; this is because developing opinions is vital for democratic representation. The political behavior research has revealed that particular people are more expected to have opinions on political matters and governmental guidelines than others. Political knowledge accelerates opinion holding because it aids people comprehend their welfares as beings and as affiliates of groups. The more knowledge people have, the better they can comprehend the influence of public rules on their welfares and formulate partialities accordingly.
Likewise, the knowledge of simple political evidences simplifies information handling and news remembrance. This implies that more individuals that are refined have a tendency to be more exposed to, and to recall more effortlessly the opinions of political leaders. In turn, this capability to get the news accelerates the formation of political opinions on new matters. It is also demonstrated that political awareness is one of the resilient forecasters of opinion holding.
Furthermore, a less discovered consequence of political knowledge is political confidence or trust. This means that people who disregard the simple truths of the political world are more likely to feel withdrawn or isolated and to have a widespread suspicion or distrust for political organizations (diffuse support), as well as mistrust for political front-runners for particular backing. Knowledgeable people have a superior understanding of the circumstantial influences that occasionally lead to official inadequacies, although less refined persons are more likely to see faults that are essential to political institutes. In the same manner, well-informed people comprehend better the political background that forces some public administrators to make negotiations, to commit mistakes, and even to get involved in immoral activities under some settings. On the other hand, people who overlook the simple facts of politics are more likely to see representatives’ mistakes as indicators of immoral personality. This argument has not received empirical confirmation in the political behavior literature, even though these researches make a reasonable argument concerning the relationship between political knowledge and political trust.
In conclusion, civil education is very important in every social setup. It acts as a bridge that links people or makes them well founded to have a broader view of issues around their lives. It was found that the society benefits more when majorities of its members are well informed and they will participate in many activities. This comes because; civic education is a gateway to knowledge of almost everything in life. Civil education helps people to make better judgments on many matters. It improves an individual`s perception.as matter of fact, civil education is the foundation that allows people to have the desire to learn various issues around their life. It is with this that learning about politics or having the desire to know about politics comes.
Political knowledge allows people to become better civil judges. Political knowledge has been found to favor an individual`s better understanding of what goes around the country and the importance of making informed choices concerning public positions. Therefore, as it is, civil education is linked to political knowledge acquisitions and it comes first in terms of priority. Therefore, the discussion about civil education in this paper was deliberately used to form the basis of understanding the importance of knowledge a t a wider perspective.
Barbara, Bardes and Oldendick, Robert. Public Opinion: Measuring the American Mind, 4th edition. Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2012. Print.
Content Analysis State of the Union Address Given By Barrack Obama on January 24th 2012
Political communications are characteristic of either persuasion or propaganda with the main intention being to influence the beliefs and the attitude of the audience. Political persuasion is the art in which the speaker or the communicator attempts to convince the audience or the mass to change their mindset or actions as regards a political matter using messages, in an environment of free choice. There is growing interest in the process of persuasive political communication as the art of political communication grows (Bradshaw 754). Political persuasion involves the use of persuasion principles in a situation where most people have the apparently mismatched features of holding onto strong sentiments regarding a number of issues, however, caring valuable little concerning the perspective in which these problems are engaged in (Kitchens 46).
To understand political persuasion, it is necessary to appreciate the steps through which the message of the communicator achieves its impacts. For instance, when there is low motivation or low aptitude, elaboration likelihood model asserts that, voters’ decision-making is determined by heuristics and is vulnerable to cues nonessential to the foremost message (Kitchens 44). For example, the voter makes a decision based on the contender’s attractiveness, charisma, political party stickers, backing, as well as the extent to which political names are recurring or are smooth-sounding (Wu 3).
Propaganda, on the other hand, is the premeditated, methodical attempt to form perceptions, stage-manage cognitions, and influence behavior to pull off a response that promotes the desired target of the propagandist. This is in contrast with persuasion that involves a debate or a discussion based on careful consideration of options to unearth better results for intricate problems. Most scholars and theorists have shown that there is a thin line between propaganda and persuasion. However, the main divergent point separating the two perspectives is in the content of the message, use of language, facts of the address and intention of the speaker. Propaganda includes a deeply entrenched ideological bent; it is institutional in character and is predisposed to relying on morally suspect means of influence. Therefore, propaganda does not rely on the credibility of the sources of information used communicated to the audience (O’Donnell and Jowett 9-15).
Content Analysis of SOTU January 2012 by Barrack Obama
President Obama speech on the SOTU was largely persuasive. A persuasive speech differs from propaganda in the content of the speech. Whereas persuasive political communication is backed by figures, statistics and facts, propaganda can be exaggerated and can lack these facts (Wu 3). One of the outstanding characteristics of persuasive political communication is that speech and the arguments are data driven (Copeland 16). The State of the Union speech delivered by obama was highly data driven particularly because he had to back his achievements in the past four years.
President Obama gave a recount of the economic and foreign policy achievements he had made, and to gain credibility, they had to be backed with facts. The president argued, For the first time in two decades, Osama bin Laden is not a threat to this country. Most of the Al Qaeda’s top lieutenants have been defeated. The Taliban’s momentum has been broken, and some troops in Afghanistan have begun to come home. He also went ahead to prove that he had crated 3 million jobs in the last 22 months. He also showed evidence of how he had encouraged industries to come back to America and create jobs in America and the benefits that followed. For instance, he provided data that since ford reestablished in America, it has created 160 000 jobs.
Still in the case of data driven communication, the speaker must persuade the audience using well documented data spelling out clear goals on the part of the speaker (Copeland 16). As president obama persuaded the audience, he had to present facts that would convince people to trust him with the changes he had embarked. For instance, he called upon Americans to join in the efforts of cutting the deficit by $ 2 trillion. He also laid out a clearly formulated structure of the tax reforms that will help create jobs and drive the economy. First, remove incentives or subsidies for companies outsourcing jobs, second, have multinational companies pay their minimum taxes and finally, give tax credits and cuts to American manufacturers who are creating jobs. Giving data laden evidence had two purposes for obama; first to gain credibility as a speaker and a leader, and second, emotionally connect with the audience. The way he addressed those issues sought to connect with the audience, for instance he says that everyone should ask themselves what they can do to bring jobs back to America and that they have to seize the opportunity.
The debate showed a careful consideration of options, debates and discussions characteristic of persuasion political communication. The president ensured that he delivered an uncomplicated speech that would win the acceptance and understanding of everyone. In persuasive communication, complex or subtle messages produce slower decay of attitude change. The main purpose of persuasive communication is to initiate attitude, opinion or behaviour change; therefore, the message should be simple but also bear a great deal of significance with it. The speech also revealed organized discussions between the president and other stakeholders such as community college heads and managers of various manufacturing companies. The speech also factored in divergent opinions expressed by different people and sought to justify his stand why he chose one policy over another. This comes out when he says that manufacturers and businesses in general argue that they do not employ Americans because they lack adequate skills. He presents solutions by giving an example of a company that has trained Bryan Ritterby, as well as increasing incentives for community colleges to enhance training for American workers.
The president’s speech during the State of the Union address used narratives and stories to persuade the audience to change their attitudes, beliefs and shift their focus towards achieving economic reforms and better life for all. The president used narratives purposefully to highlight his achievements and to influence Americans to support the policies the government is about to implement. The president starts by telling the stories of heroes who fought for freedom and protection of Americans selflessly and through teamwork. This was meant to invoke the feelings and emotions of the audience and win their confidence. Other stories were meant to mitigate the inadequacies of the government, and to shift the audiences’ attention to the positive side.
For instance, the president compares the armed forces institutions and tells their story of success in Iran against the failures of other institutions such as the Wall Street and other financial institutions. It was a way of giving hope while at the same time persuading people to have faith in the government. The president also tells the story of his grandmother and grandfather to influence the audience’s attitudes towards manufacturing and that job creation was the responsibility of everyone. It was also used to influence the public, and employers to change their attitude towards manufacturing way from overemphasizing on the service industry. The president also used stories of ordinary people such as, Jackie and Bryan Ritterby to change the attitudes of the people that the reforms are meant to benefit a particular class of the society.
Persuasion differs from propaganda through its ethos, logos and pathos. A persuasive communication should be ethos-based in the sense that, the arguments should match with the character of the speaker and he should also win the confidence of the audiencein terms of credibility. Therefore, the key points are the character of the speaker and credibility from the audience (Bradshaw 755). President Obama sought to satisfy ethos by highlighting his achievements and how he connected with the lower cadres of the American people. He also pledged his commitment of going anywhere and doing anything to ensure that the policies that matter to ordinary Americans in terms of employment, education, innovation and trade will be achieved. He portrayed himself as a peon committed to the core and utmost needs of the American particularly security, education and wealth distribution. He also built his credibility to the audience by giving facts to prove he can deliver on his promises through defeat of Iraq and Osama bin Laden, job creation and business reforms.
Persuasive political communication is constructed through the pathos of giving a speech relevant to the audience, being passionate about the speech and show compassion towards the audience (Bradshaw 755). President Obama knew that the majority of people listening to him had expectations of hearing him provide solutions to unemployment, education particularly the high tuition fees and student loans, tax policies and security of the nation. He therefore chose to provide answers to these questions to become relevant to the audience. He also showed his passion to what he was saying for instance by saying I will go anywhere in the world ………………; Send me those tax reforms; We bet on American………….. We bet on……… (The White House: Office of the Press Secretary 1). The same effects were used to show compassion to his audience by expressing confidence in them and calling upon Americans to become part of the crucial process. He also showed that he shared in the pains of Americans who had been given mortgages, yet, they could not pay for them by admonishing the behaviour of the financial institutions.
Techniques and Rhetorical Devices Used by the President during the Speech
The State of the Union address since 1801 has been characteristic of rhetorical and figurative speech that has formed the subject of evaluation for the president’s speech. Different presidents have showed their skills on the use of language on this day in an attempt to lure the audience and win public confidence (O’Donnell and Jowett 10). The president applied a moderated use of tricolons. A tricolon is the repetition of an analogous grammatical structure three times to create a rhetorical effect. The device uses two or more expressions with similar traits, whether musical, lexical, metaphoric, or grammatical, and can capture a form of a list. The presentation in threes is meant to capture the listener’s attention and make the speech more memorable. It is also used when the speaker wants to highlight certain aspects and make understanding more effective (Kitchens 45). Sometimes, it is applied by incorporating some alliteration and anapest for instance No bailouts, no handouts, and no copouts.
As in persuasive political communication, the speaker must catch the mind and interest of the audience. Into the bargain, the speaker must ensure the retention of the message in the minds of listeners. Traditionally, the president uses rhetoric devices to create retention impact, foster connection and make his speech memorable. During the SOTU, he largely utilized anaphora as a rhetoric device. Anaphora is the repetition of the opening word, phrase or expression in succeeding sentences. Anaphora is used to create a mesmerizing and hypnotic effect. President Obama used anaphora in a number of instances such as No challenge is urgent.
No debate is more important; We will stand against violence and intimidation. We will stand for the rights . We will support policies .. And we will safeguard America’s own security. In this case, the president used four phrases; however, anaphora works best in three phrases for instance, I will not back down from protecting our kids . I will not go back to the days when health insurance And I will not go back to the days when wall street . However, there are instances when used two phrases and left the crowd hanging waiting for the third phrase, and in this case, the repetition took a form of parallelism for instance, We bet on .. We bet on American .. Or It was wrong. It was irresponsible (The White House: Office of the Press Secretary 1).
Besides anaphora, parallelism and tricolons, the president also used other rhetorical devices to enhance his persuasive ability such as anapest, chiasmus, antithesis and metaphors. Anapest is a metrical foot comprising a pattern of phrase and syllable or two short or unstressed syllables that are followed by one lengthy or stressed syllable. It is used to produce a unique rhythm in the speech (Opory and Price 405). This was brought out in the speech through The opPOnents of ACtion are OUT of exCUses. Chiasmus is a rhetoric device that takes a form of verbal pattern, whereby the second part of an expression or phrase is balanced against the first halls reversed.
For instance, the president said, Ask yourselves what you can do to bring jobs back to your country, and your country will do everything we can to help you succeed. An antithesis, on the other hand, is a device that creates a complementary correlation between two thoughts. For instance, It is time to turn our unemployment system into a reemployment system and It’s time to stop rewarding businesses that ship jobs overseas, and start rewarding companies that create jobs right here in America (The White House: Office of the Press Secretary 1). A metaphor is a literary figure of speech that uses memorable or tangible image to symbolize something else. It is used to enforce understanding of an idea in the context of another concept, and there must be a resemblance or connection between the two concepts. The president used metaphors such as none of this can happen unless we also lower the temperature in this town (The White House: Office of the Press Secretary 1).
The State of the Union address given by obama in 2012 is persuasive. A number of reasons influenced his decision to deliver a persuasive speech as opposed to propaganda. First, the president has been in power for four years since 2008, and it has not been a smooth sailing through the economic crisis and health reforms. He had to show the public that he had worked something out, and he has achieved something. He was persuading people to believe in his efforts and that he can deliver more. He could not start defending his record using propaganda. As a result, the president had to give a speech supported with facts and had to appear as a man of integrity and character before his audience and listeners across America. Character of the speaker and value-laden speech is the most vital pathos of persuasive communication.
President Obama had another intention in mind; convincing people to change their attitudes and behaviour towards education, economic reforms and job creation. Persuasiveness is determined by the intention of the speaker, and in this case, the president wanted to influence America’s attitudes towards economic reforms and the American promise. Although this may ultimately confer benefits for his political campaigns for his 2012 re-election, and appear to take a form of propaganda, the speech cannot be classified as propaganda. It was more of a persuasive speech, except for that element of re-election that came out as propaganda.
Persuasion appears to be a more powerful political communication tool than propaganda. First, it gives the speaker credibility because the presentation on verifiable data. Second, it can also achieve the intentions of a propagandist without openly advancing self-interest. It is a more effective tool of changing people’s attitudes and behaviour.
Bradshaw, Katherine A. “Persuasive Communication/Collective Behaviour and Public Opinion: Rapid Shifts in Opinion and Communication/ The Dynamics of Persuasion: Communication and Attitudes in the 21st Century.” Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly 80.3 (2003): 754-6. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.
Copeland, Gary, A. Strategic Political Communication: Rethinking Social Influence, Persuasion, and Propaganda (Communication, Media, and Politics) Maryland, Rowman & Littlefield Publishers, Inc. 2003. Web.
Kitchens, Jim. “The Psychology of Persuasive Messaging.” Campaigns and Elections 27.4 (2006): 45,46,48. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.
O’Donnell, Victoria and Jowett, Garth, S. Propaganda & Persuasion. 5th Edition. Thousand Oaks, SAGE publications. Web.
Opory, Pradeep, and Price Dillard James. “The Persuasive Effects of Metaphor: A Meta-Analysis.” Human Communication Research 28.3 (2002): 382-419. ProQuest Research Library. Web. 27 Oct. 2012.
The White House: Office of the Press Secretary. Remarks by the President in State of the Union Address. 2012, January, 24. Web. http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2012/01/24/remarks-president-state-union-address
Wu, Denis. Strategic Political Communication: Rethinking Social Influence, Persuasion, and Propaganda. Academic journal article from Journalism and Mass Communication Quarterly, Vol. 82, (2005) 3
A Democratic Government
The spread of democracy is arguably the single most significant political phenomenon of the past 100 years (Levi, 2008, p. 1-3). Notably, a democratic society differs from all other systems of governance since it is the only system that puts into focus the needs of the society and the equality of the people. It is difficult to ascertain that we are living in a democratic society because oppression of the poor still remains, unequal justices prevail, and there is a poor representation of the minority among other factors that discriminate against the people on the basis of class, race, and power. In this paper, we will differentiate between dictatorship and democracy to illustrate what a democratic government is.
Dictatorship is a situation whereby the absolute power is vested in the hands of a dictator or an authoritarian and totalitarian (Ezrow, 2011, P. 2-7). This means that authority of a country or a group is carried out by one person or a group of people who take total control of the people and their decisions cannot be questioned without dire consequences. Some examples of dictators that have used dictatorship in their ruling include Saddam Hussein, Adolf Hitler, and Fidel Castrol. All these people arose from the military and from low class settings and took power outside the normal political processes. They subject their people to slavery in the sense that the people have to follow what they command. They also result in killing many people to suppress the society from rebelling.
Democracy can be defined as the institutional arrangement for arriving at political decisions in which individuals acquire the power to decide through the competitive struggle (McFaul, 2004, P. 2-5). Democratic government, therefore, is that system of government where the will of the people is represented by the ruling class (Axtmann, 2003, p. 99). Unlike the dictatorship, a democratic government treats all members as equal. In fact, the members of the country have equal rights and responsibilities. At the same time, a democratic government is run with fairness and impartiality meaning that everybody carries their own crosses, there is no preferential treatment or favoritism, and nobody is considered to be above the law (Lakoff, 2001, p. 323). Under the democratic government, the majority reigns but the rights of the minority are protected by the ruling class. Usually, where there is a democratic government, all that the top government does is in the spirit of openness without secrecy. The members of such a society have the right to know what is going on with the society or organization and they can inspect the operation of the top government using set procedures. In case there is need to change a certain clause within the set rules, the people’s representatives or the entire population participates through voting of amendments. This can be explained by the various elections that are done by democratic countries where the will of the people is indicated through the voting. The election of President Obama is an indication of a democratic process.
A democratic government is therefore that form of leadership/government where the will of the people is enhanced and there is mutual participation in decision making between the ruling class and the people. It is that form of ruling where fear is not used to prompt individuals to follow certain rules but democracy prevails in whatever is undertaken.
Axtmann, R. (2003). Understanding democratic politics: an introduction. London [u.a.], SAGE.
Ezrow, N. M., & Frantz, E. (2011). Dictators and dictatorships: understanding authoritarian regimes and their leaders. New York, Continuum.
Lakoff, G. (2001). Moral politics: how liberals and conservatives think. Chicago [u.a.], Univ. of Chicago Press.
Levi, M. (2008). Designing democratic government: making institutions work. New York, Russell Sage Foundation.
Mcfaul, M., Petrov, N., & Riabov, A. (2004). Between dictatorship and democracy: Russian post-communist political reform. Washington, D.C., Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.
DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT 3
Running head: DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT 1
The importance of intergovernmental organizations has been felt since the 1940s, when the UN was created. These organizations have played an essential role in maintaining international security and reprimanding countries that violate the international code. This paper will define these organizations and explain the difference between the UN and the EU. It will also discuss differences between IGOS and INGOs and realistic perspectives of international relations.
The term intergovernmental organization refers to an international entity created through a treaty, bringing together two or more states, to work cooperatively on matters of common interest. If there is no treaty, an IGO will not exist legally. The main objectives of IGOs are to create a mechanism through which countries from different parts of the world will work together more successfully and with some conviction. Issues of common interests may include peace and security, economic prosperity and political stability. In the recent past, social issues have also gained in importance. In the modern era of increased globalization and interdependence among nations, IGOs have come to play an important role in global governance, environmental conservation, economic development, health enhancement and international political stability (Hirsch 1).
From the above definition, both the United Nations and the European Union are intergovernmental organizations. Both institutions have played an important role in shaping the world’s economic and political environment. However, while the UN is a global/universal IGO, the EU is not; it is just a regional multipurpose IGO. The UN admits all countries in the world, regardless of region and continent. This implies that any nation can be a member of the UN, as long as it applies and meets the requirements for membership. On the other hand, the EU only admits countries from Europe. Therefore, a country that is not in Europe cannot be a member.
IGOs differ from international organizations in terms of membership, functions and impact on the international agenda. IGOs are created through treaties between governments. These treaties bind the governments towards the IGO and may incur sanctions if they violate them. On the other hand, INGOs are founded by individuals or associations of people, who have no state authority. Difference in membership means that while IGOs focus on state-level issues such as economy, political stability and national conduct, INGOs focus on individual-level issues. INGOs can only raise state-level issues to the IGOs, since they have no authority to negotiate with a state. IGOs have established international laws that make them legally binding. This implies that any state that violates the treaty can be reprimanded. On the contrary, IOs do not exist in international law. This implies that their impact is minimal since no country is legally mandated to report to them (Emadi-Griffin 124).
Realism in International Relations
Thucydides had the belief that power and authority was the final arbitrator of conflicts between city-states. According to him, less powerful states are supposed to give in to the demands of more powerful states. He also believed that the notion of justice is best expressed in terms of what the more powerful states deem right. The weaker states are thus supposed to submit to the just deal established by the powerful. Another realist, Thomas Hobbes, argued that the state of nature is typified by persistent fear and the threat of violent death. According to him, the life of man was poor, solitary, short and brutish. The British philosopher wrote that men are evil and selfish creatures by nature. For this reason, in order to manage the excesses of humans and protect citizens against each other, there is need for power to be vested in the hands of a powerful ruler or state. This is the only way through which law and order can be enforced since a powerful state/ruler will transform the state of nature into compromise and consensus (Palmer 117).
Niccolo Machiavelli, in his analysis, argued that the accretion and sensible use of power are essential for political survival as well as attainment of political and social goals. According to him, issues such as impartiality, right and wrong have no meaning since they are not necessary for continued existence of the state. A leader does not always have to be just or ethical when dealing with the people. In some instances, he/she must resort to violence and force if they will enable them to maintain power. Another realist, Carl von Clausewitz appears to support Machiavelli’s assertions (Freyberg-Inan 63). Clausewitz argued that war was the extension of political activity, even if it was just an unconventional method. He argued that military power was important in attaining political aims, especially when negotiations and other means fail to do so.
The beliefs of Thucydides, Machiavelli, Hobbes, and Clausewitz have been fundamental in developing the realistic theory of international relations. Due to the varying assertions from different philosophers, the theory has been defined and redefined numerous times. However, the essence of realism has remained intact. The four main assumptions of this theory are:
The state is the main and most important player in international relations: This implies that national governments are the most important actors when it comes to international politics. Therefore, interest groups such as Amnesty International or supposed influential figures have no effect whatsoever on how states relate to each other.
The state is a rational and unitary actor: Rational implies that the country has the ability to identify goals and inclinations and determine their relative value. Unitary implies that the nation speaks with one voice. Therefore, even though citizens of a country may have divergent views on the most appropriate approach to a particular situation, they can only enact one approach.
International relations are fundamentally conflictual due to anarchy: According to realists, anarchy does not imply chaos; it refers to the lack of a higher authority that will prevent hostility or mediate disputes. Just like men may become aggressive towards one another when there was no government to prevent and punish them, countries will attack one another as long as they believe that they are protecting their interests. The existence of anarchy forces states to acquire weapons so that to feel secure. However, the acquisition and stockpiling of weapons and the establishment of a military provoke other countries to feel insecure. They are forced into acquiring their own arms.
High politics (which refers to strategic and security issues) dictate the international agenda: This implies that the paramount goal for state is to maximize their authority in the international community. They are also mainly preoccupied with military power (D’Anieri 41-42).
From the above discussion, it can be argued that realists focus more on intergovernmental organizations. Only intergovernmental organizations can address international affairs with states, can reprimand individual states, can prevent countries from attacking each other and can check powerful countries against exerting their authority over less powerful countries. Since the UN was formed, it has played an integral role in checking international aggression.
Intergovernmental organizations and other international organizations are playing an important role in ensuring that countries build favorable relations with one another. Without them, it is likely that the world may have experienced another global war. The UN has addressed and prevented many of the realists’ beliefs, by acting as the government of governments. Therefore, even though countries have acquired arms, few of them have used them to attack other countries.
D’Anieri, Paul J. International Relations: Power and Purpose in Global Affairs. Boston, MA: Wadsworth/Cengage Learning, 2011. Print.
Emadi-Coffin, Barbara. Rethinking International Organization: Deregulation and Global Governance. London, UK.: Routledge, 2002. Print.
Freyberg-Inan, Annette. What Moves Man: The Realist Theory of International Relations and Its Judgment of Human Nature. Albany: State University of New York Press, 2004. Print.
Hirsch, Moshe. The Responsibility of International Organizations Toward Third Parties: Some Basic Principles. Dordrecht, Germany: Nijhoff, 1995. Print.
Palmer, Michael. Masters and Slaves: Revisioned Essays in Political Philosophy. Lanham [u.a.: Lexington Books, 2001. Print.