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Pursuit of Power Politics in America. Political Socialization Process by which an individual acquires their values, opinions, and beliefs Informal learning.

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Presentation on theme: "Pursuit of Power Politics in America. Political Socialization Process by which an individual acquires their values, opinions, and beliefs Informal learning."— Presentation transcript:

1 Pursuit of Power Politics in America

2 Political Socialization Process by which an individual acquires their values, opinions, and beliefs Informal learning through socializing agents are the most important and accidental Ideology-a persons values, opinions, and beliefs

3 Political Socialization Agents of Political Socialization 1. Family 2. Church 3. Community 4. Media 5. Teachers 6. Peer Group 7. Other

4 The Political Spectrum Ideology- a body of ideas or views of the world that reflect the social needs, values, and ides of an individual or group Liberal-look to the future for change Conservative-feel that governments role in society should be to protect the moral codes of the past



7 IDEOLOGICAL SPECTRUM Liberal Left Wing, Radical Conservative Right Wing, Traditional Favor government involvement, limiting certain activities. 1. Favor higher taxes, particularly progressive 2. Programs assisting the poor such as Head Start and Medicaid 3. Redistribution of income. 4. Anti-trust legislation. 5. Sympathize with labor in labor-management issues. Oppose Government involvement limiting certain activities 1. Favor lower taxes, particularly regressive. 2. Fewer programs with the goal of redistributing income 3. Oppose government regulation of market 4. Sympathize with business in labor-management issues.


9 Liberal Viewpoints Group Responsibility: The government has a responsibility to help those who are disadvantaged or down on their luck. The government should work to equalize opportunities for everyone and also provide support for those who are unable to support themselves. Personal Freedom: The personal freedoms of people must be protected. When rules/laws/norms infringe upon freedoms, they must be changed.

10 Liberal Viewpoints Non-Traditional Values: Many traditional values represent old-fashioned ideas that are unfair to women and minorities. These traditional values tend to concentrate and consecrate power held by wealthy white men. Activist government: The government has a responsibility to regulate business to protect workers, the environment, and the public from abuse.

11 Liberal Viewpoints Use of Property for Public Good: The government has the right to tell people how to use their personal property in order to maximize the public good.

12 Conservative Viewpoints Personal Responsibility: People have a responsibility to follow the rules/laws/norms set by society. Stern punishments should be given to those who break the rules/laws/norms. Traditional Values: People should strive to live by the traditional moral codes that our grandparents followed. There are many dangerous moral trends in society today that we need to reverse. Religion should play a larger part of peoples lives and the government should reflect religious values.

13 Conservative Viewpoints Laisez Faire and Decentralized Government: The federal government should not regulate business practices, but instead should let free market forces keep order in the business world. The federal government should be as small as possible, and most power should be vested in the state and local government Maximum Benefit: If every individual maximizes their own benefit, everyone will be better off

14 Conservative Viewpoints Property Rights: The government should pass and enforce laws that protect personal property.

15 Political Parties Political Parties have National, State, and Local organizations The primary objective for the two major parties is to organize to win elections Each party has core set of principles, look to appeal to a majority of voters without compromising those beliefs

16 Political Parties Two party system in America –Democratic Party –Republican Party

17 Roles of Political Parties Select Candidates Raise Funds Conduct Campaigns Identify important issues Educate the Public Monitor the party in power

18 Party Systems One party systems-one party has control of the government and doesn’t allow other parties to join. –Allow elections but they are not competitive because only that parties candidates are on the ballot –Soviet Union and Cuba are examples of one party systems

19 Party Systems Two party systems-exist in only a handful of countries in the world. In U.S., other parties exist but are not believed to have any chance at winning elections. –United States and Great Britain are examples of two party systems.

20 Party Systems Multi-party systems-more common in the world today. –Legislative branch is most important. –Little or no separation exists between Legislative and Executive branches. –Multi-party systems use proportional representation (10% of vote=10% representation) –Encourages parties to form coalitions

21 Third Parties Also called minor parties Can have major influence on elections –Votes taken away from one party may help the other win Third parties often force important issues onto the national agenda

22 Types of third parties Economic protest parties –Party dominated by feelings of economic discontent Splinter parties –Splints from one of the major party because of serious diagreement Ideological parties –Party based on particular set of beliefs or ideology Single-issue parties –Party focused on one issue

23 Types of Third Parties

24 Third Parties The Reform Party and The Libertarian Party are the two major third parties in America.

25 The Effect of Third Parties on Vote Distribution Acetate PP–6

26 Minor parties play several important roles: “Spoiler Role” Minor party candidates can pull decisive votes away from one of the major parties’ candidates, especially if the minor party candidate is from a splinter party. Critic Minor parties, especially single-issue parties, often take stands on and draw attention to controversial issues that the major parties would prefer to ignore. Innovator Often, minor parties will draw attention to important issues and propose innovative solutions to problems. If these proposals gain popular support, they are often integrated into the platforms of the two major parties.

27 The party out of power lacks a strong leader. The federal system distributes powers candidate. The federal system distributes powers widely, in turn causing the parties to be decentralized. The nominating process pits party members against one another because only one person can chosen to be the party’s presidential Both of the major parties are highly decentralized and fragmented. The Decentralized Nature of the Parties Why?

28 A Theoretical Structure of the American Political Party Acetate PP–1

29 State and Local Party Machinery State and local party organization varies from State to State, but usually follow the general principles below.

30 The Three Components of the Party The Party in the Electorate Those who always or almost always vote for party candidates. The Party Organization: Those who run and control the party machinery. Party Components The Party in Government Those who hold office in the government.

31 The Three Components of Political Parties Acetate PP–2

32 The Future of Major Parties For voters : More people are unwilling to label themselves as “Democrats” or “Republicans” Split-ticket voting—voting for candidates of different parties for different offices at the same election For candidates: Structural changes have increased conflict and disorganization within parties Changes in the technology of campaigning, especially the use of television and the Internet, have made candidates more independent of the party organization The growth of single-issue organizations provides candidates with another source of financial support Weakened connections to political parties:

33 Declining Partisan Loyalties Acetate PP–7

34 Parties Aim Their Campaigns to the Middle Acetate PP–10

35 Demographic Factors and Party Preferences Acetate PP–9

36 The Political Process Candidates may run for office by being nominated in one of the following methods –Caucus –Nominating Conventions –Petitions –Direct Primary


38 The Political Process National Nominating Conventions are used by both parties to select their Presidential and Vice-Presidential Candidates State and Local parties choose the method of selecting all other candidates

39 Campaign Contributions The Federal Election Campaign Act sets limits on campaign funding for federal elections The public can contribute to –Individual Candidates –Political Parties –Political Action Committees


41 Political Action Committees PAC’s are spin offs of Interest Groups and professional organizations whose goal is to influence elections They have increased from about 600 in the mid ’70’s to 4,000 today. They give money to their favorite candidates It totals over 200 million dollars in an election cycle

42 Political Action Committees Allows groups access to important decision makers in our government Most contributions go to incumbents rather than challengers It does not favor one political party over another instead the party in power

43 Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act





48 Campaign Spending Chapter 7, Section

49 Sources of Funding Chapter 7, Section Small contributors Wealthy supporters Nonparty groups such as PACs Temporary fund-raising organizations Candidates Government subsidies Private and Public Sources of Campaign Money

50 Regulating Campaign Financing Chapter 7, Section 3 Early campaign regulations were created in 1907, but feebly enforced. The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) of 1971 was passed to replaced the former, ineffective legislation. The FECA Amendments of 1974 were passed in response to the Watergate scandal. Buckley v. Valeo invalidated some of the measures in the FECA Amendments of Most significantly, it also stipulated that several of the limits that the 1974 amendments placed on spending only apply to candidates who accept campaign money from the government, not those who raise money independently. The FECA Amendments of 1976 were passed in response to Buckley v. Valeo.

51 The Federal Election Commission (FEC) enforces: the timely disclosure of campaign finance information limits on campaign contributions limits on campaign expenditures provisions for public funding of presidential campaigns Chapter 7, Section 3

52 Loopholes in the Law “More loophole than law…” —Lyndon Johnson Soft money—money given to State and local party organizations for “party-building activities” that is filtered to presidential or congressional campaigns. $500 million was given to campaigns in this way in Independent campaign spending—a person unrelated and unconnected to a candidate or party can spend as much money as they want to benefit or work against candidates. Issue ads—take a stand on certain issues in order to criticize or support a certain candidate without actually mentioning that person’s name. Chapter 7, Section 3

53 Public Opinion Public Opinion is measured in a variety of ways –Public Opinion Polls –Voting –Buying –Joining Interest Groups

54 Public Opinion Polls Polling has become a valuable tool in Politics It measures how the public feels on issues and candidates Politicians use the information to plan strategy and policy

55 Public Opinion Polls Polling must be precise in order for the data to be reliable –Sample must be random and large enough to represent entire population –Polling method must be consistent throughout poll –Poll must be current and dates the poll was given should be published –Questions should be without bias –Sponsor of the poll must be known in order to check bias

56 Analyzing Polls Who was polled? How many people were polled? How was the polling conducted? What questions were asked? When was the poll conducted? Who sponsored the poll?

57 Polling Bias Types A. Testimonial - Implied endorsements from celebrities. –Example Question: Did you know that Pat Robertson does not believe John McCain will make a good president? Do you plan to vote for George Bush or John McCain in the Republican primary? B. Mudslinging – Name-calling or groundless assertions about another candidate. –Example Question: Do you favor the economic policies of the Democrats, which will preserve Social Security, or the policies of the Republicans, which will destroy our Social Security system and leave many of our elderly citizens homeless?

58 Polling Bias Types C. Transfer – Use of popular symbols or causes to create a positive connotation for a candidate or the use of negative or controversial symbols and causes to create a negative connotation of the competition’s candidate. –Example Question: Knowing that Texas has one of the highest rates of child poverty in the US, who do you think will be the best candidate for president in 2000, Al Gore or George Bush?

59 Polling Bias Types D. Card stacking – Use of statistics in a one- sided manner; the omission of information that is crucial to drawing an informed conclusion. –Example: Democratic television ads showing former teachers and college administrators listing republican George Allen’s failings concerning education. What the ads do not show is the reasoning behind why he didn’t support certain bills, and that many of the former teachers and college administrators are disgruntled democrats who lost their appointed jobs under Allen’s republican administration.

60 Polling Bias Types E. Glittering Generalities – Use of very vague words or phrases that may have a positive effect on the viewer and appeal to a variety of interests. –Example Question: Do you believe that we need a Washington insider or a fresh new face from outside Washington to lead our country through the next four years? F. Contrast question or Sandwich question – Juxtaposing positive images of one’s candidate with negative images of the competition’s candidate. –Example Question: Al Gore trusts the people of the United States, not big corporations. Do you believe Bush, who calls himself a “Compassionate Conservative” or Gore, who is fighting for the people not the powerful, will make a better president for most Americans?

61 Political Advertising Advertising has become the costliest expense of modern day campaigns Media outlets are required to provide equal time all candidates if it gives time to one candidate (equal time doctrine) Easy method for candidates to get their message across in a short amount of time

62 Political Advertising Important to sort through all forms of political advertising to check for accuracy –All major propaganda methods are used to get message across to the people

63 Four Journalistic Periods in America a. Party Press: Early years of republic - Papers subsidized by political parties; addressed small elite; ruthlessly partisan b.Popular Press: changes in society and technology, like high speed rotary press, made possible rise of a self-supporting, mass-readership daily paper; publishers could become powerful political forces, sometimes associated with yellow journalism

64 c. Magazines of opinion: Reaction of middle class to yellow journalism led to less sensationalism and more nonpolitical coverage d.Electronic Journalism: Radio & TV allows for direct politician voter link; get “sound bite”, selective viewing, and need for dramatic to get coverage Four Journalistic Periods in America

65 The Role of Mass Media A medium is a means of communication; it transmits some kind of information. Four major mass media are particularly important in American politics:

66 The Media and Politics The Public Agenda The media play a very large role in shaping the public agenda, the societal problems that political leaders and citizens agree need government attention. It is not correct that the media tell the people what to think; but it is clear that they tell the people what to think about. Electoral Politics Today, television allows candidates to appeal directly to the people, without the help of a party organization. Candidates regularly try to use media coverage to their advantage. Newscasts featuring candidates are usually short, sharply focused sound bites—snappy reports that can be aired in 30 to 45 seconds.

67 Media Statistics Chapter 8, Section 3 Access to media varies from country to country.

68 Bad News About Presidential Candidates Increases Acetate M–4

69 Media Influence on Politics a. Gatekeeper: Influence what becomes an issue and for how long; example = crime, Vietnam b.Scorekeeper: Make or break politicians reputations; examples = Carter, Gary Hart, George McGovern c.Watchdog: examining political and personal lives; examples = Gary Hart, Bill Clinton, Gary Condit

70 Limits on Media Influence Only a small part of the public actually takes in and understands much of what the media have to say about public affairs. Many media sources mostly skim the news, reporting only what their news editors judge to be the most important and/or most interesting stories of the day. In-depth coverage of public affairs is available to those who want it and will seek it out.

71 Regulations in Radio and T.V. a. Equal time rule: If a station sells time to one candidate, it must be willing to sell equal time for opposing candidate b.Right to reply rule: If a person is attacked on a broadcast other than in a regular news program, that person has the right to reply over the same station. c.Political editorializing rule: If a broadcaster endorses a candidate, the opposing candidate has a right to reply

72 Reporter and Source Bias a. Routine: public events regularly covered by reporters, comparatively little of bias b.Selected: Public events knowable to inquiring reporters but not usually reported, bias of reporter/editor may figure prominently in selection c.Insider: Events not usually public, revealed because someone inside reveals them, problem of the motive of the leaker

73 Chapter 9, Section 1 The Nature of Interest Groups What role do interest groups have in influencing public policy? How can we compare and contrast political parties and interest groups? Why do people see interest groups as both good and bad for American politics?

74 The Role of Interest Groups Chapter 9, Section 1 Interest groups are private organizations whose members share certain views and work to shape public policy. Public policy includes all of the goals a government sets and the various courses of action it pursues as it attempts to realize these goals. Interest groups exist to shape public policy.

75 Political Parties and Interest Groups Chapter 9, Section 1 Political parties and interest groups differ in three striking respects: (1) in the making of nominations, (2) in their primary focus, and (3) in the scope of their interests. Nominations Political parties are responsible for the nominating process, while interest groups hope to influence those nominations. Primary Focus Political parties are interested in winning elections and controlling government, while interest groups are interested in influencing the policies created by government. Scope of Interest Political parties concern themselves with the whole range of public affairs, while interest groups tend to focus on issues that their members are concerned about.

76 Valuable Functions of Interest Groups Chapter 9, Section 1 Interest groups raise awareness of public affairs, or issues that concern the people at large. Interest groups represent people who share attitudes rather than those who share geography. Interest groups provide specialized information to government agencies and legislators. Interest groups are vehicles for political participation. Interest groups keep tabs on various public agencies and officials. Interest groups compete.

77 Criticisms Some groups have an influence far out of proportion to their size or importance. It can be difficult to tell who or how many people are served by a group. Groups do not always represent the views of the people they claim to speak for. In rare cases, groups use tactics such as bribery, threats, and so on. Chapter 9, Section 1

78 Chapter 9, Section 2 Reasons for Interest Groups Most interest groups have been founded on the basis of an economic interest, especially business, labor, agricultural, and professional interests. Some are grounded in geographic area. Some are based on a cause or idea, such as environmental protection. Some promote the welfare of certain groups of people, such as retired citizens. Some are run by religious organizations.

79 Membership in Labor Unions Chapter 9, Section 2

80 Public-Interest Groups A public-interest group is an interest group that seeks to institute certain public policies that will benefit all or most of the people in the country, whether or not they belong to that organization.

81 Influencing Public Opinion Chapter 9, Section 3 Interest groups reach out to the public for these reasons: 1. To supply information in support of the group’s interests 2. To build a positive image for the group 3. To promote a particular public policy

82 Propaganda Chapter 9, Section 3 Propaganda is a technique of persuasion aimed at influencing individual or group behaviors. Its goal is to create a particular belief which may be true or false. Propaganda disregards information that does not support its conclusion. It is not objective. It presents only one side of an issue. Propaganda often relies on name-calling and inflammatory labels.

83 Influencing Parties and Elections Chapter 9, Section 3 Political Action Committees (PACs) raise and distribute money to candidates who will further their goals.

84 Lobbying Lobbying is any activity by which a group pressures legislators and influences the legislative process. Lobbying carries beyond the legislature. It is brought into government agencies, the executive branch, and even the courts. Nearly all important organized interest groups maintain lobbyists in Washington, D.C. Chapter 9, Section 3

85 Lobbyists at Work Lobbyists use several techniques: They send articles, reports, and other information to officeholders. They testify before legislative committees. They bring “grass-roots” pressures to bear through , letters, or phone calls from constituents. They rate candidates and publicize the ratings. They make campaign contributions. Chapter 9, Section 3

86 The Framers of the Constitution purposely left the power to set suffrage qualifications to each State. Suffrage means the right to vote. Franchise is another term with the same meaning. The electorate is all of the people entitled to vote in a given election. Initially, the right to vote in America was limited to white male property owners. Today, the size of the American electorate is greater than 200 million people. Nearly all citizens at least 18 years of age can qualify to vote.

87 1. During the early 1800s, religious, property, and tax payment qualifications were gradually eliminated. 2. The 15th Amendment (1870) was intended to end race-based voting requirements. 3. In 1920, the 19th Amendment prohibited the denial of the right to vote because of sex. 4. The 1960s: The Voting Rights Act of 1965 guaranteed the right to vote for minorities. The 23rd Amendment (1961) granted citizens of the District of Columbia the right to vote for presidential electors. The 24th Amendment (1964) eliminated the poll tax. 5. The 26th Amendment (1971) lowered the voting age to 18.

88 Voting Requirements Citizenship Most States require United States citizenship in order to vote. Residence One must be a legal resident of a State to vote in elections. Most States require residency for minimum amounts of time in order to vote in the State. Age The 26th Amendment requires that no State set a minimum voting age above 18.

89 Other Qualifications Chapter 6, Section 2 All states except North Dakota require citizens to register to vote. Registration is a procedure of voter identification intended to prevent fraudulent voting. At one time, poll taxes, or a special tax payment required to vote, were prevalent in the South. Poll taxes are now forbidden by the 24th Amendment. Literacy—a person’s ability to read or write—is no longer required in any State to vote, but had been by several States at times in our nation’s history. States also have restrictions on the right to vote on certain members of the population, such as those found to be mentally incompetent or people convicted of serious crimes.

90 Voting 15 th Amendment (1870) –All adult males now have the right to vote 17 th Amendment (1913) –Direct election of Senators 19 th Amendment (1920) –Women’s Suffrage

91 Voting 23 rd Amendment (1961) –District of Columbia given the right to vote 24 th Amendment (1964) –Elimination of the Poll Tax 26 th Amendment (1971) –18 year olds given the right to vote












103 Why Don’t More People Vote? In 2000 Presidential Election, 51% of the voting age population voted Turnout is lower in off-year elections, primaries, and special elections than in Presidential Elections (about 33%)

104 Why Don’t More People Vote? Some people can’t vote –20 million don’t vote because they cannot –Aliens, handicapped, people in prison –Religious beliefs forbid voting

105 Why Don’t More People Vote? Political Efficacy –Belief that one person can’t make a difference by participating in government and politics Voter Registration –Corruption historically made it necessary for states to impose rules regarding voting –Must be registered and must vote in specific location –Absentee ballot

106 Why Don’t More People Vote? Time-Zone Fallout –Media outlets declare winners state by state –Eastern states are declared before the western states have finished voting –Results discourage west coast voters from going out to vote because they believe that their vote doesn’t matter

107 Why Don’t More People Vote? Weekday Voting –Most countries vote on weekends when people are off work Voter Satisfaction –Believe the outcome won’t affect them Bad weather

108 Review for Test Complete Study Guide for Test Coincides with Chapter 6-8 in your book

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