Political Science 1 - Introduction To Political Science - Power Point #6
Dr. Tabakian’s Political Science 1 US Government – Spring 2013 Power Point Presentation # 6
COURSE LECTURE TOPICS (1)• America’s Democratic Republic• Partisanship & Political Profiling• Party Competition• America’s Two Party System• Power Of The Vote• Power Of Money In The Political System• Elections As Symbolic• Candidate Image• Political Campaign Rhetoric• Interest Groups Protecting Elite Values• Lobbyists And The Power They Possess• Political Action Committees (PACs)
LECTURE HIGHLIGHTS (2)• Invisible Hand: Capitalism & Democracy• Elite To Mass Communication• Messages & Manipulation• Elitism Take On Communication• Pluralism Take On Communication
AMERICA’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC – 1A successful democracy is based on the consent of the governedalong with widespread support. Democratic governments allow itscitizens the right to speak freely and elect its leaders. A formaldemocracy is a political system that possesses four factors: (1)regular and fair elections; (2) universal suffrage; (3) accountability ofgovernment policies to elected representatives; and (4) guaranteeingright to free expression, association and reasonable protectionsagainst capricious government action. Elites would agree that powerand power sharing influence all democracies. Pluralists would arguethat the subordinate classes unite as evidenced in associations,unions, and parties. This gives them power although all do notnecessarily possess property, high social status, or command overcultural hegemony. Elites show favor towards formal democracies, forthey do not see subordinates as posing much of a threat, as theirorganizational power base is weak.
AMERICA’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC – 2The United States hosts a republican form of democracy. Truedemocracies can only be realized when every citizen participates in alldecisions concerning public policy. Pluralism stresses the need forcitizens to hold leaders accountable through elections. Masses electleaders who make decisions for their citizens. America’s two-partysystem is more stable than a multiparty system that requires coalitionsto achieve a majority. Countries with two-party systems enjoy thestability that it affords. Multi-party countries like Italy, France, and evensingle-party systems functioning in some emerging countries havesuffered instability from time to time. Pluralists would argue thatAmerica’s two parties agree on most issues that face the nation withtheir primary disagreements relating to the means more than ends. Theends are those policies that serve the interests of economic and politicalelites. Stability is a result of the two-party system and the way elites andthe parties narrow the issues, which then progress to the public stage.
PARTISANSHIP – 1Social factors that include race, religion and occupation influencepartisanship. Partisanship is a better predictor of vote choice thansocial factors. Party identification does not automatically determinehow one is to vote. People may keep their party registration the samefor the rest of their life. What is susceptible to change is votingbehavior. Changes in attitudes toward public policy and politicalcandidates is open gain, thus affording greater significance tounderstanding whether religious orthodoxy will have a long-termeffect on voter behavior and whether it will ever affect partisanship.Party identification is a “psychological commitment or attachment to apolitical party that normally predisposes us to evaluate their party andits candidates in a favorable light.” Party identifications help toencourage citizens to vote for those candidates or support thoseissues that their self-identified party supports.
PARTISANSHIP – 2Identifying key variables also assists researchers in determiningthe influence primary groups have on a potential voter. Thesegroups are those “face – to –face” groups with which oneassociates. Identifiers are shared interests or goals that are notdetermined by personal contact. Social classes are broadgroupings based on positions held in society. These social classescan also include the amount of money one earns or job that oneholds.
PARTISANSHIP (3)Let us not discuss political profiling. Variables can help determinepartisanship like the religion, social status and place of residenceof the individual. For example, Catholics tend to be Democratsand Protestants tend to be Republicans. Those individuals havinga low social status tended to associate with the Democrats andthose holding high social status tended to be Republican. Theyhave also inferred that rural citizens tend to be more closelyassociated with the Republican Party and those residing in theurban areas tended to lean towards the Democratic Party. Aconglomeration of variables or even a particular characteristic canassist us in determining individual behavior. Though this is true, itis the degree of partisanship one holds that remains the bestpredictor for determining how ones vote.
SYSTEM IN DECAY Party Competition Reflects Elite Competition1. There is partisan agreement on democratic values, freedom and property, and major policy directions.2. There is partisan agreement on presenting unclear ideological choices to attract voters.3. There is mass attachment to both parties because they get votes from all social groups.4. There is ideological detachment to both parties because they draw disproportionate support from certain groups.5. Parties are Oligarchies (elite organizations) dominated by small groups of activists.6. Party identification is still stable, but dealignment is ever present.
HEALTH OF TWO-PARTY SYSTEMPresidential primaries contribute to the demise of partyorganizations.1.Voter dealignment from the parties helps Independents and thirdparties. • Ross Perot’s candidacy helped increase voter turnout and made Bill Clinton win a plurality of the popular vote. • Theodore Lowi supports a three-party system to excite politics and inspire a revival of issue debates in the American party system.
ELECTIONS, MONEY AND MYTHSVoting is the most popular political activity.1. Pluralist theory assumes voters influence public policy.2. Elitist theory assumes that uninformed voters cannot influence public policy.3. Rational choice theory assumes that voters who identify with groups seek benefits when they vote.4. There are economic and foreign policy bases for supporting a political candidate.5. Candidate image is important for media-oriented voters.6. Low presidential election turnout shows voters are not efficacious.
MONEY SUSTAINS POLITICSMoney sustains politics and elections.1. PACs are pipelines for interest groups’ campaign contributions.2. Campaign Finance Reform might empower organized interests even more.Elections are symbols of democratic policy choices.1. Elections symbolize the masses’ relationship with their government.2. Elections are limited in holding government elites accountable.3. The Electoral College offers elite control over mass decision making.4. Bush v. Gore was the Supreme Court’s winning vote for President.
AL GORE CONCEDES ELECTIONFollowing one of the greatest battlesin our election system, Al Goreconcedes to George W. Bush onDecember 13, 2000. Al Gore becamethe third presidential candidate toreceive the largest share of thepopular vote while losing the electoralvote. Grover Cleveland in 1888,Samuel Tilden in 1876 and AndrewJackson in 1824 also lost thepresidency. Both Cleveland andJackson went on to win thepresidency four years after theirelectoral defeats. This is Al Gore’sconcession speech.
POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEESPolitical Action Committees (PACs) areestablished organizations that serve toadvocate policy recommendations forvarious interest groups. Private companies,corporations, unions, and other variousPublic Interest Groups (PIGs) and SingleInterest Groups (SIGs). PACs are primarilyutilized to influence public policymakersthrough campaign donations, offeringlegitimate information regarding theirvarious interests and even coordinatingissue based campaigns directed to aconstituency. Enjoy this campaign examplecreated by People For The EthicalTreatment Of Animals (PETA).
VARIABLESWe have examined howour system allows interestgroups to openly competefor market share. Whatmotivates these groups toact in the manner that theydo? What about our ownindividual behavior? This isthe result of variables.Enjoy the videodemonstration.
911 – RALLY AROUND THE FLAG911 introduced the world to“Asymmetrical Warfare” -Using the resources of anation state to attack itsinstitutions. This is acompilation of clips duringSeptember 11, 2001. Whatcaused the nation to cometogether? How were we ableto acquire internationalsupport? Did we overspendthe goodwill bestowed by ourinternational peers?
CANDIDATE IMAGECandidate image has becomemore important with the adventof television. Its influence overelections has become evengreater as partisanship identitydeclines. This video is thefamous debate between JohnKennedy and Richard Nixon.Radio listeners claimed Nixonwon, while television viewersfavored Kennedy.
CANDIDATE IMAGECandidate image depictssituations in which voters decidewhether to support a candidatedepending on the image theyportray and whether they areappealing or unappealing. Thisimage can be a combination of acandidate’s physical appearance,intelligence, schooling, familybackground, or speech. Enjoythe example video.
POLITICAL CAMPAIGN RHETORICIn 1952, Adlai Eisenhower, the all- Another memorable adStevenson responded to American hero from the from the 1988 race, inEisenhower’s ads with heartland! Another which Bush Sr. allegessome pretty creative classic from the 1952 that Michael Dukakisones of his own, such as campaign. would be inept at leadingthis musical tribute to his the militarypolitical skills.
POLITICAL CAMPAIGN RHETORICJohn F. Kennedy relied Who can forget this ad, in George Bush Sr. used thison President Dwight which Michael Dukakis well-known ad to depictEisenhower, to do the played upon the public’s Dukakis as soft on crime.talking for him. Asked to lack of confidence in Bush asserted that whenname one original idea Bush’s running mate Dan Dukakis was governor ofproposed by his vice Quayle? Massachusetts, convictedpresident, Eisenhower criminal Willie Horton waswas at a loss for words paroled and went on to commit more crimes.
POLITICAL CAMPAIGN RHETORICBemoans the federal Images of a cute little girl Criticizes Nixon’s runningdebt, high taxes, and US counting daisy petals give mate with just one soundinvolvement in an way to those of a nuclear and one image: as theinternational war……... blast countdown in this name Spiro AgnewDoes this sound familiar? commercial from Lyndon appears on a TV screen,Republican mantra’s Johnson. we hear a man break intoproud history. gales of laughter.
CAMPAIGN RHETORICOfficial Campaign Rhetoric isbeing challenged due toadvances in technology allowingfor cheap distribution via theInternet. It has also becomecheaper to produce material dueto the ability to produce highquality video at a greatly reducedcost. Enjoy this example of“Obama Girl”.
CAPITALISM & DEMOCRACY – 1For freedom to rein it is required for the market place to determine thefate of all products, services and ideas. No interference can burden thisprocess. Oversight is not necessarily detrimental as is the policy of theUnited States to regulate various industries. The death kneel comeswhen powerful spheres of influence serve to squash competition. JohnLocke argues it best when he suggests that liberalism can never existwithout capitalism. This is the philosophy of Adam Smith’s “invisiblehand” where he explains how markets determine the fate of allcompeting interests seeking society’s acceptance. We are today living ina time of unprecedented technological innovation that is helping topropel humanity further the ladder of evolution. This would not bepossible if vested interests were prevented from pursuing marketacceptance.
CAPITALISM & DEMOCRACY – 2John Locke and Adam Smith would agree that there is no fundamentaldifference between a marketed product, service or even political idea.All interest groups competing in the marketplace are engaged in thesame pursuit: acceptance. Companies competing for market dollarsstrive to offer the most cost efficient product or service that is also themost innovative. This in turn encourages competing peers to furthermaximize efficiency while also stretching the bounds of innovation inorder to offer the best value. Marketing ideas is in essence the same wehave witnessed with political campaigns striving for societal acceptance.Political organizations seeking for example the election of a particularindividual to office must secure a majority of the market within a certainregion. Competing campaigns offer different ideas to the market thatseek to offer a better value. This constant battle allows all individuals todecide for themselves what “product” “service” or even “idea” is best.We all benefit from conflict.
CAPITALISM & DEMOCRACY – 3Let us look at the example of telecommunications to understand the benefits ofconflict. Prior to 1996, there existed in Southern California like most otherregions in the United States, two cellular telephone companies. These were thedays of analog communications, or AMPS (Advanced Mobile Phone System).Southern California was home to Airtouch and LA Cellular prior to 1996. Bothcompanies maintained prices that prevented the average consumer from fullyutilizing their services, or even purchasing them at all. Everything changed withthe signage of the 1996 Telecommunications Act by President Bill Clinton. Thebill allowed for more efficient use of spectrum, thereby allowing easier accessfor companies to compete in wireless communications. Various competitorsentered to compete for market acceptance, requiring all companies to strive forgreater efficiency, while also providing even greater services. Consumers todayface a wide selection of companies who individually offer greatercommunication services that go beyond voice services to encompass videocalling and broadband internet. The invisible hand eliminates those companiesthat do not provide the greatest benefit for consumers.
CAPITALISM & DEMOCRACY – 4The ultimate nightmare may be the elimination of debate. Many haveunwittingly called for this in the halls of government. It is not debate thatthreatens society, but the lack of contesting ideas. Policies enacted toprevent overly powerful monopolies help to maintain open competition.To have one overly powerful sphere of interest prevent debate isdestructive to the system itself. Pluralism emphasizes both conflict andcompromise with interest groups engaged in a constant pursuit of powerthat naturally results in established alliances to compete with peerspheres that are doing the same, resulting in the formation of two majorspheres. Public policy would thereby stall until reaching a compromisebetween these two majority powers. This in turn helps to protect themajority of those residing in society. Every policy requires constantimprovement for humanity to arrive closer to perfection. Those that callfor the elimination of special interest groups or even the restriction ofpolitical debate are ignorant for this process benefits society immensely.
COLA & WAGESCOLA (Cost Of Living Adjustments)and wages are two major issues ofconcern. National economy, asnational security are the two topissues of debate every year. How donational elites seek to manipulatemass beliefs about why wages justbarely keep pace with dailyexpenses? “Why Play Leapfrog” is aCold War-era cartoon aimed atconvincing workers that increasedproductivity brings about greaterpurchasing power.