Recently we have spent some time in class discussing political parties and the election process. For this week's blog I would like for us to explore and discuss the media's influence and evolving role in this process. Please read the articles below and respond to the following questions:
1. Explain how increasingly diverse choices of media and communication outlets influence candidates and voting behavior
2. Evidently Bernie Sanders has claimed "that corporate media's values and principles are profit driven instead of being an unbiased observer of the political process in the United States." Evaluate the extent to which you believe this statement to be true or false.
3. What steps should we take as individuals to check the credibility of news sources and information?
This week through our blog we will further our discussion on political parties and the role they play in our democracy. We already know the framers of our Constitution were wary of political parties and their influence. Indeed in his farewell address, George Washington specifically warned against them. However, clearly his warnings have been ignored, and today in our democracy we have a strong two-party system. For this week’s blog I would like us to further our understanding of the two party system by reading the attached article and answering the questions below.
“Voters now vote the party, not the candidate. Candidates depend on the party brand. Everything is team loyalty. The stakes are too high for it to be otherwise.”
Q1. In our reading last week it was suggested that party ID is declining especially with the emergence of more people identifying as independents. The above statement somewhat contradicts this. Evaluate the extent to which you think party ID is in decline.
“Multiparty democracy is not perfect. But it is far superior in supporting the diversity, bargaining, and compromise that the Framers, and especially Madison, designed America’s institutions around, and which they saw as essential to the fragile experiment of self-government.”
Q2. Here the author is making his case for a multi-party system as opposed to the current two party system. However, given the way our system currently works it is pretty difficult for third party candidates to be successful. Identify structural barriers to third-party and independent candidate success and offer solutions to each of them.
John Adams worried that “a division of the republic into two great parties … is to be dreaded as the great political evil.” And that’s exactly what has come to pass.
Q3. Do you think the author’s assessment is correct? Support your answer with relevant examples.