American politics has been shifting in recent years and this blog will explore what that slant is and how it affects the government and society as a whole.
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The two-party system in the United States
In the United States, the two-party system is the most prevalent form of organization and politics. The two major political parties in the U.S. are the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. However, there are also several smaller parties that play important roles in American politics, such as the Green Party, the Libertarian Party, and the Constitution Party.
The Democratic Party
The Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties in the United States, the other being its historic rival, the Republican Party. The current president, Barack Obama, is a Democrat. The party’s philosophic base is liberal and progressive. Since Franklin D. Roosevelt and his New Deal Coalition in the 1930s, the party has promoted a strong central government and interventionist fiscal policy as part of their commitment to protecting the common man/woman. The Democrats have been losing ground since 1994 in terms of congressional representation and control of state governorships. In presidential elections, they have been unsuccessful since 1988.
The Republican Party
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery activists in 1854, it dominated politics nationally for most of the period 1860–1932. There have been 19 Republican presidents—the most from any one party—with Abraham Lincoln as its first and Donald Trump as the current president. The Republican Party’s current ideology is American conservatism, which contrasts with that of the Democrats’ liberalism.
The influence of money in politics
It is no secret that in the United States of America, money plays a significant role in politics. This is evident in the way that campaigns are run and the way that elected officials govern. There are those who believe that this state of affairs is a positive development, as it gives wealthy individuals and corporations a say in the political process. There are also those who believe that this state of affairs is a negative development, as it gives too much power to special interests and vested interests.
In the United States, campaign finance refers to the raising of money by candidates and political parties to finance election campaigns. Federal campaign finance law limits the sources of funds for campaign activities and regulates the amount of money that campaigns can raise and spend.
Campaign finance law is enforced by the Federal Election Commission (FEC), which was established in 1975. The FEC is responsible for disclosure of campaign finance information, administering the laws relating to campaign finance, and enforcing the laws through audits and investigations.
The FEC is composed of six commissioners, who are appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate. The commissioners serve staggered six-year terms, so that two commissioners’ terms expire every two years. By law, no more than three commissioners can belong to the same political party.
The FEC is responsible for administering and enforcing federal campaign finance law
Lobbying is the act of attempting to influence the decisions of officials in their capacity as legislators, regulators, or adjudicators. Lobbying occurs at every level of government in a variety of ways, including directly contacting elected representatives, organizing grassroots groups to mobilize public support for or opposition to a particular cause, and funding election campaigns.
In the United States, lobbying is regulated by federal law, which requires lobbyists to disclose their activities and limits their ability to give gifts to politicians. Lobbyists also must register with the clerk of the House of Representatives and the secretary of the Senate.
Lobbying has been a controversial practice in American politics since the founding of the republic. Critics argue that it gives special interests an undue influence over policymakers, while supporters argue that it is a necessary and legitimate form of advocacy.
The influence of money in politics was further magnified in 2010 when the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission opened the door for corporations and other special interests to spend unlimited amounts of money on election campaigns.
The media’s role in politics
The media has always had some influence in politics but in recent years that influence has become more pronounced. This is due to a number of factors such as the 24-hour news cycle, social media, and the rise of ‘fake news’. The media plays a role in shaping public opinion and can therefore influence the outcome of political events.
When discussing the media’s role in politics, it is important to consider the issue of bias. News outlets are businesses, and like any business, they are subject to market forces. This means that they will report on stories in a way that is designed to sell newspapers or increase viewership. This often leads to a bias in the coverage, with certain stories being played up or down depending on how they fit into the overall narrative being presented by the outlet.
One example of this is the way that Fox News and MSNBC cover the same stories. Fox News is generally seen as having a conservative slant, while MSNBC is considered more liberal. This difference in perspective can lead to very different interpretations of the same event, which can then influence the way that people vote.
It is also important to consider the sources that news outlets use when reporting on political stories. Reputable news organizations will typically use multiple sources, but there have been instances where outlets have relied on a single source for information. This can lead to an inaccurate story being published, which can then have a serious impact on public opinion.
Fake news is a type of yellow journalism or propaganda that consists of deliberate misinformation or hoaxes spread via traditional print and broadcast news media or online social media. Fake news is no longer just a curiosity; it has become a global phenomenon with real-life consequences.
In the United States, fake news has been a problem since the country’s inception. In the early days of the republic, newspapers were often used as tools by political parties to spread disinformation and slanderous stories about their opponents. This continues today, but fake news has taken on a new form in the digital age.
Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter have made it easier than ever for fake news to spread. A single post can be shared millions of times, and it only takes a few clicks for false information to reach a wide audience.
The problem of fake news is exacerbated by the fact that many people get their news from social media without bothering to check the source. As a result, fake news stories can have a significant impact on public opinion.
In recent years, fake news stories have been used to influence elections, sow division within society, and promote conspiracy theories. Fake news is a serious problem that needs to be addressed.
Political polarization in the United States is the conflict between two main opposite political sides, the Democrats and the Republicans. The conflict has become more visible since the 2016 presidential election.
Ideological echo chambers
If you’re not careful, the internet can lead you into an ideological echo chamber, a place where all you encounter are views that reflect and reinforce your own. It’s easy to do: we tend to gravitate towards websites, social media feeds, and even real-life friends that share our world view. The result is that we get a one-sided diet of information that can make us think our opinion is the only correct one.
Of course, it’s important to be exposed to different points of view. It helps us understand why other people think the way they do, and it can also make us question our own beliefs. But when we only ever encounter opinions that agree with our own, we run the risk of becoming close-minded and dogmatic.
Ideological echo chambers are a big problem in today’s politics. In the United States, for example, there are plenty of people who only ever read or watch news sources that reflect their own political beliefs – whether that’s Fox News for conservatives or MSNBC for liberals. As a result, they never have to confront ideas they disagree with, and their views become more extreme over time.
This isn’t just a problem for individual Americans; it’s also bad for democracy as a whole. When people only ever talk to those who already agree with them, it becomes harder for them to find common ground with those on the other side of the political divide. And when people can’t find common ground, it’s harder for them to compromise and work together for the good of the country.
The impact of social media on politics
Social media has had a profound effect on politics in the USA. It has allowed for a more direct connection between politicians and the people they represent. It has also given rise to new political movements, like the Tea Party.
Filter bubbles are a problem for democracy because they allow people to live in information cocoons, where they are only exposed to information and ideas that agree with their existing point of view. This can lead to people becoming increasingly dogmatic and resistant to new ideas, which is not conducive to reasoned debate or good decision-making.
The term “filter bubble” was coined by Internet entrepreneur Eli Pariser in his 2011 book The Filter Bubble: What the Internet Is Hiding from You. Pariser is the co-founder of the social media website Upworthy, which aims to promote “meaningful” content on the Internet.
When Pariser wrote his book, Facebook was the primary target of his criticism, but any site that uses algorithms to personalize content is susceptible to creating filter bubbles. This includes not only social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but also search engines like Google and Bing, as well as news sites like The Guardian and The Huffington Post.
Filter bubbles can have a number of negative consequences for democracy. One is that they can lead to a loss of perspective, as people become more sure of their own views and less willing to listen to opposing viewpoints. Another is that they can create echo chambers, where people only see information that supports their existing beliefs, leading to a reinforcement of those beliefs. Finally, filter bubbles can lead to a form of groupthink, where people become so sure of their own rightness that they are unwilling to consider alternative points of view.
With the rise of social media, there has been a corresponding increase in the phenomenon known as “clickbait.” Clickbait is defined as “a piece of content whose main purpose is to attract attention and encourage visitors to click on a link to another website.” In the context of politics, clickbait often takes the form of sensationalized headlines or stories that are designed to generate clicks and traffic rather than provide accurate or informative information.
While clickbait has become increasingly prevalent in all areas of the internet, it is particularly prevalent on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. This is because social media platforms are designed to show users content that is most likely to be of interest to them, and content that is likely to generate a high number of clicks and engagement is more likely to be shown to users than content that is less attention-grabbing.
Clickbait can have a number of negative effects on politics. First, it can distort public perceptions by presenting information in a way that is designed to be attention-grabbing rather than accurate or balanced. Second, it can amplify existing polarizations by presenting information in a way that reinforces people’s preexisting beliefs and opinions. Finally, it can lead to the spread of misinformation and false narratives as people share and re-share stories without verifying their accuracy.
While clickbait is not entirely responsible for the current state of politics in the USA, it is undoubtedly a contributing factor. In an era where people are increasingly getting their news and information from social media, it is important to be aware of the ways in which social media can distort our perceptions of reality.