National University Second Political Awareness Discussion

You will need to select a current event and write a 1-2 page plus paper about it. Please proofread each document prior to submittal. This assignment is geared to get you concentrated on events that happen in our nation. Please make sure that the assignments relate to American Politics. This will include the following:A. TitleB. Source of event (website, newspaper, magazine)C. How it relates to this classD. Why did you pick this eventE. Your feelings on this event.After studying this chapter, you should be able to:Describe the “newsmakers” in the American media and the bases of their power.Evaluate the impact of television as the first true mass communication form in the United States.Identify and explain the political functions of the American mass media.Explain the sources and effects of the “bad-news bias” of television and the news media in the United States.Assess the impact of American media on mass opinion and behavior.
Chapter SixAfter studying this chapter, you should be able to:Summarize the major characteristics of the “responsible party” model of pluralist political theory.Identify and explain the reasons why the pluralist “responsible party” model fails to describe accurately the role of political parties in the American political system.Recognize and explain the differences and similarities among the Democratic and Republican parties in terms of membership, ideology, and policy.Recognize the Democratic and Republican parties as oligarchies controlled by relatively small groups of party activists.Assess the viability of third political parties in the context of the traditional American two-party system.Week Two ReadingRead the following Chapters in The Irony of Democracy: An Uncommon Introduction to American Politics.Chapter 5: Elite Mass CommunicationCommunication in the American political system flows downward from elites to masses. Mass media are the means by which elites communicate to the masses information, values, and attitudes. Pollsters measure mass response to these communications, which often fail as masses misinterpret elite messages.Chapter 6: Political Parties and IdeologiesThe two major political parties have little incentive to offer clear policy alternatives. Voters do not divide clearly along ideological lines. Party organizations are oligarchic and dominated by activists who are largely out of touch with voters. Candidates are selected in primary elections in which personal organization and financial assets are crucial to victory. Party voting in general elections is declining over time. Television has replaced party organizations as a means of linking candidates to voters. The party system fails to provide the masses with an effective means to direct public policy.Elections do not serve as policy mandates but function as symbolic reassurance to the masses. Elections contribute to the legitimacy of government by allowing the masses to participate. Elected officials can claim voting legitimizes what they do in office. Money drives political campaigns.

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