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Political Culture and Ideology

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Title: Political Culture and Ideology


1
  • Political Culture and Ideology
  • Over recent years, we have seen the participation
    in government (at all levels) decline and social
    capital (the way we participate in
    government/politics) decrease
  • Why?
  • We use Political Culture to identify the beliefs,
    values, and norms concerning the relationship of
    citizens to government and to one another
  • Our political culture centers on certain
    democratic values
  • Liberty
  • Most admired value
  • Equality
  • all men are created equal
  • But it is more than just social
    equalitypolitical equality (equal protection and
    equal voting power) is also a value
  • Finally, equal opportunity has become a big issue

2
  • Individualism
  • Preserving individual freedom of choice and
    putting what limits on individual choice usually
    sparks debate
  • Respect for the common man
  • We have faith in the common sense and wisdom of
    regular people
  • Democratic Consensus
  • Agreement on fundamental principles of democratic
    governance and the values that they are based on
  • We believe in Majority Rule, but also believe the
    minority has the right to be heard
  • We believe in popular sovereigntybasically
    meaning that the government works on the consent
    of the governed
  • We give consent though elections
  • Even though we allow this, we still disagree on
    rights and freedomsshould there be limits? On
    what? On whom?

3
  • Justice and the Rule of Law
  • We believe in fairness for every person
  • For government to adhere to the rule of law, its
    policies and laws should follow five rules
  • Generality- general rulesdo not single out any
    group
  • Prospectively- apply to the future, not punish
    something in the past
  • Publicity- laws must be given to the public
  • Authority- laws are made though those who the
    people gave the power to
  • Due Process- laws must be enforced with fair
    processes
  • Nationalism, optimist, and idealism
  • Americans are usually nationalistic (i.e. after
    9/11)
  • We generally look forward to the future and
    believe, even though not perfect, democracy works

4
  • Our enthusiasm for capitalism is key
  • For Capitalism to work, you need an economic
    system characterized by
  • private property
  • competitive markets
  • economic incentives
  • limited government involvement in the production
    and pricing of goods and services
  • Capitalism has run into a few snags, so
    government (although limited) has tried to fix
    the problems
  • Monopolies and antitrust legislation (laws to
    prevent monopolies) has raised questions about
    the governments involvement to promote the
    general welfare by the regulation of workers
    conditions, product safety, and labor-management
    disputes

5
  • IDEOLOGIES
  • A political ideology is a consistent pattern of
    beliefs about political values and the role of
    government
  • We have two major schools in the United States
  • Liberalism
  • Conservatism
  • Then, we have lesser schools
  • socialism
  • environmentalism
  • libertarianism
  • Modern-day liberalism
  • A belief in the positive uses of government to
    bring about justice and equality of opportunity
  • Believe in affirmative action, tax rates that
    rise with income, and trust of government
    programs (and give them time to work)
  • Criticism- liberals much too much reliance on
    governmental solutions, high taxes and the
    bureaucracythey almost forget that government is
    to be limited

6
  • Conservatism
  • A belief that limited government ensures order,
    competitive markers, and personal opportunity
  • Enhance individual liberties by keeping
    government small (especially at the national
    level)
  • Traditional conservatives believe in small
    government, small taxes and family values
  • See many social conservatives
  • Criticisms Sometimes they do use government to
    solve problems (abortion/gay marriage), Put too
    much faith in the market economic, and lower
    taxes usually putting the burden on the lower
    class
  • Lesser schools
  • Socialism
  • An economic and governmental system based on
    public ownership of the means of production and
    exchange
  • You see a lot of western European countries
    (France, Germany) take some of these ideas

7
  • Environmentalism
  • Dominated by concern for the environment but also
    promotes grassroots democracy, social justice,
    equal opportunity, nonviolence, respect for
    diversity, and feminism (the green party)
  • Libertarianism
  • Cherishes individual liberty and insists on
    sharply limited government, promoting a free
    market economy, a noninterventionist foreign
    policy, and an absence of regulation in the moral
    and social spheres
  • Labels
  • Being labeled on ideology is sometimes not wanted
  • Being right or liberal brings up unpopular
    images
  • We take the easy way out Im in the middle
  • Most Americans considered themselves to be
    moderate

8
The American Political Landscape The chapter
starts by talking about how our country is one of
immigrants. Ethnocentrism is usually the cause
for feelings toward immigrations (as well as
other things) belief in the superiority of ones
nations or ethnic group based on ones
background The United States is unique where the
peoples ancestors are not native of this land.
We are a relatively young nation that has
attracted people from all over the world. Most
of the time, people hold onto the identity (even
a small part) of their native landthis has
political ramifications because it reflects
socialization in families, churches, etc
9
Political Socialization is the process by which
parents and others teach children about political
values, beliefs, attitudes (ideology) This
happens at home, in schools, churches, community
centers, a neighbors house, etc It usually
influences (very strongly sometimes) how we see
politics and which party we ultimately choose We
also live in a country where age, occupations,
education, race, religion, economic status, and
gender determine how we votewe call these
characteristics demographics Some people have
political predispositions and tend to vote
alike.90 of African-Americans voted for John
Kerry in 2004
10
GEOGRAPHY AND NATIONAL IDENTITY The oceans and
protection SECTIONAL DIFFERENCES The different
people in our county are spread out all over the
nation We see our differences geographic, not
ethic or even religious The south is a good
example- there have been many changes and many
political division since the beginning of the
nation Now, the Sun Belt is becoming more
important STATE AND LOCAL IDENTITY Different
states have different political traditions Each
states has a distinctive political cultures that
affect public opinion and policy outcomes WHERE
WE LIVE 80 of Americans live in central cities
and suburbs white flight in the 60s and
70s This, again, causes political ramifications
11
  • WHO WE ARE
  • Americans define themselves by a number of
    characteristics, each of which may and do
    influence how they vote or think about candidates
  • RACE AND ETHNICITY
  • Race- a group of human being with distinctive
    characteristics determined by genetic inheritance
  • Ethnicity- social division based on national
    origin, religion, language, and often race
  • In the US, race and ethnicity issues focus on
    African Americans, Asian Americans, Native
    Americans, and Hispanics
  • Hispanics are the fastest-growing ethnic group

African-Americans The first black person in this
country was a slave Most immigrants came here for
freedom and opportunityAfricans were forced
here Most lived in the south until 1900 (90),
but by 2000, that number was down to 55. Many
moved to the large cities of the Northeast,
Midwest, and West
12
MOST are economically worse off than whites You
measure it two ways Wealth and Income Wealth is
value of everything you own (stocks, homes,
etc) Income is the amount of money you make The
group tends to vote for Democrats, but recently,
the percentage of African Americans voting has
increased making their vote more important. In
2004, almost 90 of African American voters voted
for John Kerry
HISPANICS (LATINOS) There is a large population
of Latinos in Florida, Texas, California, and
Arizona. The voting pattern usually depends on
the nationality Cuban-Americans tend to vote
Republican Mexican-American and Puerto Ricans
tend to vote for Democrats
ASIAN AMERICANS Many different nationalities make
up this group
13
GENDER There is a gender gap in politics Men tend
to vote republican, women tend to vote for
democrats. Many of the social conservatives are
turning out to be women SEXUAL ORIENTATION This
is becoming a HUGE issue in this country Almost
all homosexuals vote for Democrats Those against
gay rights have been back lashing for the past
6-10 years FAMILY STRUCTURE Traditional Families
have gone by the way-side Americans tend to
approve of issues that 30 years ago were
evil Divorce, Premarital sex, and drug use are
just a few examples This does change the
political landscape RELIGION Sorry, because this
is a public school, I cannot discuss religion
14
WEALTH and INCOME Those with higher incomes tend
to vote for republicans, those will lower incomes
tend to vote for democrats OCCUPATION Our
economy has grown greatly since 1960 In 40 years,
the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) increase by
392 We have seen a shift from an industrial
economy to a service economy SOCIAL CLASS Most
Americans consider themselves as the middle
class The middle class has greatly expanded
however there we might be in a 5 class
society AGE Old people vote, young people
dont EDUCATION Liberalism increases with the
amount of education one receives
15
  • Public Opinion, Participation, and Voting
  • Public opinion is the distribution of individual
    preferences for or evaluations of a given issue,
    candidate, or institution within a specific
    population.
  • Basically, public opinion is what the people are
    thinking
  • The way we find out what people are thinking is
    by conducting polls
  • Sampling is keyyou must choose a random sample
    in which everyone is eligible of being selected.
  • The book gives a good examplea survey of 18 to
    24 year olds should not be conducted on ONLY
    college students.
  • Even with the proper sampling, there is still a
    margin of errorusually /- 3
  • Some issues we have a consensus and with some,
    Americans are polarized

16
  • Intensity
  • This is how strongly a person feels about a
    specific issue
  • Latency
  • This is the idea that there are issues that are
    really not on the front-burner yet, but it takes
    a candidate and/or an event to make them a
    critical issue in America
  • Salience
  • How relevant is a specific issue to you?
  • How Do We Get Our Political Opinions and Values?
  • Family (parents are strongest)
  • Schools (include peers)
  • Mass Media
  • Other Religious, ethnic, racial attitudes,

17
  • Stability and Change in Public Opinion
  • Typically, Americans do not change their views
    dramatically
  • These views do not change because of our core
    values
  • That is why you typically do not see a large
    change in abortion, death penalty, etc over time
  • The job performance of a president typically does
    not effect our core values
  • Public Opinion and Public Policy
  • At times, public policy MUST reflect public
    opinion
  • If politicians fail to following this, they may
    be out of a job

18
  • Awareness and Interest
  • For most of us, politics is not that importantwe
    have many more things to worry about
  • However, politics play a role in those things
    we worry about
  • Most people do not know many top government
    officials
  • There are some people, called the attentive
    public that know and care a great deal for
    politics
  • On the other side, you have nonvoters and
    political know-nothings
  • Finally, part-time citizens- these people vote
    some of the time

19
  • VOTING
  • People do not
  • Registration is a must- however states can make
    certain rules
  • The American Government has switched to an
    Australian Ballot (secret ballot)
  • The Motor-Voter Bill (National Voter Registration
    Act), sign by Clinton, has increased the number
    of people who registered (however, they still do
    not vote)
  • The turnout (those who actually vote) sways from
    time period to time period
  • The last two elections have had high turnout
  • Who Votes?
  • There are lots of factors
  • As education increases, so does the number of
    people who vote
  • Blacks turn out less than whitesHispanic turnout
    is greatly increasing
  • More women than men vote
  • Higher family incomes are more likely to vote
    than those with lower incomes
  • Older people vote more (unless they are sick,
    etc)

20
  • VOTING CHOICES
  • Voting on Basis of Party
  • Party Identification is the single biggest
    predict of how a person will vote
  • Voting on the Basis of Candidates
  • Some like the candidates appeal and vote for a
    person for that reason (Reagan, Clinton)
  • Negative appeal obviously hurts the candidate
    (McGovern, Dole)
  • Others vote against the other guy
  • Appeal means more than you think. If the public
    perceives a candidate are boring or incompetent,
    the campaign staff does all it can to change that
    image
  • Voting on the Basis of Issues
  • If the issue is important enough, people will
    vote for the candidate that best aggress with
    them
  • The Republican candidates have been helped by
    Christians with their views of abortion and gay
    marriage
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