Home > B3 and B4, Learning > Understanding The GOP Nomination Race (Without the Help of the Media)

Understanding The GOP Nomination Race (Without the Help of the Media)

Political cartoons like this shape people's views of politics.

The media has a big influence in society today.  Most people get their facts from a bias source such as FOX News, which is notorious for only providing the conservative viewpoint on most issues.  Unfortunately, a majority of people don’t know how to view media critically, and distinguish between the facts and a bias opinion.  There are two reasons that most people don’t know the difference, the first being a lack of knowledge regarding how to critically view media, and the second being a lack of knowledge regarding how the government  works.

According to Stella Della Vigna of Berkely and Ethan Kaplan of Stockholm University, “In a representative system of government, policy outcomes are affected by the political preferences and the beliefs of the voters. The media plays a key role in shaping these preferences and beliefs. It collects, summarizes, and frames the information that voters use in their voting decisions.”  If people only absorb what the media presents, then they are not voting off of all the issue that should be taken into account when voting.  Instead, they only see a few issues addressed.

Another problem is the negative propaganda regarding the government in the media. People tend to see articles like this, poking fun of Rick Santorum (all in good humor of course), and take them too literally.  They really begin to believe that Rick Santorum is an idiot just based off of a few quotes.

People tend to see political cartoons like this and, whether they realize it or not, their opinion of the government are affected by these.

But because government class taught me how the government really works and how to critically view the media regarding the government, I am able to avoid the trap the media sets.  In these most recent months, I have been able to apply what I have learned in government to the GOP nomination race.  Instead of looking to social media to form a view of the candidates, I went to the Romney and Santorum campaign websites to see what the candidates really stood for.

Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum

Overall, government class helped me establish my own opinions (uninfluenced by social media) of the candidates.  I learned that I actually do not share the beliefs of these candidates, and that I do not support them, but I learned this by going straight to the source for information, not going to a social media site.

This is where many people get their information from. They see other's opinions and allow them to influence themselves.

Source for Photo

Also, having a basic knowledge of how the government operates has helped me significantly.  As an American citizen, it is important that I know how the government works, and knowing how the government works is especially important now considering the presidential elections are coming up.  I learned about political parties, the electoral college, and many other things that influence the election process that I had not previously been aware of.  I was able to apply what I had learned and judge what is really going on with the elections.  I was able to learn to predict how people would vote based off what the GOP nominees said, and I was able to understand what was going on behind the scenes of the GOP nomination race.

In the end, if not for government class, I could not have seen the current presidential elections from the viewpoint I see them from now.  I developed the skills to view the media with a critical eye, and I learned the details that happen behind the scenes of the government.  I was able to develop my own political voice, and apply my knowledge to assess the GOP nomination race.

  1. May 1, 2012 at 1:57 pm

    Hi there,

    I really enjoyed your blog post, it had some phenomenal points about politics and social media. I especially loved the first political cartoon, quite comical might I say so myself. Just a small amount of constructive criticism though, I feel that you could definitely explain in much more depth the parameters of the cartoon, and also back up some of your opinions with solid facts to help the reader understand where your coming from. Other than that I think it’s a very well written blog!!

    • katherinegperry
      May 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm

      Thank you for your opinion and I will make the corrections right…….. now!

  2. clairecriss
    May 1, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    I love you so don’t take this too hard. First, the first picture you have doesn’t fit with the rest of the post so maybe find a different one. Second, the last like 2 or 3 lines are random rambling so maybe cut that down or even out.

    The link for Santorum is benefitial to the post, maybe put a picture of him in instead of the picture you have now of the people vs the government.

  3. ridagov
    May 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm

    OK, so overall your post did a great job of reflecting what you wanted and stating how taking government as helped you come up with an unbiased outlook on the candidates. BUT I agree with what Claire has to say, you’re kind of rambling in the last few sentences, so maybe cut them or see if you have any last ideas to get across. And I also agree with maybe more visuals of the candidates that you’re talking about. Otherwise I think you did a fairly phenomenal job.

  4. May 5, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    Good work!

    I’m curious: I wonder what, specifically, you are thinking about when you write: “I learned about political parties, the electoral college, and many other things that influence the election process that I had not previously been aware of…” I wish you’d develop that point more fully!

    (Also, say “biased” sources)

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