Home > A1, Learning, Mr. O. Recommends > Making Students into Educated Voters

Making Students into Educated Voters

American citizens value politics and government more than any other category of popular focus.  Government and politics fill the vast majority of news Americans tune into consistently throughout the day.

Governmental references are seen in cartoons, books, movies, satires, music, and any other form of entertainment that you might be able to think of.  You might hear conversations involving an election or a new policy being discussed at the table next to you when you go out to dinner.  Why are Americans so into the American government?

Americans value government because their beliefs are what fuel the nation and what it chooses to do.  It is clear why public education of politics and government is so crucial to the success and the strength of the nation.  I believe educating students in government will help create intellectual and reasonable voters which will be the foundation for the government in the future.  This is why I believe government class is the most important class I can take at Parish.

This unit, we have learned about how the American government works.  We have reviewed political parties, elections, congress, and the overall foundation of the American government.  I have found the elections section the most interesting because it truly seems candidates fight to beat the person running against them rather than to just win.  For example, we watched campaign commercials from the Reagan, Clinton, Obama, McCain, Bush, and Nixon.  I found it interesting how candidates such as Nixon and McCain only contradict their opponents beliefs without putting forward their solutions to the problem their opponents address.  Watch McCain’s commercial attacking Obama here.  While some choose to attack, some choose to advertise themselves rather than the faults of their opponents.  I prefer these commercials because I feel the candidate is mature and is self-dependent on his own success rather than his opponent’s.  I feel as if the commercials attacking the candidate’s opponent is somewhat of propaganda, which makes me dislike that person on a sense of him being immature and childish.  Watch President Reagan’s commercial in which he supports himself here.

Because we reviewed these previous commercials, I can see the resemblance in the current presidential election.  I remember seeing the Florida debate between Gingrich and Romney fighting over who invested their own personal money in Freddie Mac while Ron Paul finally butt in telling them to stop arguing over stupid things just to make the other candidate look bad.  See the debate here.  At the top of the page is a political cartoon I found amusing because it illustrates what the two republican candidates chose to argue about in front of a huge number American voters.   This unit has really allowed me to see the candidates deeper than what I was able to see before.  I have used what I learned in this unit to select a candidate who I believe would be the best president, which shows how this unit has helped me mature in my knowledge and judgement in politics.

We have also learned about the electorate college and the criticism it receives.  After reading entries from Walter Berns and Richard J. Durbin, I have learned about the pros and cons of the electorate college.  I personally don’t agree with the electorate college because I think it’s original purpose of protection from the uneducated public doesn’t apply to modern times.  Reading about the costs and benefits of the electorate college, a major costs is the sub-committees which over power the individual electorate. I can understand more clearly why newly elected politicians have trouble getting what they mentioned during their elections put into action.  Newly elected electorates are “shut out” by sub-committees which join together to progress their views over the ones who aren’t in their sub-committee.  I’ve enjoyed reading their works and they have helped gain an understanding of our electorate college.

I believe this year’s Government class has achieved what it was designed to do.  I have gained a greater knowledge and interest in how the Government functions.  This unit has lead me to read the news and have a better understanding of what I’m reading.  I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to become more involved and interested in politics, the news, or the current American community in general.  Government has shaped me into a confident voter and has achieved it’s goal of interesting me in the nation.

  1. paxtons13
    May 1, 2012 at 7:44 am

    I found this post to be very informative. The text offered a good perspective on a range of issues covered in this course and tied them up at the end to the original goal of this class. We started this year aiming to become “responsible citizens” and this reflection offers a view of your journey to this goal. Still, I would have like to have a broader thesis at the beginning of your reflection. The introductory paragraphs, though interesting, didn’t represent what your essay was about as a whole. Overall, your reflection was very effective.

  2. kamilh
    May 1, 2012 at 8:04 am

    I think your post was very good. The content was good and the examples you gave were also very good. I don’t know what else you could add to this.

  3. cheeseburger51
    May 1, 2012 at 8:09 am

    As a whole this was very well written your point was clear and held through out the the post.

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