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May the Best Man or Woman Win…

 Throughout the second and third trimesters in government, I’ve heard a lot of emphasis on how voters must be well-informed so that the best decisions are made for our country. This is why candidates make commercials, Twitter accounts, and a personal website outlining their views, policies, and other blurbs about themselves in order to gain votes. With only a few short moments on a computer, you can know almost everything there is to know about a certain candidate. Voters are encouraged to learn about who they are voting for, but on top of that I believe there is more to be learned rather than simply a candidate’s biography. Being president is a very hard job, only few make the cut of being a truly great president. So we must ask, who makes the cut and how do we determine it? Americans must be able to define HOW the president runs the country, rather than simply stating so. This is necessary for voters to decide who would be best for the job.

According to political scientist Clinton Rossiter in his book The American Presidency, there are details about the job that many Americans may overlook. Rossiter outlines that one of the many roles of president is Chief Executive which ensures that the president “reigns, but also rules; he symbolizes the people, but also runs the government.” (197). One candidate may seem perfect for this role, but can we be sure that he is successful with the role of making ties and alliances, or Chief Diplomat, as well? All-encompassing questions like these are necessary in deciding a president that can help America out of it’s current turmoil.

Another tough call to make is the question whether or not the president can serve as the “Protector of Peace” and as the “Commander in Chief” and keep both in mind when making decisions related to war. According to Rossiter, both are crucial roles in a presidency. It’s a tough job with impossible decisions, which is why we must keep this in mind come voting day.

Americans must delve into the role of the president before deciding who should take the enormous job. If we do not do so, we may end up with a president that cannot serve his roles (outlined by Rossiter) dutifully and successfully. Much more must be taught about the modern presidency, rather than simply stalking presidential candidates.

Categories: B2 Tags: , ,

Social Media: Moving Politics Towards the Future

April 27, 2012 3 comments

The social media has made an enormous impact on our day-to-day lives. We now have access to information at a speed that seemed unimaginable to many at one point. We learn of current events minutes, if not seconds, after they occur. Throughout this constant flow of information, politics seem to get a good share of the publicity. After all is said and done, the question still remains of the effect of social media on politics. Is the effect ultimately a good one, or is it damaging?Social Media's Effect on Politics

While the constant buzz of information on current presidential candidates may seem dramatic, this is actually very beneficial to the voting population. Accessing information about candidates and their policies could not be easier, which encourages those ill-informed about the election to do a bit of research. As so eloquently put on ForeignAffairs.com, “As the communications landscape gets denser, more complex, and more participatory, the networked population is gaining greater access to information, more opportunities to engage in public speech, and an enhanced ability to undertake collective action.” Everyone has a greater chance of becoming an informed citizen. Democracy thrives on the voting process, and the social media often gives voters the push they need to gain knowledge about the candidates and make the vote that they think is best. In many ways, the new information highway has been a huge advantage for the voting population of America.Is Your Source Reliable?

Sometimes it may seem that our knowledge has been duplicated due to our social media connections, but in some cases we don’t learn anything. Depending on the credibility of your source, you may even be retaining illegitimate information. This incorrect treatment of the social media leads to a downward spiral creating a society filled with people acting on facts that aren’t correct to begin with. This, in fact, works against the voting process and can often lead to wrong decisions made for our country. While there is plenty of evidence of the correct usage of the social media towards politics, there is even more evidence of poor information being circulated.

Even though social media has often times led the political world astray, there are certainly ways to educate the public to use credible sources. Information that is poor or incorrect should be reported to the website domain immediately. If wrong information is circulated, people will be convinced that it is the truth. This would lead us nowhere on the path towards creating a world where social media is used to educate rather than simply entertain.

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