This year in government we have studied election and how people campaign. Campaign videos have become a big thing that can help a candidate gain votes. Earlier this year we did an activity where we had to watch campaign videos and identify the tone, argument, and emotional appeal. Through watching these videos I realized that videos can have a big impact on a campaign and how the voter feels. These videos added insight to how a video can greatly affect a voter. For example the “Prouder, Stronger, Better” add by Ronald Reagan was a great video because it made you feel like he made America great and after that video I found myself thinking I would have voted for him if i was alive then. The video below shows what a great campaign video looks like and why great videos can change thoughts about someone.
After studying these videos I realized that they have a great impact on what people think about that person as a candidate. While the video above is a great video and shows so many reasons why Ronald Reagan would be a great president not all videos today follow that path. Today the elections and campaigning is all about who can dig up more dirt on who and make the other candidate look bad to the public. It has almost become something of which people want to make there appearance better to the public than their opposition. The fact is that politics has become dirty and been made into something that it wasn’t in the past. When one starts to run for office it is almost as if he must know that sometime during his campaign his opposition will or will try to bring out something dirt about him and try to hurt his campaign.
An example that has just come out recently is how President Obama released a six minute video on the internet talking about all the bad things the Mitt Romney has done in his business days. There is also a shorter television version of the video that will be showed in the states of Ohio, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Iowa, and Colorado all of which are considered swing states. This video was released to try to sway votes toward Obama by making Romney look bad in the process. In this video it is talked about how Romney costed many people their jobs for his own personal gain but what they leave out it Mitt Romney’s side of the story. Mitt Romney states that he was not in charge of this because he was in charge of the Olympic Committee. This video is a clear stab at Mitt Romney trying to gain more votes for Obama. This is a dirt way to gain votes and in my opinion does not reflect well upon Obama.
This video is discussed in an article in USA Today where they talked about how it was a dirty video from Obama. While I agree that this video is very dirty and wasn’t needed I will say that I know that both sides in campaigns play dirty. Mitt Romney is probably guilty of some dirty advertising as well but in my opinion I think that both sides should cut it out. No one likes people who play dirty and so I personally think that people should play fair and cut out all of this “Dirty play”. What we need is everyone to go back to to advertising like Ronald Reagan. His video “Prouder, Stronger, Better” was a great example of how to campaign and people need to model after that from now on.
This year in government we have learned many helpful and interesting things. My knowledge about government has increased greatly and in the process it has been fun. We have learned a lot during the past two trimesters from talking about the Declaration of Independence all the way to now where we are studying the Presidency. We have used technology in every class and I feel that this being incorporated in our curriculum has greatly helped me learn and made the process interesting. There have been plenty of interesting things that we have done during the past two trimesters but the thing that I remember most and enjoyed the most was doing the topical debate on whether or not we need a third political party.
During our second round of topical debates my group was assigned the topic of whether or not there should be a third political party. This topic lead to a great discussion between the two opposing groups. Both sides took turns expressing their point of view on the matter and then the rest of the class listened and in the end voted for who was more persuasive. This exercise was very helpful because we learned a great deal about political parties and also learned greatly by listening in on the other debate topics. The process of actually having to research your topic and know what you were going to say allowed you to easily learn the topic at hand. Also the ability to listen in on other debates was great because it allowed us to understand their topics because they were forced to present it in a way that persuaded you.
I enjoyed the learning about whether or not we needed a third political party because it was something that is discussed in modern day and all throughout history. We started out by just researching about political parties and I gained more interest the deeper in research we got. We learned about why just having two parties is good rather than adding another. I learned that adding another party could mess up how the American party system works. Most of the third parties specify on certain beliefs but share most of their beliefs with one of the major parties. On usgovinfo.about.com all of the major third parties are explained. Once you closely examine all of the parties you will realize none of these parties could defeat the major parties. This means that all the third parties are doing are taking away votes from the major parties if they were made in to major parties. The picture included below shows how very few people support a third party and that in now way will it ever be able to compete with the other two major parties. All of the things that I learned about this were very interesting to me because of the fact that it was something that is so big in America. While it is evident most people are with one party or hates the other, these two parties are what keep the government flowing and functioning the way it should.
The topical debate of whether or not we need a third political party was defiantly my favorite thing that we did this year. While it was not the traditional way of learning I feel this may be one of the things that I learned the most from. This activity was also helpful in understanding what the parties stand for and their main functions for the country. I enjoyed this activity very much and now have a great understanding on why the two political parties for the United States is perfect.