Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Toward More Civil Political Discourse


1) Celebrity endorsements;
2) Analyzing the way things are said (hand over heart, invoking God, etc.) vs. what is said; and/or
3) Making hyperbolic claims about candidates (terrorist, anti-American, waging a war on women).

Which of these three do you consider to be actually helpful for the average American in deciding whom to support (like a political cartoon uses irony/exaggeration to make a point), which do you consider “white noise”(irrelevant but of no real harm), and which do you consider potentially harmful to the electorate making informed, good choices? If possible, find a specific example (discussed in class or on your own) from this presidential election to analyze.

27 comments:

Brandt Wood said...

None of the three are helpful to the average American. They all distract from the real beliefs and personality of the candidates. Although all three make a point, the point that they are making is that it is becoming increasingly harder for Americans to make an informed decision on who to vote for due to the deceitful and trivial nature of these three things. For example, a celebrity endorsement is essentially a big rainbow wall. Voters see the rainbow wall (the celebrity's vow of support) and think, "I like rainbows (the celebrities), so I must like this candidate." This is not true, and it simply makes voting correctly harder.
Truth.

Celeste L. said...

All of these topics are pretty trivial. The celebrity endorsements are more white noise than the other two though. What do celebrities really know? Why should it matter what they think about these important issues that could potentially harm or heal our nation. Considering the fact that most celebrities are pretty dumb, no one should base their vote on which candidate their favorite celebrity likes. Analyzing the way things are said is probably the most important because there is usually more to what was said than some people really hear. It is white noise sometimes. For example, if a candidate said something like "I don't like cats" then there really isn't any more to it. Its not like they have a master plan to kill all the cats in the world and put dogs in charge of the nation. That would be a major hyperbole. Hyperbole is probably the most harmful because ridiculous lies can be made from those claims and hurt a politician very badly. It could destroy their campaign just by over exaggerating the smallest thing. Overall, none of these topics should determine who you vote for, but they will always have some power over the citizens.

Blair Moore said...

These three topics do have a lot of influence on how a person views someone. I believe that the most helpful topic would be celebrity endorsements. This is because a young voter could see their favorite artist saying something about a candidate and the young voter would actually pay attention. In my eyes, not many young voters would enjoy listening to some random person talking about the candidates. It also wouldn't have as much of an effect on their political belief. The 'white noise" topic would be people making hyperbolic claims. These are usually made by people who are really biased and working for a newspaper/magazine company. Thats because most people should know that it is just their stupid way of trying to get people to switch sides. The topic that could hurt a candidate the most would be the language one. A lot of people in America freak out about stupid things such as the candidates religion or the things they say or don't say. It's just stupid to me though.

Fergus de Papp said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Fergus de Papp said...

None of the three are helpful to the average Joe. I believe that blatant lies on the campaign trail have the most negative effect on the American public. Republicans Romney and Ryan made no attempt to truthful during their speeches. Republican supporters are completely misinformed on most political issues because they repeat what their lying candidates state in their speeches. Celebrity endorsements are just publicity stunts to attract more voters. They are just white noise and are irrelevant to the final result at the end of the day. Hyperbole usually involves dramatization of issues and usually involve lies. They are not beneficial and end up misinforming the public.

Fergus D

kcampbell said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Katie C. said...

None of these topics are helpful to the average American in deciding who they should support. The celebrity endorsements definitely change some people's opinions just because they are seeing people they like, which must mean that they like the candidate the celebrities are promoting. They are not helpful in deciding, they are almost harmful because, for example, having a celebrity sponsor you is like having a celebrity go to a charity event and people only go to see them, not to actually support the charity. Analyzing the way things are said is not helpful, it could more harmful. When it is said that a candidate does not put his hand over his heart, some people might take that as “he doesn't honor our country,” but it could also be seen as white noise and some people may care less. Making hyperbolic claims about candidates is white noise because most people over look them as publicity stunts and gaining votes for one side or the other. Overall, none of these three are actually helpful and they should ultimately not be the deciding factor to the average American when deciding who to vote for.

Adam Mitchell said...

Honestly none of these three are helpful to the American voters. It is definitly fine for a Celebrity to say who they support and give money to help their campaign, but their vote should not affect the votes of a normal citizen. Making an exagerated claim about the other candidate should also not sway the average American's vote. A lot of the hyperboles used though are totally taken out of context, such as the whole issue with Obama's birth certificate, which obviously was incorrect because he is president. Lastly you can't try to analyze every single thing that someone does. Such as if someone forgets to put their hand over their heart during the national anthem, everyone occasionally messes up or just has so much on their mind that the forget to do the little things. None of the three are helpful for an average American voter.

Karen said...

The three topics are helpful for the average American who, in my opinion, can't think for themselves. Yes, young voters pay much more attention to the political candidates when their favorite celebrity is supporting one side, but they pay less attention to the political candidates and more attention to the celebrities. Analyzing the way things are said is not very helpful. For example, Romney putting his dog on top of the car for a road trip doesn't mean that he is an animal hater. If he hated animals he wouldn't own a dog in the first place. This is a major hyperbole that can hurt a politician's reputation. Even the smallest of topics can harm a politician's campaign even if they may be
the better choice for our country. Obama has made life harder for Americans and the democrats make the excuse, "He wasn't given enough time". Four years is plenty of time.

Karen said...

-Karen Lefferts

Lottie Glazer said...

While all three of the topics listed above have become major parts in political campaigns, they all are completely irrelevant and useless to a voter trying to make an educated decision on whom to vote for. It is unbelievable some of the hyperbolic claims made towards presidential candidates. If it is wrong in preschool to manipulate what someone says for your benefit, then what makes it okay in a presidential election? The use of a candidates own words against them is the most damaging of the three tactics because the hyperbolic claims are often based off of the misquotes. Lastly, while celebrity endorsements are an ignorant way to collect votes they are the least harmful of the three. Voters deserve the right to be correctly informed about their candidates and should not have to dig through "political junk" to get the hard facts on the candidates.

william L said...

I completely agree with what has been said before me. The three topics really shouldn't be problems for anybody going through the voting process. People in the US should be smart enough to think on their own, and let the candidates policies decide who you vote for not celebrities, because we all know that you won't get Scarlett Johansson no matter how many times we vote democrat. For analyzing the way things are said and done that is just nonsense, most of these pictures that come around on emails and such are usually photoshopped and can easily be found as fake. For the Hyperbolic claims, that is just silly. Why should people spend time trying to belittle the other candidate when you could take the same time and raise your own candidate up.
William L

bailey said...

None of these three topics are actually helpful to the American voter. Although they are helpful to presidential candidates. Although I believe that celebrity endorsements do help a presidential candidate. A celebrity endorsement could use their star power to win over undecided voters who don't really care about political issues. As for analyzing political candidates words, it seems to just be cheap tactic for collecting undecided voters votes. Spending time on analyzing a candidates political policies is far more beneficial for voters. Lastly, the hyperbolic claims is childish taking something a candidate said out of context and using it against them is low. Yes, legally one has the right to make such hyperbolic claims but these claims make it harder for American voters to pay attention to the more important issues.
-KONY 2012

Jake Fletcher said...

I agree with William completely. The three topics are absolutely ridiculous. People shouldn't be that ignorant to be distracted by them and especially not be dumb enough to believe that they are actually true. I also like how William stated that they spend more time belittling their opponents than actually raising their popularity. Although these three topics are very smart if they are used correctly because sooooo many people are deceived, they shouldn't be used at all since it's just a huge distraction to the actual truths. The tactics used by the candidates are very mischievous and sneaky, but very smart and this "cheating" can be the difference between winning or losing the campaign.

Ericka G said...

In my opinion, all three points are not helpful to the average American because they are not legitimate facts. Celebrity endorsements are harmful because most people would support a candidate just because their favorite celebrity approves them. This does not allow Americans to think for themselves and allows the celebrity to chose who they will vote for. Hyperbolic claims does more harm to the average American than help them because the terms are exaggeration of what the politician actually stands for.

Ericka G

Jodie R. said...

I believe that celebrity endorsements can be very helpful to get young voters interested and involved in politics. However, I also believe that some people will just blindly follow the celebrity and do whatever he or she does. For example, if someone really liked Natalie Portman then they might just vote democrat because that is what she is going to do. I think that the most potentially harmful to the electorate making an informed decision are the hyperbolic claims. In the video we watched in class the director made it pretty clear that he was not a democrat and made the democrats seem like the wrong choice. The most helpful would be analyzing the candidate. The little things they do or don't do can tell you a lot about their real personality.

Tony de Bruyn said...

While all three of these things may influence the beliefs of some people. I believe they are all bad for the american people. Although I do believe the only one that helps is analyzing the way things are said. I believe this is the most realistic way of the three to chose a candidate. I believe the other two are white noise and irrelevant. The worst to me is celebrity endorsements, some people just choose their candidate based off if their favorite celebrity. In the current election certain celebrities have endorsed Barack Obama. This has caused some people to automatically give Obama their vote. This is a bad practice for people.

Anonymous said...

Kyle said;
none of these three matter. celebrity endorsements shouldn't matter because they are either voicing their opinion, which shouldn't change any sane person's view, or they are being payed in which case its just like an advertizement for a bad product and should be ignored. How things are said shouldn't matter. and making hyperbolic claims just gets peoples attention and should be laughed at like a raccoon running around with its head stuck in a jar. what should matter though is not how things are said but what is said and what they actually do.

Laura Scully said...

None of these three matter to the politcal system. It takes away from what people really believe politically. People will choose their favorite celebrity and see what they tweet or post on the internet about the election. Then they will start to believe what their favorite celebrity believes. Analyzing the way things are said is not helpful, for example. when Romney put his dog on the top of his car does not necessarily mean he hates animals. It shouldn't matter who a person's favorite celebrity is, that should not affect their political views, however for young voters, it plays a big part.

Zoe said...

None of the above is exceptionally helpful, or important, to the average American when deciding who to support in a presidential election. Celebrities, extensive analysis and hyperbole are merely just white noise. That is, until, it is taken too far. In this case it can be harmful. This would be evident in such cases are hyperbole, when President Obama was said to be a Muslim terrorist. However people should not view these things, especially celebrities, and base their whole judgment around them. They should take each instance with a grain of salt, as each is usually attempting to degrade the opposition. All in all, the analysis, hyperbole and celebrities are not important, nor purely harmful, but merely white noise.

Zoe Q

gabbymstruckell said...

I think celebrity endorseements are very important in getting young Americans interested in politics. Instead of people thinking, "I'm gonna vote for Romney becasue Nicki Minaj says so" i think that it sparks questions in their minds, why does she like him? What policies does he like that Nicki Manaj supports?
Lannguage shoud not be an important deciding factor in who should be President because it should be about what their ideas and beliefs are, not how they say them.
I think hyperboles are funny, but don't really pursuade my opnion on who i like more. Most personal attacks can go to far, especially when it goes to people's family. Family's, relgion beliefs and personal information should be off limits.

Matt Johnsrud said...

I don’t believe that any of these three topics are helpful in the decision making when it comes to voting for a president. If anything, celebrity endorsements and harsh political cartoons are harming to the elections. If the only thing people are seeing is how bad the other opponent is, they aren’t seeing the true reasons to vote for a president in the first place. People should be voting for presidents based on how they can benefit our country instead of voting for presidents based on the negatives. The only thing political cartoons and hyperbolic claims provide are a negative view on the presidents.

jackson solari said...

I think that analyzing the way things are is actually helpful for an american when deciding to support someone because it helps the person to get devolping there own point of view when voting for a canidate. I believe that celebrity endorsments is "white noise" because i feel as though it is propaganda to recruit people to vote for a specific canidate that the celebrity is voting.

SarahR said...

All three of these are pretty petty. Celebrity endorsements are more white noise and insignificant. There will always be those that follow what their favorite celebrities believe, but hopefully there are not enough of these small- minded people to make a difference.The second is trivial as well, and is focused on far more than it needs to be. People get caught up in little things about the candidates, such as Obama not hoding his hand over his heart, when they need to focus on the candidates' plans and beliefs. The third is just expected, as parties will always try to portray the other in whatever negative way they can. Voters just have to listen to both sides and research both sides to decide what they believe.

Hope Sarles said...

Celebrities’ political opinions seem important for some people but in general, celebrity endorsements are just white noise because it doesn’t largely affect the voters’ opinions. As president, Obama’s lack of placing his hand over his heart for the national anthem is important. It isn’t extremely important of course, yet it is a more important topic than celebrity endorsements and hyperbolic claims about candidates. The video we watched in class, as an example of a hyperbolic claim was very irrelevant in the election because of the unimportance voters see in these videos. The hyperbolic things are seen as obnoxious in a way because all it seems to do is make the other group look bad. “White noise” would consist of celebrities’ endorsements and hyperbolic claims about candidates while the analysis of the way things are said or done is considerably more important in an election.

Chase Correll said...

I believe that celebrity endorsements should be irrelevant to a candidates chance of winning because celebrities' opinions should be viewed no differently than a normal citizens' views. I also believe that making hyperbolic claims about candidates is white noise because instead of spending time bashing the opponent, a candidate should spend time endorsing his own beliefs. Analyzing the way things are said may be the least irrelevant of all three. Although sometimes things can be over analyzed, most of the time the analyzing of a candidate can tell a lot about the person and help voters choose who they believe is the correct candidate.

Nic said...

I see celebrity endorcements as a very valuable asset to both republicans and democrats. Although this type of help might not appeal to that of the more educated voters, some of the younger/ uneducated voter will see this as a further to there reason for one side. Analyzing things that are said can play an important role in the votes from those who appreciate comedy, however it can also push other voters away. The hyperbolic claims about candidates i see as white noise.