The Politics of Presidential Elections in the Modern Age of Television online essays
Historically, Presidential elections played an extremely significant role in the life of American society. Basically, Presidential elections define the political, social and economic development of the US for four years the term the elected President of the US will hold the office. In such a situation, it is extremely important for political parties to win the Presidential campaign because it provides them with ample opportunities to realize their own politics and actually direct the development of the country in the way that was defined by the political party that wins elections as the most preferable to the US. No wonder the politics of the US can change dramatically depending on the political party that takes the office in the result of the Presidential elections. In this respect, it is possible to remind the changes in the US external policy in the period of the Vietnam war when the military activity of the US changed dramatically after the change of the political forces whose candidates won the Presidential elections. At the same time, even though the significance of the Presidential elections has not decreased, the techniques and technologies used by the candidates and the form of the Presidential campaigns have changed dramatically. Basically, these changes are determined by the increased role of media, especially television. As a result, nowadays television plays an extremely important role and many specialists (Rutenberg, 2004) argue that the debates broadcasted by television to a significant extent define the result of the entire Presidential campaign. In fact, the growing role of television and media contributed to the dramatic changes in the Presidential campaign that contributed to the increasing role of new technologies and growing costs of the Presidential elections.
First of all it should be said that he dramatic changes in the Presidential elections did not actually change the essence of the elections but, on the other hand, these changes produced a profound impact on the traditions and mechanism of elections to the extent that nowadays it is even argued that it is necessary to the traditional mechanism of elections. For instance, nowadays it is argued that the College Electoral is “out of date and needs to be totally eliminated since it contradicts to the basic democratic principles” (Rutenberg, 2004, p.138). In such a situation it is obvious that the American society progresses rapidly and the life of American people changes dramatically that lead to the necessity of the implementation of changes in the existing electoral system at large and presidential campaigns in particular. To put it more precisely, in spite the fact that elections in the US were traditionally considered to be highly democratic but nowadays more and more specialists insists on the necessity of the improvement and, paradoxically it sounds, democratization of presidential campaigns (Ansolabehere, 1994). online essays
In this respect, it should be said that technologies play an extremely important role in the changes that take place in the American society and that affect the Presidential elections and Presidential campaigns consistently. Some technological innovations have already been implemented, but they mainly refer to the technical procedures than to the structural changes. For instance, the electronic voting machines have been introduced that has facilitated the voting process considerably but, on the other hand, such innovations caused certain problems. In this respect, the problem of proper use of these devices was one of the challenges Americans had to cope with because, in spite of popularity of electronic voting machines among younger generation, older generations had certain problems with their use.
As for the current arguments concerning the elimination of the College Electoral, it should be said that they basically provoked by the increased role of television. In this respect, it should b said that traditionally the US paid a lot of attention to the sovereignty of states and the role of the local community was historically very significant in the life of the entire nation. As a result, the existing system of presidential elections in the US implies that the position of each state is taken into consideration and the votes are counted on the state basis instead of the national basis. This system is known as Electoral College which, though, is severely criticized nowadays, since this system is often viewed as “archaic rudiment of the developing democracy in the US at the beginning of the independence” (Ansolabehere 1994:843). At the same time this system was implemented in order to increase the role of states and enhance their sovereignty since, in actuality, the Electoral College practically means that each states votes for its candidates. In such a way, states are supposed to express their own position in relation to the federal policy and, therefore, they can influence the national policy and define the future of the entire country (Lewis, 2003). However, nowadays, it is argued that such a system is absolutely inappropriate because the US is a formed nation where the position of states, being quite significant, still should not be dominant compared to the position of the nation at large (Stewart, 2001). What is meant here is the fact that the current systems makes its possible that the minority of population imposes its will to the majority that is really undemocratic. Moreover, due to the development of television it is possible to speak that the differences and distinct peculiarities in views of the electorate throughout different states have started to disappear. This means that the nation tends to the decreasing role of regional influences and, instead the nation is united by television which makes people feel the solid social body, the united nation because people can easily receive detailed information about the life of the US and all the states via television. In such a way, television makes the audience to feel that it is one nation who has the same interests and goals. Consequently, nowadays it is simply illogical to continue the practice of the College Electoral because television provides ample opportunities for all people to make definite judgment about the candidates and chose the candidate people think is the most appropriate for the nation, even though they sacrifice certain benefits in case of the victory of his/her opponent. In other words, due to the growing impact of television, Americans can feel that they are the nation, which interests should be superior to the interests of particular states.
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