Pol Lecture 6 and 7 Ch 10.doc

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Political Science
Cheryl Boudreau

12814Pol Lecture 6 Chapter 10 Public OpinionWord of the DayMoveonorggroup who shapes public opinion website non profit bring people back into democratic processsupported campaign financeWhat is Public OpinionOne definition that ha endured for three decades states that public opinion consists of those opinions held by private persons which governments find it prudent to heedVO Keythis definition suggests that all governments should pay attention to public opiniondemocracies differ from other forms of government in terms of which persons government finds it necessary to heedin the united states potential voters and those who can sway voters are most critical because of our use of electionsin the United States we have basic constitutional guaranteesregular elections broad suffrage freedom of speech and press freedom to form and join political organizationsthese allow citizens to express their views freely and to compel government leaders to take the publics opinion into account if they want to keep their jobsPublic Opinion in Americapublic opinion in America has always been treated as a political force to be alternatively shaped mollified or exploitedobject of the Federalist itself was to sway educated public opinion in favor of the Constitution when the public demanded a bill of rights political leaders bent to its will and ensured ratificationthe leaders of various movements have all fought to mold public opinion and then to serve as agents for its political expressionabolition of slaveryprohibition of alcoholic beveragessuffrage for blacks and womenany incident that inflamed public sentiment was fair game for exploitationfugitive slave lawwhat about contemporary eventsClinton administrationGeorge W Bush administrationaccess to public opinion research through Bushs chief political advisor Karl Rovegoal may not be to yield to public opinion but to know what the public is thinking in order to persuadethen and now interest groups sought to mobilize public opinion as a weapon in the policy warsPolitics and Public Opinionmodern efforts to measure shape and exploit public opinion have spawned two linked industriesone is devoted to sounding out the publics views on an endless array of issuesthe other is devoted to marketing ideas policies and politicians
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