The Permanent Campaign Essay Research Paper The — страница 2

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and now candidates would be chosen directly by the voters in the primaries instead of the party officials just using the elections as a poll to the popularity of the candidates, then making their own decision as to who to choose as the candidate. After the advent of the television the political system changed once again. The people could now here and see the candidates every day, even live. This took great skill by the candidates and their staff to figure out ways to use the media to their advantage. The radio was also becoming a great way to talk to large numbers of people. With all of the media exposure that a candidate receives these days every candidate by 1980 had a full time media strategist on had to control spin. Ronald Reagan is a great example of a candidate who used

the media to his advantage. Reagan always seemed to feel at home in front of the camera and he controlled the involvement he had with the media for his advantage. Political polling was introduced in the 1920?s and it would also prove to change the way candidates campaigned. In recent elections George Bush made his pollster, Robert Tetter, the chairman of his re-election committee. Teeter?s polls showed that people had little interest in health-care issues so Bush neglected speaking on the issue and it hurt him in the election. While Bush was in office the Republicans used Teeter?s polls to set party policy and the polls also helped shape some White House policy. Bush?s reliance on the polls, however, was pale in comparison to the amount of polling the Clinton White House has

done. During his first year in office the Democrats spent $1.9 million on polls compared to Bush?s first year total of about $400,000. When the Republicans won control of both houses of Congress their success was based largely on the ?Contract With America,? an agenda based on numerous polls conducted by GOP pollster Frank Luntz. The contract used terminology that was shown to be effective and easy to understand by the people according to the polls. Democrats and the Republicans now rely heavily on frequent polls done to assess public opinion in hopes to gain voters. Some people totally discredit even the most scientific polls but there is no question that these polls are here to stay. How did we go from being a country that denounced any campaigning at all to one that demands

media exposure of our political system almost constantly? My answer is that it just took time for the democratic process to be fully understood. For the first fifty or so years in our country voters elected the people that their political party wanted them to vote for. This seems to me to not convey the spirit of democracy which is to have the government ran by the people the voters choose. When candidates decided to talk directly to the people, voters began to listen to the actual candidates instead of their party leaders. The advent of our communications systems has given us a greater understanding of the world around us and therefore we are able to make better decisions on who to vote for because it is easier to find information on candidates with the same viewpoints that you

may have. Today candidates know the people are not going to just vote on a smiling face and winning personality, people now demand (or should demand) to know where candidates stand on issues. With the Internet, TV, and radio anything a candidate says can be scrutinized almost immediately. Candidates know that they are always being watched so they have to act like they are campaigning all of the time. I believe that if media scrutiny of our candidates continues to escalate at the rate that it is now it could only be detrimental to our political system and more importantly our government. While it is great that we know more about our candidates than we ever have before, there needs to be some sort of a line as to what the media will report. More often than not our media tends to

focus on the negative aspects of our government and our political system. We never hear stories about how welfare helped a single mother get back on her feet after a layoff or a divorce, all we hear from our media is how some people have six welfare children. We are at a point now that our media can control the destiny of a political candidate, if some reporter gets an unfounded report on a political candidate and runs a story that may not even be true people are still going to listen to the story and more newspapers etc., will cover the story because they think that the story may sell. When they discover that the accusations are not true most of the time they have already labeled that candidate as ?immoral? or whatever, so when they recant the story on the back page of the Food