Politics news covers political events and issues. It is often characterized by partisanship and dramatic, personalized stories.
While respondents recognize a mix of news outlets, they are more familiar with some than others. This explains why some outlets elicit strong views one way or another, such as Fox News and Rush Limbaugh.
The Politics of Scandals
As a result of scandals and the circuses that follow them, many people are cynical about politicians. They assume that their misbehavior is not only inevitable, but actually encouraged by a culture of bribery and corruption. Scandals also fuel the sense that politics is a zero-sum game where power and money drive politicians to stray from the straight and narrow.
These sentiments are not entirely new. In fact, they have been part of political life since the Watergate scandal ended a long period of public trust in our leaders and led to a massive increase in negative political reporting. Many critics argue that the press is sowing distrust of our democratic system by focusing on scandalmongering and portraying politics as little more than a game among scheming politicians.
Yet the actual impact of political scandals is complex and depends on a host of factors. A recent study by University of Chicago economists Wioletta Dziuda and William G. Howell demonstrates that the effect of scandals on voters’ opinions is heavily influenced by the level of partisanship present in a country’s politics. Their research shows that polarization makes voters less punitive of scandal-tainted incumbents, and helps them raise more money than their non-partisan counterparts.
This is a significant finding, given that political polarization has been increasing in many countries around the world. In their book, “Political Scandals: A Theory,” Dziuda and Howell find that polarization drives political misbehavior, encourages it, and ultimately degrades the value of politics as a whole. In other words, a political scandal is not just a story about a politician’s misdeeds—it’s an indicator of the state of a nation’s democracy. It’s one more sign that we need to change the way we do politics. We need to move beyond the endless parade of scandals and toward a more thoughtful approach that recognizes how important it is for the public to have faith in their elected officials. This is a task that must begin with changing the culture of politics. This will be a tough job, but it is the only path to a healthier, more trustworthy political process.
The Politics of Drama
A political drama is a play, film or television program that focuses on politics and a specific politician or series of events. This type of drama usually examines a political scandal or other event that has the potential to influence world politics. Throughout history, theatre has been used to explore the political world. Shakespeare’s plays, for example, offer a look into the inner workings of nobility and court politics. More recently, political theatre has been used to examine various ideas about politics such as corruption in democracy, socialism and communism.
Explicitly political theatre, with revolutionary intent, continued through the agit-prop workers’ theatres of the early twentieth century and the Epic Theatre of Bertolt Brecht and his collaborators in the 1920s and 1930s. More recently, theatre has explored the effects of politics on society through plays like Arthur Miller’s The Crucible and All The King’s Men. Some modern playwrights, such as Anne Bogart and Caryl Churchill, have begun to replace dramatic conflict with performed conversation. Political questions are still asked but not answered because, for these playwrights, providing answers would be dishonest.
Another type of political theatre is the socio-political drama. This type of drama is based on real life social events, mostly regarding modern history or international politics. Alternatively, these plays can also be political thrillers that have the potential to affect the world. Unlike some forms of theatre, socio-political dramas are more likely to appeal to a larger audience.
As a result, the audience will be more interested in how these world-wide issues impact their daily lives. This can often lead to more of a physical reaction from the audience than a dramatic play where a character battles not only a political conflict but an emotional one as well.
Political thrillers and dramas will both continue to be a popular genre of theatre. Even politicians, who may sneer at theatre as a superfluous art form, are unwittingly becoming actors, dramatists and directors. They are also dependent on the media and, as a result, must be aware of how their words and actions will be perceived. Whether it’s a political scandal, a war or an election, these events have the potential to affect the entire world. This makes it all the more important for politicians to be on their best behaviour at all times.
The Politics of Partisanship
As a political philosophy, democracy is based on the premise that every person is entitled to a voice and a vote. However, it can be argued that parties and partisanship create barriers to the exercise of democracy by making the democratic process less effective. Partisanship is defined as a strong adherence, dedication or loyalty to a political party or ideology and an attitude of hostility and prejudice toward members of the other party. Extreme partisanship among political leaders and citizens can lead to a situation known as political polarization that can divide the country into two diametrically opposed political camps. It can also result in distrust of governments headed by members of the opposite party and even to violence against them (L.E. Herman and R. Muirhead, unpublished manuscript).
For example, the rise of a political movement led by Newt Gingrich in the 1980s encouraged negative partisanship. He openly endorsed civil war as a legitimate means to achieve political goals and used his influence to block or ram through legislative measures and even impeach Democrat President Bill Clinton, even though the charges against him did not meet the legal standard of “high crimes and misdemeanors.”
This type of partisanship is a big reason why partisans tend to share news articles that align with their worldviews. Moreover, they are more likely to share news that depicts members of the other party in a negative light. This is not because they dislike the other party, but rather because they are searching for politically useful information that allows them to denigrate members of the other party.
While the political climate has become more partisan, it is important to remember that real solutions to partisan sorting and rising polarization must be built on difficult policy reforms. These reforms will require collaboration and compromise between the two major parties, as well as a willingness to listen to those with different points of view. Until these issues are addressed, it is likely that we will see an increase in the amount of fake political news being shared. And this will not be good for democracy.
The Politics of Participatory Democracy
The concept of participatory democracy is embraced by many theorists, activists and social movements. Its varying interpretations include everything from deepened civic engagement to procedural reform to the wholesale transformation of prevailing institutions.
As the world faces a number of challenges, from climate change to rising inequality, people are looking for ways to get more involved in politics. Fortunately, new technology makes it easier than ever for citizens to participate in the democratic process. However, the political sphere is not immune to the whims of public opinion, and the success of these innovations will depend on how they can be integrated into existing democratic structures.
Participatory democracy is a form of government in which citizens directly participate in the decision making and policies that affect them rather than through elected representatives. It is often a complement to, rather than a replacement for, representative democracy.
Various forms of participatory democracy exist, from town hall meetings to initiatives and referendums. Some state governments even allow citizens to bypass their legislatures and pass laws through a popular vote. Citizens can also influence policy through advocacy, NGOs and networks.
However, the problem with many of these methods is that they don’t adequately democratize power. Voting is a very poor device for equally empowering people, deliberation is often information poor, and these mechanisms often limit participation by the wealthy and well educated. Furthermore, they can lead to political polarization and skepticism among the general population.
To counter these problems, some political theorists have proposed different techniques to promote participatory democracy. The most promising is a model called pluralist democracy, which focuses on giving citizens outlets for their individual grievances and aspirations while ensuring that no one group dominates the political arena. It is often accompanied by a theory of action, such as Hannah Arendt’s, which emphasizes the importance of collective participation in the political sphere.
Other theorists have argued that participatory democracy should be combined with traditional representative democracy, and that it should not be seen as a replacement for representation. This way, it can be used as a supplement to the system of elected representatives while acknowledging that not all issues require the direct involvement of citizens. This type of model would likely result in a more open and transparent system of government, which is more responsive to the needs of the public.