Pols 21 the american political system
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POLS 21 The American Political System. Introductory Remarks. What do these things have in common?. Root canals NFL replacement refs Head lice Nickelback Colonoscopies Traffic jams Cockroaches Donald Trump France Genghis Khan Used-car salesmen Brussels sprouts.

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POLS 21 The American Political System

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POLS 21 The American Political System

Introductory Remarks


What do these things have in common?

  • Root canals

  • NFL replacement refs

  • Head lice

  • Nickelback

  • Colonoscopies

  • Traffic jams

  • Cockroaches

  • Donald Trump

  • France

  • Genghis Khan

  • Used-car salesmen

  • Brussels sprouts


All of these things are more popular than CONGRESS


At least Congress remains more popular than…

North Korea


The Kardashians


Schoolyard bullies


Meth labs


Gonorrhea


Word Cloud constructed from the responses people gave to a Pew Research Center poll in March 2010:

“One word that best describes your impression of Congress"


Presidential Job Approval, 2001-2008


Presidential Job Approval, 2009-2013

2011

2013

2009

2010

2012


Confidence in American Institutions, 2012

"I am going to read you a list of institutions in American society. Please tell me how much confidence you, yourself, have in each one--a great deal, quite a lot, some, or very little?"

Confidence in government institutions is comparatively low.

Source: CNN/USA Today/ Gallup poll, June 7-10, 2012.


Trust in the Federal Government, 1964-2011

"People have different ideas about the government in Washington. These ideas don't refer to Democrats or Republicans in particular, but just to government in general. We want to see how you feel about these ideas. How much of the timedo you think you can trust the government in Washington to do what is right—just about always, most of the time, or only some of the time?"


What message are these political cartoons trying to convey?

“Politics is corrupt.”


What message are these political cartoons trying to convey?

“Politicians lie.”


What message are these political cartoons trying to convey?

“The system is rigged.”


What message are these political cartoons trying to convey?

“Money always wins.”


What message are these political cartoons trying to convey?

“Why should we care?”


What message are these political cartoons trying to convey?

“Our votes don’t matter.”


What message are these political cartoons trying to convey?

“Democracy is broken.”


Evaluating Government

  • How well does the American system of government work?

  • What are the most appropriate indicators?

  • What do citizens really want from government?

  • Are those expectations reasonable?


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