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How to Excite your Partisan Party

In Perrin’s American Democracy, he discusses how social attachments hold more weight in one’s voter behavior than voter influences (gender, education, age, race). We saw how this was true at the Hillary Clinton rally, where people cheered for anything that she said, even though no political issues were addressed. This shows that Secretary Clinton knows that most people vote within their political party so she focused her speech on exciting her supporters and getting them to go out and vote. Otherwise, the majority of the rally was concentrated on tearing down Trump in both his character and political campaign, which excited people for Clinton.

This was such an interesting experience because the political election has been mean and catty. Even when the candidates refers to each other, they do so by calling each other by their first names, which shows a great lack of respect for their opponent. This rally was no exception, which is probably typical of rallies. The candidate is less worried about convincing voters of their political stances by explaining their own political opinions.

This experience causes some discussion among my peers about the voting process. Many of my friends were debating to vote or applying for an absentee ballot. One of my friends said that they don’t even count the absentee ballots, but from what I’ve found they count the ballots that they get in, but then can come in as late as three days after the voting day, but they will likely not count these votes unless it is a tight race.

We discussed the greater issue that would occur if people began to lose trust in the voting process. If people begin to think that the entire process is rigged, then our democracy is at risk. This reminded me of a negative “attentive publics” that Perrin discusses that when there is more distrust then people will be more involved and ready to speak up for their own opinions and beliefs (Perrin, 4).

Caroline • November 8, 2016

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