Your assignment is to prepare and submit a paper on public opinion (american politics). Public Opinion Public opinion Public opinion plays a major role in the structure of politics. Many citizens are ignorant of many political moves that the government makes. At times, it may be rational for the citizens not to concentrate in politics. The argument for not concentrating in politics is that it is advantageous to avoid the game of politics and concentrate on important issues that may help one economically. For that reason, many avoid issues with politics and only listen to it to make a good voting decision (Johnson-Cartee & Copeland 2004).
Public opinion is knowledge in accordance to what the politicians would want their citizens to know about them. That is, the institutions and politicians shape all the elements of political issues known to the public. The school is one of the organizations that assist the state in shaping public opinion. In the school, the students would learn the political system values and carry it with them in their lifetime. The media passes information that influences the public opinion. The media is a common tool that the politicians use to influence their interests. In addition, opinion leaders have a role in shaping the public opinion. Since the leaders have a voice in the society, people tend to think that his opinion is the best one most of the time. Thus, they do not bother to find out the truth from other sources (Schmidt, Shelley & Bardes 2009).
Political ignorance could be beneficial to citizens. Discussing and following the opinions of the political leaders could be misleading. As stated above, many of those who follow politics closely are only interested in casting their vote in the right places. Many of those who do so for the sake of voting do not realise that their vote could not make a difference. Even those who do not participate in political opinions, still cast their votes. It is much cheaper to cast a vote than to follow all political proceedings to make a decision. Thus, for many people it is safe to avoid all the stress of political activities and concentrate on other useful activities that would improve their life. The level of political ignorance has been the same for years. However, the same opinions have existed for decades. The opinions .do .not prevent politicians from having their say. The politicians sway the public opinion to their advantage despite the level of political information to the public (Somin 2013).
Opinion leaders have information on certain issues that are not clear to the public. It is their duty .to advise .the masses .on .the meaning of these issues. The public trusts their judgement since the leaders are educated and have experience in those areas. Thus, it .is a disadvantage to the public as they entrust their decision in the leaders hands. Politicians take advantage of this fact and sway the opinion leaders opinion to their interests. Thus, the public opinion is swayed in accordance to the state interests indirectly (Sidlow & Henschen 2007).
The level of knowledge is supposed to be a tool that the public uses to influence their representation. However, the level has not increased for years. This is because the state can influence the quantity of knowledge known to the public. Thus, representation does not mean that the publics choice or opinion is under consideration. Only with the right knowledge will the public have proper attention (Veld 2010).
Johnson-Cartee, K. S., & Copeland, G. A. (2004). .Strategic political communication: Rethinking social influence, persuasion, and propaganda. Lanham, Md. [u.a.: Rowman & Littlefield.
Schmidt, S. W., Shelley, M. C., & Bardes, B. A. (2009). .American government and politics today, 2009-2010 edition. Australia: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Sidlow, E., & Henschen, B. (2007). .America at odds. Belmont, CA: Thomson Wadsworth.
Somin, I. (2013). .Democracy and political ignorance: Why smaller government is smarter.
Veld, R. J. (2010). .Knowledge democracy: Consequences for science, politics, and media. Heidelberg: Springer.