so this is part two of the AP US government politics review Steve Miller wrote these from Walter Johnson High School I do not believe he’s a member of the Steve Miller Band and like I said before if he doesn’t like it he can let me know and I’ll take them down political beliefs and behaviors of individuals ten to twenty percent of the the AP exam is is on this subject this is a short PowerPoint probably because your if you remember reading in the book there was a lot of repetitive information a lot of this has to go to with demographics a lot of the focus has to do with what old people about like how they vote when they vote young people african-americans White’s Hispanics asian-americans and so on so when we’re doing an overall review we can kind of condensed that a little bit I think that’s what mr. Miller did as well beliefs the citizens hold about their government and its leaders these are these are the political beliefs we’re talking about processes by which citizens learn about politics that’s political socialization the nature of public opinion the ways in which citizens vote and otherwise participate in political life these are the things we’re going to be looking at with this review so beliefs the citizens hold about their government and its leaders going to political culture political culture is a way of thinking about how political and economic life ought to be carried out an example Americans believe more strongly and political than an economic equality if you remember we discussed that that in say Scandinavian countries for example they put more of an emphasis on equality of results than we do we tend to believe that as long as we have public education as long as we have laws that prevent discrimination in the workplace that we’ve done enough and beyond that it’s up to the individual to prosper in life elements of the American view of political sense of the political system belief in natural Liberty rights and we don’t talk about liberty so much anymore we talk about rights equality but equality of opportunity and that equality opportunity doesn’t mean that everybody has the same opportunity in the sense of mom and dad help you help their kids out the same no matter who they are I mean obviously if someone’s born into a wealthy family they they are going to be able to afford an Ivy League school regardless of whether they would win a scholarship or grant so it’s not that kind of equality but it means the doors are open and if you and your family can manage to acquire the resources you can go to anything any kind of institution so on if you test well and everything like that democracy government is accountable to the people civic duty I think this is one of the areas along with individual responsibility that has weakened in emphasis in our culture we do not emphasize a person’s civic duty and individual responsibility to maintain a healthy democracy enough in my opinion people focus a lot on equality and rights nowadays but they don’t focus in on what they’re supposed to do to make sure that we have equality and rights Americanism versus unamerican ism there is strong evidence of the existence of a common political culture most everybody agrees that people have human rights in this country most people believe in equality of opportunity most people do not agree with the idea of equality of results most people embrace the idea that competition is healthy and effective and produces good ends economic system um the kind of American political culture supports free enterprise capitalism and a commitment to economic individualism property rights remember the framers were greatly influenced by Enlightenment thinkers and whereas in the Declaration of Independence Jefferson said life liberty and pursuit of happiness the guy that he was kind of paraphrasing was Locke who said life liberty and property property rights are a central point of emphasis in the American political system think about the fact that the American Revolution was greatly over the issue of taxation without representation which ultimately it’s not simply about democracy it’s

also about property rights so political culture continued compared to other nations some other nations value community more than the individual Americans are more likely to cert rights and emphasize individualism competition equality following rules and treating others fairly Americans lag behind Europeans and voting rates but not in other forms of participation we do a lot of volunteer work we give a lot to charity but as far as the voting rates of course that’s skewed because there are extra hurdles to voting here compared to a lot of country a lot of countries you are required to register they’ll register for you for you to vote a lot of times it’s compulsory you have to vote here we create a system where you have to do something extra special to be able to vote alright you have to go register yeah you have to fill out the paperwork and and that creates a cost a cost that some people don’t to do plus we have lots more elections because of federalism we have county elections we have school board elections city elections state elections federal elections there’s we vote for a lot of things so it wouldn’t be surprising to find that the average American actually votes more often than a lot of other people do because of the enormous number of opportunities we have to vote Americans have more confidence in government institutions Americans are very proud of their national identity mistrust of government there was a kind of a golden period from World War two into the early 1960s where Americans trusted government in a more so than they had before and since so what we’ve really done is we return to that level of mistrust of government that we had for a long time before World War two this is what we’re doing now is not something weird this is normal for American political culture this mistrust of government but it increased since 1960s there’s less trust in the President and in Congress more trust in state and local government why the catalyst was Vietnam an unpopular war and then Watergate which was evidence of a great deal of corruption there are other elements of corruption in Vietnam we found out over time that we’ve been misled by our political leaders about the effectiveness of our policies in Vietnam our military successes the costs and so on and it upset a lot of people but mistrust oftentimes has centered on certain people not the entire system so we believe the system can work we often believe that our the problem is the politicians in the system very common for us to think that way and often times we don’t give politicians enough credit for actually following through on their promises and doing what their constituency wants them to do we always hear about the scandals we don’t hear about those boring votes where they do what their constituency has asked them to do it just doesn’t show up so trust in the federal government nineteen fifty eight to nineteen ninety-eight if you look at this how much of the time you think you can trust the government Washington to do what is right just about always most the time or only some of the time you can see that most of the time is the dark blue the darkest color on there I don’t know how well it’s shown up on the projector for you guys because I’m at an angle so it’s a little weird but if you look it’s the it’s the one that in 1958 it was at about what fifty-six fifty-seven percent and it spikes up around 1963 to a little over sixty percent and then it drops Rises a little bit drops again Rises almost next to nothing and then the Vietnam protests have really heated up a ton and the Watergate happens and you see that big decline from about 1972 to 1974 and then it continues to decline but not as sharply from 1974 to about nineteen eighty reelect Reagan Reagan says you know the problem of America is government and so on and he’s going to people feel better about their their government because reagan is very charismatic and it rises up but you noticed it even when it Peaks it goes

down just a kind of steady process and right now that number is abominably low because of the recession in 2007-2008 because of the scandals in the last term of Bush 43 and then the turf battles between Republicans and Democrats and the government stoppage and all that kind of stuff and the propaganda machine on both sides on cable news which i think is done a lot of damage to trust in government but makes people money processes by which citizens learn about politics so origins political attitudes the role of family party identification of the family is usually absorbed younger voters are less partisan children are less influence on policy questions than on party identification so they tend not to think about why they vote so much they just identify with their party oh by the way when mom and dad disagree the kids usually go with mom that’s been the trend on party identification if mom is is a Democrat and dad as a Republican and they have five kids chances are more of the kids will be Democrats than Republican that’s what this the studies show mom has more influence on your political views and your dad does in a typical family that may be dated information because in the last 10-15 years dads are becoming much more active in child-rearing raising so that may have changed those numbers that they do another study might be a little different now religion religious tradition impacts political beliefs Catholic families tend to be more liberal on economic issues than Protestant family’s Jewish families are more liberal on economic and social issues than Protestants gender gap men have become increasingly more Republican since the mid-1960s women have stayed basically at the same rate in the Democratic Party the result today is that women vote Democratic more than men or the other way you could argue is the result today is that men vote more Republican and women and here we see a chart showing Democrat the line for Democrats is blue the line for Republicans is red kind of a Bluegreen I guess or light blue and you can see how the chart shows women have pretty much stayed the same the number of women who were Republican number of women who are Democrat and percentages and you see that the difference with men well they have become increasingly more Republican origins of political attitudes continued education college education has a liberalizing effect the more highly educated people are the more likely they are to be liberal there are some caveats people who attend business school and get MBAs aren’t necessarily part of this trend but people who have Liberal Arts degrees scientific degrees tend to be liberal business degrees tend to trend more conservative than the other degrees do which makes sense cleavages social class is less important in the eye states than it is in Europe region remember cleavages has to do with breaks diff divisions region political views today less regionally distinct than in the past used to be that you had a real much better sense of political differences between North and South especially during the Civil War right but now that’s not quite as important there’s been a lot of movement people moving around a lot of people from the north have moved to the south in the last 30 40 years white southerners are less attached to the Democratic Party today than in the past obviously social conservative but economically moderate Democrats in the South have become Republicans and become more economically conservative as they become Republicans ideology an ideology is a coherent set of political beliefs of political ideology as a community set of political about who ought to rule the principle is they should obey and what policies they ought to pursue so liberal versus conservative on political ideology on economic policy liberals favor more

government involvement in the economy and conservatives want less in civil rights liberals favor strong federal action to ensure civil rights conservatives want less federal action so for example liberals like affirmative action conservatives dumb public and political conduct liberals are more tolerant tolerant on personal behavior issues conservatives less so although this is kind of complicated because if you go to a campus a college campus that’s considered considerably liberal they tend to be intolerant of intolerant views if that makes any sense they call it split being sensitive you’d be sensitive I’ve always been a little disturbed by how far they go with that sometimes most people consider themselves moderate which is somewhere in between liberal and conservative so the nature of public opinion what is public opinion attitudes perceptions and viewpoints individuals hold about politics and government and it’s hard to know what it really is because a lot of times the public is ignorant of what’s going on for example there was a monetary control bill that was being passed that they’re talking about here most people didn’t even know it was up for consideration so they didn’t have an opinion so it can be very difficult to figure out what public opinion should be and they won’t act like they don’t we’ve all seen Jay Leno and and Kimmel and guys like that who interview people and ask them what they think about something and sometimes they make up what it is they’re asking them about and people will still state that they have an opinion about it even if it’s completely fictional and because nobody wants to look like they’re dumb or uninformed so they’ll try to bluff their way through it and act like they know what they’re talking about have an opinion public opinion also is unstable one minute a president can have high approval ratings and then something happens and suddenly the president’s approval ratings go down by 20 percentage points and it can happen within a few months the first president Bush was shocked that he had so much trouble with Clinton in Clinton actually won because he had the highest approval ratings that when he was president that we’d had since we’ve been measuring public approval ratings after Desert Storm and he didn’t really one of the arguments is that Bush 41 that Bush 43 Bush 41 didn’t campaign very hard at first because he didn’t realize he was vulnerable all right wording of polling questions affect outcome another problem is when you’re trying to figure out public opinion you look at polls you need to look at the poll don’t don’t just look at what they say the results of their poll are look at what they actually ask and how they actually asked it or else you won’t get a good sense of what that pole really means because they can ask loaded questions for instance for some strange reason MSNBC polls tend to produce results that look a little bit better for Obama and Fox News polls tend to produce roll results that look a little worse for Obama absolutely you can manipulate right you can manipulate the wording so you know it’s not it’s not just about tricking people it you can you can load the question such a way as to give them cues as to what you would like them to say and if there are people who don’t have strong opinions about one way or the other they’ll follow your lead don’t make you happy they should people should never be answering the poll trying to make the person asking question happy that will mess up the results characteristics of public opinion salient see another issue is just because somebody has an opinion about something doesn’t mean that it’s that they have a that it’s a priority of theirs I say Leah see how important it an issue is to a particular group I Social Security to senior citizens most people aren’t senior citizens don’t think Social Security is that big a deal to focus in on you know they’re not going to make it the biggest priority senior citizens if social security is threatened chances are whoever threatening it is not going to get their vote period intensity how strongly people feel about an issue the NRA members are much more strongly against gun control than the average person is in favor hood so people who are for gun control usually don’t really have a strong passion for it quite like the guys who go hit the gun ranges and put stickers all over their cars you know stability how much does opinion on an issue change over time you know how long

is you know is this a strongly held constant belief that that’s going to stick around or is this one of those issues that people don’t really have a fixed opinion for a long time about so opinions so stability opinions can fluctuate intensity how strongly do you feel about it you know so there are things that I don’t like that I don’t care that much about one way the other about other people doing it don’t you know so I don’t like to eat liver it doesn’t mean I want to pass a law that makes makes sure that nobody else gets to eat liver you know it’s kind of a really weak example of intensity but there you go the ways in which citizens vote and otherwise participate in political life voter turnout USS lower voter turnout than Western European democracies but when you compare registered voter turnout the United States is in the middle of Western European democracies registration is not easy in the United States it’s automatic in many Western European democracies and by measures of political participation other than voting’s Americans participate more than Europeans we give more money to campaigns we volunteer to work in campaigns more we volunteer to work in soup kitchens more that kind of stuff so we’re out we are pretty politically active it’s just voting is not the only way we express that so it points out voting is most common form presidential elections of highest voter turnout other forms of participation campaigning community activities and this key remember presidential elections are the ones where more people come out to vote so that means every four years you can have a lot of people participate okay so how do people register to vote others 26.1 percent 33.1 percentage motor vehicle opsys 29.7 percent is by mail and you see other options military two tenths of a percent on base four tenths of a percent through disability services 4.2 percent state designated sites 6.3 percent public assistance offices so most people either pick up a form and mail it in or they fill it out at the motor vehicle and then there’s a quarter that does it some sort of weird way the ways in which citizens vote and otherwise participate in political life continue causes a participation more likely to participate if so the people are more likely to participate in politics tend to be more educated tend to be churchgoers have a higher socioeconomic status in other words more money african-americans only participate more than a whites participate only participate more than african-americans because of money however if you adjust it for socioeconomic status african-americans vote more often and participate more often so a poor african-american is more likely to go vote than a poor white person a wealthy African American is more likely to vote than a wealthy white person which makes sense because african-americans in the last 50 years have seen results from voting and political pressure in civil rights issues and feel a pressure on that front that white folks don’t really feel men and women participated almost the same rate but women vote slightly more often voter participation presidential elections 1862 1996 you see the percentage of voters participating from a high of about eighty percent in 1860 dropping to a low in the 1920s then picking up during the Great Depression a little bit and then you see a period of time late 50s early 60s where people are voting quite a bit and then we’re dropping back down voter turnout in presidential elections by age schooling and race and hopefully you can see the difference there you can see older folks tend to vote more often than younger folks and it’s very very clear look at look at that middle one on schooling those lines it’s just straight up the people who didn’t graduate high school

both the least and did have all the way through this this chart then it’s high school graduates then it’s people who has some college and there’s people who have four years or more college and then race this is not adjusted by socioeconomic status this is just all the white people all the african-american people all Hispanics Hispanics tend to vote much less