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Americans and Public Affairs Essay

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Updated: Apr 26th, 2019


Public affairs are all those issues that affect human life and are controlled by the state and the electorate. “Citizens have a significant role in determining their affairs through referendums, elections and demonstrations” (McCluskey 2). This gives the community power to choose what they want in terms of controversial issues like legislation and amendments of bills. This paper examines the reasons why most of them have skewed perceptions about public affairs and how to manage this problem.

Ignorance has continued to affect most Americans even though the state claims that everybody should have the right to attend public primary schools. Even though, some Americans are well-educated and have very good careers they little knowledge regarding public issues that affect their daily lives. It is necessary to explain that this society is exposed to many sources of information, but it is ignorant about what happens around them.

Therefore, this population continues to be in the dark despite the many channels of getting information about current trends in politics, economy, religion and other world affairs. Even though, televisions play a vital role of informing the public about national issues, some broadcasting houses have subjective perceptions about some issues. Therefore, they fail to give the public accurate information about issues they do not support.

Secondly, most people are negligent, and this makes them not to take their time or energy to know what is happening in their country. “The American population is always busy on other issues like careers and education, and forgets that it needs to know its world” (Romano 1).

This means that even graduates cannot name their senators or governors since they do not see the importance of knowing them. They are focused on issues that affect their daily lives like food and fuel prices and pay little attention to the factors that affect these issues like policies that regulate the prices of food commodities.

They always wish that the government should reduce prices of fuel, yet they fail to understand that the countries that supply these products are in political turmoil. Learning institutions have played a significant role in educating learners about various historical and public issues, but these are always aimed at passing examinations only.

Thirdly, Barbara Tuchman explains that most Americans are rigid in terms of understanding various issues in their country. “This means that they have fixed perceptions that cannot be changed regardless of the reasons for or against their appropriateness” (Robinson 1). For instance, most Americans do not know the role of different arms of government and expect the president to solve all their problems.

They have little knowledge regarding the role of the national and local authorities and expect the president to address issues that can be solved by the local authority. In addition, their families have cultured them to believe that either democrats or republicans can form the best government.

In addition, most Americans focus on immediate needs regarding public issues and fail to see their long term benefits. Even though, the American constitution gives people the right to participate in elections and demand better services from the government and public officer this is sometimes not achieved due to their interests and timing. “It is necessary to explain that some issues may seem to have immediate benefits, but their long term consequences may be devastating” (Robert 1).

For instance, the need to have a democrat or republican to be the president of the United States of America may force people to vote for an incompetent leader. This means that they are focused on ensuring that they have their “own” president and forget to evaluate the suitability of presidential aspirants.

Lastly, popular culture and stereotyping have impacted negatively on the ability of people to be informed about public affairs. It is advisable for individuals to ensure they adopt modern trends in various activities. However, Shenkman argues, “stereotyping has become a common practice among most American youths, and this has limited their knowledge regarding public issues” (Shenkman 1).


The American population must restructure its education system to ensure students can understand and internalize the concepts of history, politics, governance and other issues that affect their lives. This should help them not only in passing their examinations but also widening their understanding of public issues like the rights of minority groups like women and old people.

Secondly, there should be public awareness to educate the public about important national issues like the gun and drug policies that affect their lives. In addition, the agents of socialization should be objective and avoid biased opinions to ensure people can understand the realities in their country.

The media (CNN and BBC) have been very vocal in educating and informing the public about historical events like presidential debates and elections. Lastly, Americans must take active roles in determining their future by participating and following debates on important issues like the recent efforts to restructure the healthcare system that is very expensive and has already sparked protests from different groups.

The American population will continue to be illiterate since it has a long tradition of ignorance, negligence, fixed mindsets, shortsightedness and stereotype. People must be aware of various public affairs to enable them to understand their societies and this will help them to apply reason in various situations.

Works Cited

McCluskey, Neal. American Political Socialization “Waiting For Superman. Cato Institute, 13 Aug. 2001.Web.

Robert, Ken. American Political Socialization “Do Schools Kill. You tube, Creativity? YouTube, 12 Nov. 2012.

Robinson, Ken. American Political Socialization “Changing Education Paradigms. YouTube, 22 Jan. 2013. Web.

Romano, Andrew. How Dumb Are We? The Daily Beast, 20 Mar. 2011. Web.

Shenkman, Rick. Just How Stupid Are We? Facing the Truth about the American Voter. New York: Basic Books, 2009. Print.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Americans and Public Affairs." April 26, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/americans-and-public-affairs/.


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