The whole world knows how seriously the United States takes the observance of the law. However, it does not mean that nothing threatens our democracy and politics. If we are eager to hold our field of being a democratic state, all the civilians should do their best to support the enactment of laws.
Thus, democracy is a collaborative work of state, politicians and ordinary people. That’s why all the people should perform their civic duty and be aware of the political situation in their country. Voters’ apathy, illiteracy and dependence on the mass media undermine the modern state order. However, I consider misinformation that the mass media and Internet provide to threaten our democracy more than the unawareness of electorate.
The problem of people’s lack of knowledge about the contemporary situation in the politics, government and law bothers the conscientious part of society. A special public inquiry made in 20/20 In Touch Should Some People Not Vote? shocks with the level of voters’ civic education.
It is mentioned that “civic education is an essential component of political socialization” in Essentials of American and Texas Government: Roots and Reform (O’Connor 286). However, those people are guided by other sources such as “demographic characteristics, family, peers and the mass media” (O’Connor 286).
Unfortunately, nowadays, the mass media affects the formation of the politic opinion of the civilians most of all. The Pew Research Center determined that the young people are more depended on the mass media and Internet (O’Connor 299).
The facts discussed there are specially selected and misrepresented. It would better for the promotion and improvement of our state order if TV shows create programs deepening people’s knowledge in basic civic education. Voters’ unawareness in politics is like a disease that can be treated. However, mass media do not try to heal the society.
The news we get from those resources are very specific and limited. The real facts are enlightened from the point of view which is favorable for the press.
Thus, people failed to recognize Joe Biden, the current Vice President, and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Supreme Court’s Associate Justice, in 20/20 In Touch Should Some People Not Vote?. However, they are fond of the rock concert in support of some politician. Famous musicians propagandized people that they should have voted for a person about whom they did not know anything.
Thus, contemporary voters guided by mass media just repeat the thoughts popularized by modern celebrities. They give their vote for the candidate chosen for them. The democracy means that all the civilians should express their own opinions and make their own choices. Thus, people appear to be deprived of their right to be free in voting. It is the greatest blow to the democracy.
All these TV shows bring home to people very dangerous ideas. The poll made in 20/20 In Touch Should Some People Not Vote? evokes mixed ideas. I had a feeling that this show was not intended to encourage people to improve their civic education, but was aimed to provoke the rest of the society to consider those people unworthy voting.
However, we should not forget that the equality of rights guarantees people to have an opportunity to vote. This right is stated in our Constitution that is the base of our democracy. Thus, when press prejudices the fundamental law, it makes the entire society step back of the democratic way.
Mass media and Internet go against democracy and manipulate electorate depriving them of their personal politic opinion and even of their right to vote. I consider that mass media should provide people with independent news to extend their civic education.
O’Connor, Karen, Sabato, Larry J., and Alixandra B. Yanus. Essentials of American Government: Roots and Reform. 2009 ed. New York: Longman, 2009. Print.
O’Connor, Karen, Sabato, Larry J., Yanus, Alixandra B., Gibson, L. Tucker, and Clay Robison Essentials of American and Texas Government: Roots and Reform. 2011 4th ed. New York: Longman, 2011. Print.
“Should Some People Not Vote?” 20/20 In Touch Webcast, ABC News. ABC, New York. 14 Oct. 2008. Television.