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Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media

Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media

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Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media

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  1. Political Parties, Interest Groups, and Mass Media Credit: John Burkowski Edited by J. Gelber Unit IIIA Political Parties

  2. The Functions of Political Parties • Recruitment • Discover political hopefuls to secure political offices • Elections; WIN!!! • Organize voting drives, fundraisers, conventions • Positions • Establish political agendas to solidify base

  3. Political Party Components • Party in the Electorate • Individual members of the party who identify with the party platform and/or vote based on party lines • Party in the Government • Elected and appointed officials identified with a political party • Party Organization • Party professionals responsible for recruitment (volunteers, candidates), organizing grassroots and conventions, and running campaigns and fundraisers

  4. Party Platforms

  5. Major Political Party Bases Democratic Party Republican Party (GOP) Protestant evangelicals/Christian Right Neoconservatives War hawks International interventionists Expansion of American military and defense spending Traditionalists Pro-life “traditional” marriage and family roles Economic nationalists Cultural conservatives Supply-Side Economics Low income and corporate taxes Limited government regulation • African-Americans • LGBTQ • Jews • Progressive liberals • Anti-war • Support United Nations • Environmentalists • Social justice/civil rights • Keynesian economics

  6. Party in the Government • Executive • Appoint political party officials to enforce laws based on party platforms • Coerce Congress to implement party platform agendas • Legislative • Establish congressional and committee leadership to implement party platform legislation • Develop coalitions to ensure party platforms and electoral victories • Unified Government • Political party controls executive and legislative branches • Passage of party platform legislation relatively easy • Divided Government • Opposing political party holds majority in House, Senate, White House or two of those • Prevents relative dominance of one party • Gridlock leads to compromise or delay in addressing national issues

  7. Political Party Organization

  8. Party Systems • One-Party System • Little to no choice in party affiliations; leaders choose candidates • Typical of dictatorial governments • Two-Party System • Dominated by two major parties; minor parties have little effect • Electoral College and single-member districts promote two-party system • Plurality system/winner-take-all system • American voters tend to choose between Democrat or Republican • Multi-Party System • Multiple major parties and influential minority parties • Proportional representation promotes this system • Securing majority power often difficult leading to coalitions among parties • Tend to be unstable

  9. Party Polarization • Ideological distance between the political parties • Causes • Gerrymandering • “Primaried” • Media-Driven Ideological Conflicts • Single-Issue Interest Groups • Citizens United / Rise of Super PACs • Effects • Gridlock • Lack of compromise

  10. Constitutionality of Political Parties • The U.S. Constitution does not include any reference to political parties • Federalist #10 by James Madison warned of factions • George Washington’s Farewell Address warned of partisan politics • Threatens national unity and popular government .

  11. Party Development 1789-1796 • Washington’s Administration • Thomas Jefferson vs. Alexander Hamilton • Hamilton’s national policies • Bank of the U.S. • Debt plan • Jefferson’s egalitarian vision • States’ rights

  12. Federalists National policies Strong central government Loose constructionists Commerce and manufacturing Urban The rich, the well-born, the able; merchants, bankers Pro-British Northeast Democratic-Republicans States rights Strong local/state governments Strict constructionists Agricultural Rural Small farmers, plantation owners, artisans Anti-British West and South First Political Party System (1789-1824) Alexander Hamilton Thomas Jefferson

  13. Second Party System (1828-1854) • Democrats: • States’ rights • Limited government • Laissez-faire • Expansionism • Pro-slavery • Equal opportunity • South and West • Yeoman farmers, working class, southern planters, immigrants • National Republicans/Whigs: • American System • Strong federal government • Mixed on slavery • Social conservatives • New England • Upper and middle class professionals, evangelical Protestants Andrew Jackson Henry Clay

  14. Third Party System (1860-1896) Democrats Platform Pro-slavery States’ rights; laissez-faire Factions Bourbon Democrats Pro-business Democrats Supported civil service reforms Redeemer Democrats Coalition White Southerners, Catholics, Lutherans, Jews, Immigrants, working class Solid South Republicans Platform Radical Reconstruction Pro-business; tariffs; protectionism Factions Stalwarts Preserve spoils system and machine politics Half-Breeds Pursued civil service reform Mugwumps Independents discouraged with corrupt GOP Coalition Business, upper-class, middle-class, Northern WASPs, reformers, blacks, scalawags, carpetbaggers Northeast and West • Antebellum and Post War Issues(1854-1877) • Slavery and Emancipation • Reconstruction policies • Post Reconstruction Issues (1877-1896) • Civil Service Reform • Tariffs and Protectionism • Gold Standard and Silver • Populist Party

  15. Fourth Party System (1896-1932) Republicans Dominated the federal government during this era Coalition Industrialists, corporations, upper-class, fundamentalists, Northeast Nationalists and Imperialists Bull Moose Party aka Progressive Party New Nationalism Democrats Coalition Solid South, western farmers, urban immigrants, working class Laissez-faire policies New Freedom Socialist Party of America Coalition German and Jewish immigrants, unionists, former Populist farmers, Progressive social reformers Elections Two members of U.S. House Dozens of state legislators, mayors, council members Eugene V. Debs Ran in 1904. 1908, 1912, 1920 Received over 900,000 votes in 1912 and 1920

  16. Democrats New Deal Coalition Catholics Jews Blacks Progressive Intellectuals Urban Machines Populist Farmers White Southerners Labor Unions Low-Income Immigrants Philosophy Social liberalism/social democracy Social justice Keynesian economics Dominated Congress and American public for the next 36 years Republicans Pro-business Economic conservatives Social conservatives Northeast, parts of the Midwest Fifth Party System (1932-1968)

  17. Sixth Party System (1968-Present) Republicans Democrats Platform Liberalism Equal opportunity and social welfare Keynesian economics and progressive taxes National health insurance Affirmative action Environmentalism Multinational coalitions Judicial activism Pro-choice Electoral Events 1968 Democratic National Convention 2006 Mid-Term Elections 2008 Presidential Election Demographics Professionals/Academics Women, Youth, and Minorities Urban sectors Unions Northeast and Pacific West (Left Coast) • Platform • Conservatism • New Federalism • Supply-Side Economics • Privatization • Southern Strategy • Christian Coalition/Moral Majority • Proactive and expanded military • Judicial restraint • Pro-life • Electoral Events • Republican Revolution • 1994 Mid-Term Elections • Contract with America • 2010 Mid-Term Election • Tea Party • Demographics • Business Professionals/Corporations • Blue-Collar Workers • Bible Belt, Midwest, Rocky Mountains

  18. Republican Party • GOP - Grand Old Party • Possible origin in New York Times headlines • Elephant • Thomas Nast of Harper’s Weekly in 1874 • Signified Republican vote in response to possible third term for President Grant (R)

  19. Democratic Party • Probably in reference to Andrew Jackson’s opponents calling him a jackass • Thomas Nast of Harper’s Weekly in 1870

  20. Minor/Third Parties • Ideological • Based on social, economic, or political beliefs • Socialist Party, Libertarian Party • Splinter • Split from major national party • Bull Moose Party, States’ Rights Party • Single-Issue • Based on a individual policy matter • Free Soil Party, Know-Nothing Party • Protest • Formed on basis of poor conditions • Populist Party

  21. Why Don’t Minor Parties Succeed • Based on single-issue thus attract very few supporters • Major national parties may assimilate them into broader coalition • Die out when issue is either solved, loses support, and/or leaders die • More success in state and local governments • Winner-take-all systems and single-member districts

  22. Current Minor Party National Officeholders • Senator Angus King (I) of Maine (2013-Present) • Senator Bernie Sanders (I) of Vermont (2007-Present)

  23. Democratic (1828*) Republican (1854) Libertarian (1971) Green Party (1991) Constitution Party (1992) America First Party (2002) American Conservative Party (2008) American Freedom Party (2010) American Nazi Party (1959) American Populist Party (2009) America’s Party (2008) Christian Liberty Party (1996) Citizens party of the United States (2004) Communist Party USA (1919) Freedom Socialist Party (1966) Independent American Party (1998) Justice Party (2011) Modern Whig Party (2008) National Socialist Movement (1974) Objectivist Party (2008) Party for Socialism and liberation (2004) Peace and Freedom Party (1967) Prohibition Party (1869) Reform Party (1995) Socialist Action (1983) Socialist Alternative (1986) Socialist Equality Party (1966) Socialist Party USA (1973) Socialist Workers Party (1938) Transhumanist Party (2014) United States Marijuana Party(2002) United States Pacifist Party (1983) United States Pirate Party (2006) Unity Party of America (2004) Veterans Party of America (2013) Workers World Party (1959) Current National Political Parties