Why Are Independent Voters Coming Into So Much Focus?

Instead of the crucial midterm elections this year, which is essentially a referendum on Donald Trump’s presidency thus far, there are many factors that people are looking at. How will Donald Trump perform with minorities, the college-educated and suburban women? How will the Democrats be able to take back some of the states that Trump carried in the 2016 presidential election? While countless factors influence the outcome of an election, one often forgotten about constituency is the independent voter. The voter that cannot vote for Trump, but cannot fully align themselves with Democratic policies either. Why are they coming into so much focus this year?

Independent voters can often swing an election based on who they vote for. An example of independent voters having a profound impact is the 2016 presidential election. One of the most popular candidates in the entire election cycle was independent senator out of Vermont, Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders caucuses with the Democrats, but he was widely popular with independents. Unfortunately, Bernie Sanders did not get the required amount of delegates to win the Democratic nomination. That vote went to Hillary Clinton.

Many voters saw Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump as two sides of the same coin. They weren’t your typical politicians, and they were two people that many people felt they could relate to on a personal level. Many independent voters ended up voting for Trump because they could not relate to Hillary and they did not like her career in politics. All of those votes that the Democrats could have had were lost because of the outside perception of the independent vote.

In today’s vastly divided country, the independent vote could matter now more than ever. Whether it is the nomination of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh or any of the policies that come towards the house, there is always bound to be at least two opposing views. However, independent voters cannot easily be swayed, and that is why they are independent. The past two Republican presidents, Donald Trump, and George Bush, both narrowly won the independent vote.

Independent voters are becoming more important now than past years. Democrats haven’t been winning the argument with independent voters so far. If we continue to see this trend, it is very likely that those voters will have a made up mind next election.

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How Exactly Is Social Media Changing the Future of Politics in the United States?

Social media is currently influencing all aspects of the lives of human beings. Social networks have already had significant impacts on the lives of humans in social and economic aspects. There is an increased probability that social platforms will soon have impacts on the political aspect. Here are some of the ways through which social media is changing the future of United States politics.

Unfiltered Speech
Traditionally, individuals have only been able to get the formal speech from politicians which is highly edited. This means that people will never get the actual and real picture of the original speech. However, everything is changing, and people are accessing unfiltered speech. This can easily be seen through President Donald Trump who tends communicating what is in his mind through the social platforms.

Reducing Cost of Political Campaigns
Political campaigns in the United States are sometimes very costly, especially when a politician has to travel across the country seeking for votes. It is common for presidential candidates to raise political campaign funds. However, social media platforms are providing a platform where politicians can reach all the country with a free Facebook post. Others are marketing and communicating their manifestos through free YouTube posts and Twitter among others.

Customized Political Messages
For a long period, politicians have been finding it difficult to deliver a customized message because of the mixed demographics in the cities. However, this is changing fast as social media analytics have helped a larger number of politicians to reach a particular group of voters. For example, most of the individuals using social media in the United States are people below 30 years. A political message can be customized for them in a simple and effective method.

Feedback
Politicians can easily get feedback from their constituents. A political message posted on social platforms will attract a considerable number of responses. United States politicians can read through the response messages and respond appropriately, which will allow easy transfer of information between voters and politicians.

Weighing Public Opinion
Public opinion is an essential aspect of the United States political field. Most of the politicians use consultants to conduct opinion so that they can determine how constituents are responding to their issues of controversy or political messages. Messages can be adjusted in real time if public opinion highlights negative perception from the public.

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What Does The Future Of Politics Look Like Through Millennials’ Standpoint?

The world that millennials grow old in will likely be a far cry from that experienced by their parents. Some external issues like the rise of the gig economy, the threat of climate change, and the difficult situation of occupational automation mean that they’ll be forced to come to grips with some seismic changes. But what worries the next generation of politicians is how little millennials seem engaged with politics. This is in large part due to a growing sense of cynicism within this generational group. There’s a growing understanding that politicians of all stripes don’t represent their interests, but that doesn’t mean that millennials will necessarily be disengaged with the political process. It could instead signify some rather seismic shifts in attitudes towards long-standing political traditions.

Massachusetts state senator Eric P. Lesser graduated college in 2007 and was first elected into office at the young age of 29. He believes that makes him uniquely qualified to speak about millennial attitudes towards politics, and he thinks the jaded philosophies and myriad stresses of millennials could cause them to turn away from aging but experienced political figures and put their support behind younger politicians who have yet to become compromised by the system.

“As a young person right now, you are perfectly poised to make that argument that you are not part of that entrenched structure that got us in the mess we’re in,” said Lesser.

But that increasing sense of isolation that millennials feel towards older politicians could fundamentally come to alter the very notion of political parties as well. Campaign chair Eloise T. Kaehny has worked closely with students to improve voter participation among younger citizens, and she foresees a wave of philosophy that puts issues above party. Where “Republican” and “Democrat” could once be used as steady identifiers for an individual’s political orientation, she believes that voters today will be focusing instead on a more issues-driven approach to party participation. This could, in turn, result in more engagement on a local and grassroots level as they focus more energy on engaging issues that directly impact their communities.

Both Kaehny and Lesser were speakers at “Millennials and the Future of American Politics,” a panel held by the Harvard Institute of Politics focused on millennial issues. And while the panelists may have come from different backgrounds, the mood was largely optimistic. The understanding was largely one that millennials aren’t disengaged from politics but are instead just engaging in new ways.

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What Is Socialism, And How Does It Relate To Capitalism?

With more avowedly socialist candidates gaining traction in mainstream U.S. election and socialism’s favorability generally ascendant, especially among Millennials, it is worth noting exactly what is meant by the word socialism. Far from being straightforward, like most political ideologies, various schools of socialism have evolved in various places and times. Although there are literally as many variants on the theme as there are governments that, at one time or another, have implemented policies that could be described as socialist, there are still a few main schools of thought and essential features that distinguish this political ideology from its more capitalist-oriented counterparts.

What is the essence of socialism?
At its core, socialism is an economic arrangement where the people or the state that represents them own the means of production. What exactly constitutes ownership can take a wide variety of forms, depending on who you talk to. In the end, you will find those who believe that no Americans own their own homes because they are required to pay property taxes. At the other extreme, you have people who insist that only a command economy, like the kind that was seen in the Soviet Union, represents true state ownership of a business.

But from a capitalist perspective, it can be said that there are two key characteristics of socialism that are absent in pure capitalist systems. The first is that for a system to be socialist there must be some redistribution of wealth. The second is that there must be the threat or use of state violence to effect this redistribution.

While far from being a purely socialist system, this means that the United States itself has been a partially socialist state since at least the introduction of the Social Security system in the 1940s. This is because the Social Security system was introduced as a means for redistributing wealth from current taxpayers to those who were no longer in a position to earn sufficient money for decent survival. Unfortunately, the Social Security system also fulfills the criteria of threatened state violence for enforcement because its revenues are taken from FICO tax, a form of income tax. Failure to pay this tax will eventually lead to the authorities placing the tax evader under arrest, by force of arms if necessary.

Therefore, socialism, in the broadest sense, can be seen as any redistributive system that affects its ends through the use of state violence.

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Podcasts To Follow For Politics

In today’s age, the ability to remain current on a variety of topics has become more accessible than ever, with information being readily available in countless forms. One medium that has taken on a new form in recent years are podcasts. In short, podcasts are audio files that can be found on the internet and is available to download to one’s computer or smartphone. In general, podcasts are recurring pieces that cover a popular or controversial topic. One industry that has made significant use of podcasts is politics. Podcasts have allowed working professionals in politics to voice their viewpoint, resulting in a significant number of political podcasts. With this in mind, it is important to learn about some of the podcasts that are offered, and how they differ from others.

The Federalist Podcast
Based off of an online magazine, the Federalist podcast provides their conservative viewpoint on a host of topics. What makes this podcast appealing to many Americans is its ability to view politics from the conservative standpoint, and not solely from one party. As a result of this approach, the Federalist podcast continues to be a popular choice for politics.

Pod Save America
As a podcast featuring former employees of President Barack Obama, Pod Save America dives into current events in politics. Because of their work with the former president, the podcast focuses on a left-leaning analysis of anything going on in the world of politics.

Left, Right, and Center
The podcast titled Left, Right and Center takes a different approach than many other political podcasts by bringing three people in, all with different political affiliations, to discuss some of the more recent politics stories. What makes the podcast exciting is the ability of the speakers to discuss such controversial topics without it becoming overwhelming while bringing interesting insights to the table. Left, Right, and Center allows listeners to hear the different sides of politics in a new way.

Nerdcast
Originated from the publication, Politico, Nerdcast provides another show that does not significantly lean either way in politics. Instead, the podcasts’ host regularly has guests on the show with differing political affiliations, thus providing a show that analyzes all sides of a debate.

For anyone who is beginning to become interested in politics will often find that a podcast, like the ones discussed above, could help them learn more about the topic and its influence on today’s society.

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The Rural Vs. Urban Split In Politics

The most recent presidential election demonstrated that there is a deep divide between rural and urban communities based on political beliefs. Hillary Clinton had significant support from the large cities in America, and she did very poorly in rural areas especially in areas in the heartland of the nation. On the other hand, Donald Trump’s main areas of support were in areas outside of urban areas. He did well in rural areas and suburbs, and this allowed him to win the election.

After the election, the big cities that have a more liberal political identity attempted to pass city ordinances which expressed a more liberal agenda. Some cities enacted measures increasing the minimum wages. Some other cities tried to defy the new administration’s laws concerning immigration. Other cities have attempted to enact environmental legislation that bans plastic bags.

Cities are finding that in many instances that their efforts are being resisted and repealed by the more conservative state legislatures. In the American political system, there are levels of precedence in the law. Federal law supersedes state laws, and state laws supersede city ordinances.

There are a few examples. In the state of Arizona, a couple of the larger cities attempted to ban the toys that come in Happy Meals from McDonald’s. The idea was that the toys made the children want to go to that restaurant and therefore they would eat less nutritious meals. The state issued a law stating that cities could not ban these toys thus overturning city ordinances.

Another case in point is the state of Mississippi. Rural Mississippi is one of the most conservative areas in the United States. When some cities in Mississippi sought to regulate sugary soft drinks, state lawmakers stepped in and made it illegal for any city to place regulations on the soft drink industry.

Some of the greatest division between rural and urban communities has occurred over the issue of transgender rights. In some southern states, the major cities have passed transgender non-discrimination bills. The state legislatures and those in rural communities immediately passed legislation to overturn these transgender bills.

Over the next few years, there will continue to be a great divide between the more conservative rural areas which still make up the largest portion of some states, and the more liberal urban areas of states that want to implement a progressive agenda.

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What Are The Biggest Differences Between The Democratic Party And The Republican Party?

Politics is a thick and messy intellectual quagmire to navigate. If you find yourself unable to decide which political party your ideals are more aligned with, take a look at three of the biggest differences between the Democratic and Republican parties.

Women’s Reproductive Rights
Notice that this section isn’t labeled simply “reproductive rights.” This is because, for the Republican party, reproductive rights are only an issue if you’re a woman. The Republican National Convention recently reaffirmed their political position to be opposed to the freedom of women to control their reproductive rights with regards to abortions. Republican lawmakers have worked tirelessly for years to put forth legislation would make it so abortion clinics would have to relocate or close entirely, essentially destroying women’s access to abortion methods across the country. The focus of their attacks has been Planned Parenthood. Alternatively, Democrats have been long supporters of women having control over their reproductive system with the most recent Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, running on a platform of demanding women retain control over their bodies.

LGBTQ Rights
Republicans consider themselves to be the party of the religiously dedicated. They have been opponents of LGBTQ rights, including gay marriage. More recently, Republican president Donald Trump signed a bill to ban all transgender citizens from serving in the armed forces. Additionally, once the Trump administration began to take over the White House and implement their agenda, the LGBTQ section of the White House website disappeared, sparking controversy and suspicion. Democrats have a long history of not only standing by the LGBTQ community, but Democratic lawmakers and presidents have shown a steadfast dedication to preserving the rights that the LGBTQ community has fought so hard to achieve while expanding them for future generations.

Climate Change
Climate change is a topic that has been turned into a political talking point instead of being recognized as the immense global threat that it truly is. The Republican party has decided to go against intelligence, science, and the facts presented by 99% of the world’s scientists to say that climate change is a hoax. Republican president Donald Trump has even pulled the United States out of the Paris Agreement which was struck between several industrialized countries who vowed to reduce their carbon dioxide emissions in the hopes of slowing the damages of climate change. Meanwhile, Democrats have been at the forefront of many movements with regards to advocating for lower carbon emissions, a turn towards greener and more renewable energy sources, and have openly accepted the scientific community’s findings that climate change is a real event that we are currently experiencing.

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