Critical Reflection: Interest Groups
Identify a political issue that matters to you (the issue you use for your writing assignment would be a good choice). Now, imagine trying to mobilize the public to support your position. Who are your likely group members (for example, college students, members of the LGBTQ+ community, members of the Hindu faith, etc.)? What strategies are going to be most appropriate for your group (for example, will large-scale protests be better than letter-writing campaigns to public officials? Will your group do better trying to influence the courts or the elected branches? Should you target the national government, state government, or local government?)? How are you going to convince others to join you?
Critical Reflection: Political Parties
Right now, if a third party candidate for national office wishes to qualify for public campaign finance support, her party must have won at least 5% of the popular vote in the previous presidential election. Given that campaign funding is one of the barriers for third parties to make headway in national elections, should we provide more generous funding to third party candidates running for president? If so, what criteria would you set? If not, why not?
Critical Reflection: The Media
Imagine you are talking to your best friend. They mention that they are really confused by political events and are really worried about “fake news.” Given what you know about the media, the way the media is structured, and biases in media reporting, what advice would you give your friend? Where should they go for their news and how should they evaluate the veracity of the information they encounter? Are there specific news sources they should avoid?