Politicians Don't Pander: Political Manipulation and the Loss of Democratic Responsiveness - Studies in Communication, Media & Public Opinion by Lawrence R. Jacobs
Public opinion polls are everywhere. Journalists report their findings without hesitation, and political activists of all kinds spend millions of dollars on them, fueling the widespread assumption that elected officials…
Politicians Don't Pander synopsis
Publicopinion polls are everywhere. Journalists report their findings without hesitation, and political activists of all kinds spend millions of dollars on them, fueling the widespread assumption that elected officials "rush" to publicopinion to shape their political decisions on election results.
In this provocative and written book, the authors argue that reality is quite the opposite. In fact, when contemporary presidents and members of Congress do not face elections, they routinely ignore policy preferences and follow their own political philosophies, as well as those of their party, shareholders, and allies of interest groups.
Politicians devote a lot of time, effort and money to tracking publicopinion, not for policymaking, but to change publicopinion - to determine how their public statements and actions are formulated to gain support for the policies they want and their supporters. Taking into account two recent dramatic events - President Clinton's failed health care reform campaign and the "Contract with America" for Newt Gingrich - for example, the authors showed how both publicopinion and the media were used to change publicopinion. These presentations help the organization to explain the media's preoccupation with the strategy of political conflict, the authors say, and have raised levels of public mistrust and fear of the government to record levels.
By re-examining the essential elements of representative democracy, this accessible book asks us to reconsider whether our government really responds to the broad public or to the narrow interests and values of particular groups. As the campaign season of 2000 accelerated, it was not possible to be "politicians who do not exercise" in time..
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