Political Attitudes in America
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This study sought to understand how political attitudes are formed and how do these attitudes affect political life in America? The author approached the research through case study to make conclusions. The study began with a hypothesis that the shaping of political attitudes is a political strategy used to threaten democracy. Chapter one found that politicians leverage messaging strategies to shape political attitudes and align the electorate; these strategies may or may not be based on facts, but rather facts as seen by the politician/political parties. Chapter two furthers an examination of how political attitudes are formed through the lens of race and identity rhetoric. The literature review, further supported by case study discovered that race continues to be used by many politicians to shape political and policy attitudes in the US; subsequently creating social divisions, instilling fear amongst voters. Chapter three looks at how political attitudes impact political life in the United States, specifically through the judiciary. This chapter demonstrates that the Supreme Court is a political institution shaped by the party affiliation of the justices. This conclusion, supported by a case study of Obergefell v. Hodges, shows that political attitudes greatly impact democracy and legislative interpretation. This thesis found that political attitudes are shaped by strategic messaging. Politicians have consistently used race to shape how voters view issues. The partisan nature of American political life is ultimately a threat to democracy, as seen through the political behavior of the judiciary. The study concludes that the shaping of political attitudes negatively impacts democracy.
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