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Voter Capabilities Essay

1466 words - 6 pages

INTRODUCTION
Citizens, politicians, and officials have been in heated debates on whether Americans are capable of handling their responsibilities that are given just for being a citizen. Voting is a personal choice for Americans. The fears of losing rights and freedom have been present for many decades and centuries. Everybody is concerned that citizens may not be as free as they once were. People fought hard to make every American citizen free. Citizens who complain that our government is not perfect and is not doing well for the United States are people who usually do not even vote. One vote can make a difference. Citizens are extremely concerned with our rights and freedom, but do ...view middle of the document...

The main points boil down to one thing: information. Michael X, Delli Carpini, and Scott Keeter state that citizens make better choices when they are informed. “The role of the citizen in contemporary American democracy is multifaceted and comes with it the responsibility to be politically informed” (X, Carpini, Ketter; p 63). Citizens are expected to understand rules and regulations when voting. Citizens must be informed when voting. Having a wide range of knowledge will lead voters to voting for the perfect candidate for this country. Public figures and public organizations are among the most influential voters in this country. When asking how much a person knows about political parties and voting, the answer is always “it depends”. It depends on who you are asking, when you are asking, and how much detail that one wants to know. If more information will be presented to citizens, citizens can gain a deeper sense of knowledge and common sense (X, Carpini, Ketter, pg 63).
Knowing facts has always been important but has been receiving a lot of attention in recent years. Little information is known about people and their voting capabilities over a long period of time. A study was tested that showed the differences in two different generations. “Comparison of the two generations shows that high aggregate continuity sets in by the early stages of mid-life, with the young generation showing sharp losses of textbook knowledge but gains in other types” (Kent, p 1) Younger generations do not have as much textbook knowledge as older generations. Younger generations have greater capabilities in other types of learning. A lot of recent research focuses on how much information that one knows about political judgments and political information. Voting capabilities rely on how much a generation is exposed to different information and the broadening of it (Kent, p 1).
Obviously, most citizens are not as informed about politics as they should be. Many experts claim that informed citizens make good political decisions. In the Democratic Dilemma, Lupia and McCubbins combine different ideas to explain how citizens use information. Citizens are not always informed when they go to the voting booth and mark their candidate. “If the democratic system depended solely on the qualifications of the individual voter, then it seems remarkable that democracies have survived through the centuries” (Barleson, Lazarfeld, McPhee; p 209). Every voter may be qualified, but the voter can still lack information. Barleson, Lazerfeld, and McPhee recognize that individuals do not meet the standards that Political politicians necessarily agree with.
Evidence-based Argument
Voters do not have enough information to make educated votes that are best for this country. Americans will sit around and complain about the Democracy, but attempt to do nothing about it. Numbers speak for themselves; if every citizen that complained about the Democracy voted, there...

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