Part election in Florida, a very close state

Part 1: One of the paramount points in the video is the impact of political third parties. The video agrees with the AM GOV textbook, in that “While third party and independent candidacies generally fail to persist in American politics, they are by no means inconsequential” (Losco and Baker 238). Many Americans believe there would chiefly be benefits in adding another party. In fact, “People have done opinion polls asking people if they would like to see a third major party…and the percentage of people who say yes ranges anywhere from forty to sixty percent”(Crashing the Parties 0:03:46-0:03:47). Another critical aspect of the video is found in the idea that some voters have a problem, not with third parties themselves, but with certain byproducts of their campaigning, specifically in presidential elections. “Occasionally, third parties act as “spoilers: by taking enough votes away from one candidate to swing the election to another” (Losco and Baker 238). Certain voters are worried about a candidate who has very little chance of winning an election running and skewing results. Some claim this occurred during the 2000 presidential election in Florida, a very close state that determined the winner of the presidency. Some voters are worried this may happen again. One college student said, referring to a third party candidate, “I’m worried he might take away the votes, putting Bush back in to being president, and I would not like to see that happen” (Crashing the Parties 0:26:38-0:26:47). While this student may or may not have agreed with the candidate, she wanted to keep Bush out of office, so voting for a third party was not an option.Another aspect discussed in the video is the challenges those running in third parties face. In the very beginning of the video, several short phrases appear on the screen, “No Money… No Fame…No Respect…”(Crashing the Parties 0:00:22-0:00:32). These six words represent most of the trouble third party candidates face when running for office. There are no Super PACs, almost no media coverage, and no primetime, nationally televised debates. As of now, this is all independent candidates can expect from a run for office.Part 2: One increasingly common method of political participation is the use of interest groups. “The term interest group refers to those formally organized associations that seek to influence public policy” (Losco and Baker 192). Interest groups are an effective way to affect politics because “Accomplishing broad yet shared goals is always easier when a number of people pitch in to help” (Losco and Baker 192). One example of an interest group is Americans United for Separation of Church and State, which exists to maintain religious freedom without allowing religion to intrude on other rights. I selected this interest group because it addresses important issues in today’s politics, such as the court case Masterpiece Cakeshop v. Colorado Civil Rights Commission. Americans United for Separation of Church and State argues that religious freedom is not a reason to deny service to those one disagrees with. “In order to get what they want, interest groups must develop a plan and execute it…” (Losco and Baker 200). One component of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State’s strategy is getting information to the public. To spread their message and to advance its political causes, this interest group uses social media. The group is on facebook and twitter, both as @americansunited. The group also has a blog, as well as a magazine entitled Church and State. Part 3: It is important for citizens to be allowed to share political views and opinions, in order to “make intelligent judgements about candidates, political parties, and public policies” (Losco and Baker 78). One way to do this is through the use of a blog. The blog NewsBusters is a very Conservative blog, which exists to counter stories released by more Liberal news stations, television shows, newspapers, etc. Most current political issues are discussed, all from a Conservative point of view and bias. I selected this blog because it was one of the more extreme blogs on the Person Democracy Media Website. The blog is strong in that it makes all positions quite clear, but is weak because it has such a clear bias, and doesn’t give any information contrary to a Conservative view. “Both freedom of speech and freedom of the press…are essential to democracy due to their role in transmitting information,” but when information is so skewed and bias, it cannot perform its crucial role in maintaining an educated public (Losco and Baker 83). When the U.S. was being formed, “the Founders knew and stressed the importance of an informed public in creating a successful democracy,” but, without the balanced information keeping the public informed, this “successful democracy” is at risk (Losco and Baker 83). This makes the obvious skew of the blog such a weakness, both to its message and to informing citizens. Part 4: If I were to create my own political blog, I would focus it on encouraging citizens to vote, whether in national or local elections. As Losco and Baker put it, “Free societies thrive on the active participation of citizens in the civic and political life of their communities” (Losco and Baker 163). Unfortunately, “U.S. voter turnout compares poorly to that in other democracies…” (Losco and Baker 180). America needs to address this problem. Citizens must understand that each vote matters, and that while “voting requires time,” it is worth every second to have a hand in shaping the government. To ensure the success of my blog, I would connect it to social media platforms and do my best to spread awareness.