During local and national elections candidates run television and radio ads that seem increasingly more negative. We are assured that the negative ads work. Something has happened to political discourse in America and we see it not only during elections but in the unending polarization (gridlock) of our congress. Using the perspective you have gained after this week’s readings and video clips, please answer the following questions:
What has happened to political discourse in the United States and why?
Provide an example of the kind of discourse you dislike/like (you may use your readings as an example)
What changed to make things worse (or better)?
Do you think this kind of discourse has implications for how you communicate at work, school, and/or social gatherings? How so?
What three things would you do to change (improve) political discourse?
The following readings from the Norton Reader
George Orwell, Shooting an Elephant, (784)
Niccolò Machiavelli, The Morals of the Prince, (797)
Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions, (811)
Abraham Lincoln, Second Inaugural Address, (813)
Martin Luther King Jr., Letter from Birmingham Jail, (818)
Randall Balmer, Diversity and Stability: The Paradox of Religious Pluralism, (831)
Stephen Carter, The Separation of Church and State, (843)