Donkeys and Elephants- Poltics and Political Communications (Blog 6)

The might Blog Council hath proclaimed this the week of Politics and Campaigns.

The debate season is now, after all.

You have THREE choices. See below the jump for more details. Pick ONE of the three here.

  • Newbie: what is your political philosophy?  Take an online quiz and reflect on what it tells you.
  • Activist: Who has better ideas on an issue you care about?  In this one, take an issue you care about (jobs? higher education? health? women’s health? war? climate change? the regulation of OTC derivatives after the bail out of AIG) and look at what both major presidential candidates, Obama and Romney, think (or another race). Why does your guy have it right?
  • Jaded Junkie of Politics: Pick a campaign ad from this or any election and discuss its merits (or flaws) as political ad. If you like, feel free to discuss ethics of truth and “lies” in political discourse.

More details below the fold.↓


Ok, there are three to choose from.

  1. Shortest Quiz: This one simply puts you on a 2×2 grid of libertarian-social conservative and laissez-faire vs. Keynesian.  I don’t really know who the writers of the quiz are.  Can you find out?
  2. Left- Right Gradations: This one from one of my favorite polling centers is more nuanced than Red V. Blue.  Are you an Independent?  Strong lIberal?  Strong Conservative?  By-stander?
  3. You compared to all 8(!) candidates for President.  “On the Issues,” the group that runs this one, does a nice job of seeing who you like based not on hair cut or “would you have a beer with X? (I’d go for Biden as he is bound to say something funny.  OTOH, If Romney is paying…), but on issues.  Maybe your secretly a Green?


Of course, you can start this one from many places.  But here are two interesting sources.  Think Progress, a progressive blog, made a list of 10 “Undiscussed Issues.”  Or, you can look at Project Censored, a group dedicated to pushing what they see as uncovered stories into the media.  The American Conservative Union publishes a ranking of Senators and Representatives based on how they stack up on different conservative issues.  It’s a pdf, but you can get it here and see what issues they focused on.

These are just ideas.  You can find your own issue-oriented resoruce, but make sure you know who it comes from.

Jaded Junkie

Pick a political ad from this or any season.  Analyze it.  A few famous ones we discussed.  “Daisy” 1968 Johnson ad.  “Willie Horton” ad by Bush in 1988.  NC senate race with Jesse Helms’ “Hands” ad. 

More recently, there is this ad attacking Romney over Bain. I couldn’t find an ad about Obama, but there is this trailer of the movie Obama 2016

Oh yes.  This ad from the Herman Cain primary campaign for GOP nomination (2012) is the STRANGEST political ad I have ever seen.  It’s like a mash up of student art film and bad porn auditions.

Extra Goodies

I do have this “pearl tree,” a set of bookmarks, of think tanks or advocacy groups focused broadly on these issues.  Click the link and explore.

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