Essay How Partisan Activists Affected Political Machines

Essay How Partisan Activists Affected Political Machines

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Similar to how partisan activists affected political machines, they currently affect the political elite by exposing their actions. Young states, “Criticism of political processes of discussion and decision making which include only powerful insiders and take place behind closed doors is common and often effective in democratic politics.” In order to limit these events exclusively for political insiders, activists seek to fill the gap between the common people and the political elite. The people of the United States, who compose the electorate, should have access to information regarding government and partisan politics. Attempting to become more accessible, many politicians, “open their doors to observation by press and citizens and publish their proceedings and evaluations or their operations” (Young). Despite the effort put forth by politicians, activists still fill a crucial gap between the elite and non-politicians. Citizens in the United States often feel underrepresented in the government and party politics, and activists often make information accessible to these individuals. Political activism is widely appreciated because it enables the public to be more connected with those who make grandiose decisions affecting the lives of everyday Americans. However, because the general public is so grateful for the communication brought forward by political activists, they often believe everything they hear from partisan activists - whether truth or false.
Since partisan activists clearly communicate with the mass electorate, they significantly affect realignment in the major political parties. The internal organizations of political parties have many goals, but the primary objective is to win elections. Gary Miller and Norman Scho...

... middle of paper ... mediating link between the mass electorate on the one hand and elite party actors on the other hand” (Carmines and Woods 363). This draws upon the notion that partisan activists can better connect with the electorate, compared to elite party leaders. In this case, the activists would be either pro-life or pro-choice; meaning they either support the right to life, or they support abortion. Clearly this is already a delicate topic, so the involvement of partisan activists makes it extremely polarizing. Carmines and Woods write, “As Democrat activists became more liberal on racial issues and Republican activists moved to the right, they were sending out clear and consistent signals about the divergent positions of their respective parties” (363). They claim that activists brought forward important issues, and slowly partisans in the electorate responded accordingly.

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