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- Book Details
Examines the interplay among citizens, political figures and the media during the 1992 American election, arguing that a number of events resulted in the people reshaping political institutions and the media as they demanded a more proximate and participatory democracy.
Public interest in the 1992 presidential campaign resulted in the highest electoral turnout since the heated, war-focused 1968 race involving Richard Nixon, Hubert Humphrey, and George Wallace. In Demanding Democracy Robert Schmuhl examines the unparalleled interplay among citizens, political figures, and the media during the 1992 election year, arguing that a number of events - the hunger of an angry electorate for answers to their problems, the backlash against the sound-bites and negative spots of 1988, the impact of the "New News" with its proliferation of sources for political information, and Ross Perot's emergence as a presidential candidate - resulted in the people reshaping political institutions and the media as they demanded a more proximate and participatory democracy. After an introductory section, Schmuhl looks backward to 1992, examining in detail how George Bush, Ross Perot, and Bill Clinton were portrayed by different forms of popular communication. Some of the questions Schmuhl addresses in this section are: Why did George Bush lose the popularity he enjoyed in 1991 after the Persian Gulf War? What did the emergence of Ross Perot and his extensive use of television signify for American politics? And how was the relatively unknown Bill Clinton able to overcome doubts about his character to win the White House? In the final section Schmuhl looks forward, exploring the impact of new communication technology on the way in which we as citizens form our opinions, elect candidates, and participate in public life. He discusses the "Information Highway, " speculating if it will lead to more politically attuned voters, or to people more inclined to turn away from civic concernstoward personal pursuits. And finally, Schmuhl analyzes what the predicted demographic shifts over the next half-century will mean to political life in the United States.
|Publisher||University of Notre Dame Press|
|Published in||United States|