Some Reasons for Hope in Our Political Future

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), November 23, 2016 | Go to article overview

Some Reasons for Hope in Our Political Future


Byline: William A. McConochie

The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Corinthians (I, Chapter 12,7), talks of talents we each have and urges us to express them for the benefit of the common good, for the benefit of all other humans.

Recently, conservative columnists David Brooks and Michael Gerson have urged Americans to temper the more radical, antisocial flavor of some of President-elect Donald Trump's stated policies. Indeed, Brooks even suggests creating an entirely new third party, as he sees serious limitations in the agendas of both the Republican and Democratic parties of recent years. He explicitly argues for more careful attention to the "common good," as does Gerson.

There are various ways to define the common good. We can turn to religious leaders, such as Paul. We can turn to media columnists, such as Brooks and Gerson. We can listen to political candidates' promises in campaign speeches. We can also refer to documents of international organizations of high repute, such as the United Nations, which has created a Universal Declaration of Human Rights. This declaration is very detailed and covers issues of health, jobs, shelter, religious freedom and care for children. It includes respect for ethnic minorities and cultures and the right of citizens to participate directly in their governments.

However, from none of these sources do we hear directly from the citizens whose welfare is at stake. We do not know to what degree the citizens themselves endorse these various opinions about what is good for them, individually or collectively.

And, as culture evolves (or deteriorates, as the case may be) we must be concerned about new issues, such as unchecked population growth, the threat of nuclear war and sound scientific warnings of environmental collapse via global warming and various forms of pollution.

What do citizens think about all these issues?

We get indirect, rough estimates in the form of votes for presidential candidates, but even there we recently got virtually a tie, with fewer than 1 percent differentiating Trump from Hillary Clinton, with Clinton winning the popular vote while Trump won the whole pot via the electoral vote system. By this peculiar twist, the fundamental principle underlying democratic government is undermined; the majority citizen voice did not carry the decision.

And now, some grounds for hope, hints of a silver lining. These come from 15 years of my research in political psychology.

1) Political attitudes can be reliably measured with questionnaires, but the questionnaires must include several statements on each topic studied. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Note: primary sources have slightly different requirements for citation. Please see these guidelines for more information.

Cited article

Some Reasons for Hope in Our Political Future
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
Items saved from this article
  • Highlights & Notes
  • Citations
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA 8, MLA 7, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Search by... Author
    Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.