The Angry American: How Voter Rage Is Changing the Nation

By Susan J. Tolchin | Go to book overview

Discussion Questions
Chapter 1
1. How did political anger affect the 1992, 1994, and 1996 elections? Can you differentiate between anger in the mainstream and anger that gives rise to extremist groups, new political party movements, or changes in the laws?
2. What are the roots of antigovernment anger? Is this form of anger justified, and if so, why? What do the polls reflect about the voters' views of politics and government? Has government become less legitimate in the eyes of the public, and if so, why?
3. Can you track the impact of political anger on current legislative issues? Why have the issues become more bipolar in nature than ever before, and how does this affect democracy?
4. Do Americans need an external threat to keep their political system intact? What societal resources remain constant?
Chapter 2
1. What are the key components of the psychology of political anger? How do they relate to politics?
2. How does the glorification of violence in popular culture contribute to anger in politics? Why do U.S. citizens bear a legacy of distrust toward their government?
3. Trace the parallels between the Populism of the 1890s and the current waves of populist sentiment in the 1990s.
4. Of all the industrialized nations, the United States still has the lowest taxes as well as the lowest level of social benefits. Why, then, have the campaigns against entitlements and taxes created so much political anger? Why have these campaigns achieved so much success for their proponents?
Chapter 3
1. What are the economic indicators that count when it comes to winning elections and sustaining political support?
2. Have the repeated downsizings of corporations had any impact on politics?
3. Discuss the impact of globalism on campaigns at the state and national level.
4. The conventional wisdom supports the view that when the economy is good, incumbents are invulnerable. Do you agree?

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The Angry American: How Voter Rage Is Changing the Nation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Dilemmas in American Politics ii
  • BOOKS IN THIS SERIES iii
  • Title Page v
  • Contents ix
  • Tables and Illustrations xi
  • Preface and Acknowledgments xiii
  • 1 - The Dilemma of Voter Rage for Democratic Government 1
  • 2 - The Roots of Antigovernment Anger 23
  • 3 - Economic Uncertainty and Political Anger 51
  • 4 - Zones of Intolerance on the Battlefield of Values 79
  • 5 - Governing Angry Americans 109
  • 6 - Competing Angers and Political Change 143
  • Discussion Questions 163
  • Glossary 165
  • Notes 167
  • References 185
  • Index 191
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