Race Prejudice and Discrimination: Readings in Intergroup Relations in the United States

By Arnold M. Rose | Go to book overview

these United States, our Indian fellow-citizens also like to enjoy in their limited domains: the right to use experts when their advice is wanted and the right to reject their advice when it conflicts with purposes on which we are all our own experts. The classical answer to the Hamilton-Schurz-Indian Bureau philosophy of "expert government" is the answer given by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to the Cherokee Indians in 1808. Jefferson said: "The fool has as great a right to express his opinion by vote as the wise, because he is equally free and equally master of himself."


25.Religion and Elections *

Madge M. McKinney

[ In this article, Dr. Madge M. McKinney, chairman of the political science department of Hunter College, examines certain correlations between religious affiliation and politics. ]

Next November some millions of voters in the forty-eight states of this nation will cast their ballots for representatives in the law-making body of their country--a privilege which is now enjoyed by a limited portion of the population of this earth. What are the influences which will govern their choice of representatives? Political parties and political ideas are usually referred to as the determining factors, but every observer of the democratic processes knows that voters are frequently influenced by elements that are relevant neither to the policies of the government nor to the duties attached to the office which the candidates are seeking. This study attempts to isolate one of these extraneous influences, the religion of the candidate, and discover whether it is really an important factor in deciding the result of an election.

In studying the weight of this influence a number of questions were investigated. Does the religious affiliation of a candidate constitute either an advantage or a handicap to his election in this country? If a relationship does exist between the religion of a candidate and his election, is it more marked in some parts of the country than in others? Is it, for example, practically impossible for persons of certain religions to be elected in large areas of this country?

____________________
*
From Public Opinion Quarterly, 8 ( Spring, 1944), 110-14. Copyright 1944 by Public Opinion Quarterly. Reprinted by permission of Public Opinion Quarterly and the author.

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