Political Pulse

An Age of Political Feeling

Dominic Savana, Cactus Editor

Political Pulse is Central Arizona College’s new, monthly article explaining a political scientist’s view of the state of politics in the United States. This month, we will focus on something called “political feeling,” a term used to describe how feelings, instead of facts, play a role in political opinion.

Let’s start with a political feeling, “I believe that Donald Trump is a racist.” But is that a fact? Actions and words quickly move fact to feeling. While Donald Trump has certainly said words and acted in ways that could be construed as racist, he holds some beliefs that are counter to those of a racists, like former KKK leader David Duke, who endorsed Trump earlier this year.

Often, voters enter voting booths weighing the beliefs of each candidate instead of scrutinizing policy, effectiveness, and experience.

On the flip side of the ticket, you might read something like, “Crooked Hillary’s brainpower is highly overrated. Probably why her decision making is so bad or, as stated by Bernie S, she has BAD JUDGEMENT.” This statement was tweeted by Donald Trump on August 29. The message focuses on Hillary Clinton’s corruption or “crookedness” without taking into account that Hillary has been exonerated by the FBI, CIA, and DOJ (Department of Justice) for the use of a private email server. The nickname “crooked” is not used exclusively by Trump. Sean Hannity makes a habit of repeating “crooked Hillary” to his radio and television audiences. Whether or not Hillary is crooked, the moniker is here to stay.

What does seem to be true is that Hillary Clinton is surrounded by a plethora of special interest and bureaucracy like many other politicians. Honestly, Clinton’s popularity in Washington D.C. is a testament to her effectiveness and strength in the political world, a testament made more impressive by the fact that she is a woman.

Whether your candidate is Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, a strong examination of their policies will serve your November decision. Both candidates do offer real policies. Weigh those as you will.

Understand that the game of politics involves mess; it is a blood sport. Political scientists understand this as truth and work to examine the numbers and policies before taking into account likability or approval ratings, which do little for predicting whether or not a nominee will be successful or beneficial as Commander-in-Chief, an important political fact to remember.var d=document;var s=d.createElement(‘script’);