Monthly Archives: December 2014

Politics Matters

Politics Matters will be taking a break and will be back after the New Year.  Thank you for visiting the site.


Identify the Message

Identify the political message below.  It is from a bumper sticker in 1972.  John Ashbrook was a Congressman from Ohio.  A Republican, he challenged fellow Republican and sitting President Richard Nixon in the GOP primaries.  Nixon easily defeated Ashbrook.



Clip from the Past: Franklin D. Roosevelt

This clip is from President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s First Inauguration in 1933.  It contains the famous line that has been recited over and over in history.    Roosevelt’s optimism in 1933 was hard to come by.  The nation was in the midst of the Great Depression.  The nation was looking for leadership in a time of despair.

What is your assessment of the United States right now?  What is your impression of the nation’s policies regarding social issues/the economy/foreign policy?

Will He or Won’t He?

Who Is Being Responsible?

According to the responsible party model, political parties have distinct platforms which they should carry out when their members get elected.  To accept this model, you must believe that they are clear ideological and philosophical differences between the parties.  Those distinct parties would accept responsibility related to the government’s performance while they are in charge.  Candidates, as members of their respective parties, would then take responsibility for the performance of government once elected.

Do you believe that parties adhere to the responsible party model?  Do you believe there are clear distinctions between the parties and the Presidential candidates?  Do you follow the mantra of Huey P. Long, the brash Louisiana politician who had a disdain for the two-party system? His comments can be found in the video below.  What are your thoughts?

A Belated Happy Thanksgiving…

First, I want to thank everyone who has read and/posted comments on the “Politics Matters” blog.  I enjoy adding my two cents to any political discussion and I’m glad that you feel the same way.

In another note related to Thanksgiving, who would name as the “Turkey of the Year”?  Your choice can be a person, place, or thing related to American politics and government.  Be creative, but be respectful.  Defend your response.

Will She or Will She Not?

Ad from the Past: Eisenhower for President

The first Presidential campaign to utilize television as a campaign ad medium was for Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1952.  General Eisenhower was not the most telegenic candidate, but his campaign team made it clear that they would do whatever it could to reach as many people as possible through television.  Most of Eisenhower’s ads were positive in content.  Here is one of them:

What present day campaign ad techniques are also found in the Eisenhower ad from 1952?

Republican Gains: What Do They Mean?

Heading into December, we look back at the November midterm elections.  Here are some numbers from the recent elections with a comparison to the results in previous elections.

In 2012, Republicans held control of the House of Representatives by a 233-199 (3 vacancy) margin.  After the 2014 elections, Republicans held 244 seats, Democrats held 188, and three are undecided.

In 2012, Democrats had a majority in the United States Senate.  There were 53 Democrats, 45 Republicans, and 2 Independents in the upper chamber.  After the 2014 midterms, Republicans held 53 seats, Democrats held 45, and Independents held 2.  There is one undecided seat, but that seat will probably switch from Democrat to Republican with the expected loss of Senator Mary Landrieu in Louisiana.

Republicans gained 2 seats for Governor in November.  They now hold 31 seats.  Democrats have 27 state executive seats.  There is 1 Independent Governor (Alaska).  One seat is still undecided (Vermont).

What do you think the reasons were for the Republican wave in 2014?  Why did Republicans gain so many seats?  Conversely, why did the Democrats lose so many?