Essay on Perception and Election of Presidents

Submitted By GabbyBurkeen1
Words: 5127
Pages: 21

US Presidency
Dr. Dalin
Perception and
Election of Presidents Throughout the history of the United States Presidential Elections there has been a change of how candidates for President are perceived. This is partly in response to the development and usage of the media. The media can be described as a group of mass communication that spread information from one party to another. While there are plenty benefits to this type of commute of information, it plays a serious role on how Americans perceive these candidates and the Presidents themselves. The views can either help or damage a Politian’s image, through their deeds, by exaggerating in order to create a dramatic headline. In result of this exaggeration most information found through the media are mostly filtered. Information through the media has been provided through different ways as technology advanced through time.
Besides the traditional slogan ads, the development of radio, newspaper, television, and movie screening have changed the favor of many elections from one opponent to another. Through these amazing and fast paced informational communities, redirection of what is truly important can occur. For instance, such intel would change its focus from the candidates policies to just the candidates themselves. Other times a candidate’s apperance could win over a vote than a candidate’s words. From the time of the first presidential elections there was an all over win to George Washington. As a popular war hero, George Washington was unanimously elected without the use of advertising and fighting for the position. The same can be said for his second term in office. Washington’s glory was spread to all through word and his works, not through a second hand source. While the uses of posters were widely available to anyone, word of the policies these candidates campaigned was brought to a wider range of audience through news articles and the technical advances of technology. Radio, television, internet, and newspapers shape how information is viewed and how the subjects in question are perceived. As some would say, fortunately or unfortunately, the relationship between the President of the United States and the American people, as well as the roll of the media in that relationship, has a profound impact on American politics. Many questions arise with this association: What do Americans really know about their president? What is really true about their administrations and what is merely an exaggeration? How many promises are made during a campaign towards the media and for the people but yet were never fulfilled?
The president of the United States has always been a figure that many Americans can consider a representation of themselves. According to Richard J. Ellis, a professor at Willamette University, “individual presidents may be unpopular… Americans are loath to relinquish the fiction that the president speaks for all Americans. The truth, however, is that the president is just an extremely powerful politician whose policies are about as likely to reflect the public opinion as not. Because Americans cannot realistically hope to agree with their president on every issue, the character of presidential candidates plays an integral role in American elections.
[For instance,] when voters elected Dwight D. Eisenhower in spite of his lack of political experience, they were looking for a symbol of legitimacy, continuity, and morality; and perhaps they were right in elevating these qualities to a position higher than the manipulative skill that resolves problems.” President Reagan’s speechwriter believes that “in a president, character is everything and a president doesn’t have to be brilliant; Harry Truman wasn’t brilliant, and he helped save Western Europe from Stalin. He doesn’t have to be clever; you can hire clever… But you can’t buy courage and decency, you can’t rent a strong moral sense. A president must bring those things with him.” Many scholars