The final chapters of The Apartisan American turn out to be a successful attempt made by Dalton to explain how partisans may influence the electoral processes and why the number of people, who cannot identify themselves as Democrats or Republicans, should have a right to vote and share their political views with the other representatives of society. The author underlines that “elections are about making choices and making good choices”.1 This is why it is very important to learn the peculiarities of electoral behavior in order to be able to guide each citizen through the existing world of politics, full of complex ideas, and crucial actions.2
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Every chapter of the book is a new explanation of the author’s main ideas. Chapter 6 aims at introducing the images of the Republican and Democratic parties within a particular period of time in order to demonstrate their most crucial changes. Chapter 7 is closely connected to the previous chapter as it gives explanations of how the chosen images have to be interpreted in regards to the elections and the voting process itself. The next chapter focuses on the idea of political mobilization and people’s inabilities to overcome it during the elections. Chapter 9 is a symbolic look at the politics of the USA within the frames of a cross-national context. The final chapter of the book underlines the most crucial conclusions made by Danton during his research and the evaluation of why partisans can be regarded as more important and even interesting political figures.
In spite of the fact that a number of ideas and explanations have been already given, the author is not afraid to underline that it is a hard task to comprehend the nature of the political world. Still, the book gives a clear picture that partisans do exist nowadays and do have an impact on the organization of the elections and their results. Such people are considered to be more sophisticated with a strong base of knowledge and the ability to neglect any type of political prejudice.
The experts state that partisans are eager to use their political identities when they try to generate lesser of two evils, but they do not try to consider their own interests and experiences in the world of politics.3 This is why partisans seem to be stronger from a political point of view because of the possibility to give a rational look at any situation and provide anyone with a solid portion of the explanation of the choice made. In such a situation, political dealignment turns out to be an essential process that cannot be ignored and have to be studied thoroughly.
What are the two main changes in electoral behavior that may be observed after reading the chapters of the book The A partisan American by Dalton? What is their impact on the understanding of partisans and their possible impact on society and the process of election in particular?
The chapters under analysis provide the reader with a chance to comprehend that dealignment and cognitive mobilizations are the two basic elements of the elections and party identification. The number of partisans in the American society has considerably increased, and people should know whether it is necessary to fight against such groups or support their development in order to provide the country with a better future.
Dalton, Russel. The Apartisan American: Dealignment and Changing Electoral Politics. Thousand Oaks, California: CQ Press, 2013.
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Groenendyk, Eric. “Justifying Party Identification: A Case of Identifying with the ‘Lesser of Two Evils’.” Political Behavior 34, no. 3 (2012): 453-475.
- Russell Danton, The Apartisan American: Dealignment and Changing Electoral Politics (Thousand Oaks, California: CQ Press, 2013), 105.
- Russell Danton, The Apartisan American: Dealignment and Changing Electoral Politics (Thousand Oaks, California: CQ Press, 2013), 106.
- Eric Groenendyk “Justifying Party Identification: A Case of Identifying with the ‘Lesser of Two Evils’.” Political Behavior 34, no. 3 (2012): 453.