The production of texts in political settings is based on various factors. Fitzgerald urged that content reflects an individual’s experiences since the past is inescapable (648). The content of a political message is based on the desired function and audience. For instance, during the 2008 presidential campaign, President Obama announced his selection of Joe Biden as the Vice President via text messaging to about three million Americans (Sautter 136). Apart from being a reminder, such a message became a hallmark in U.S. political history. President Obama organized rallies, informed supporters, and produced record-breaking donations from grassroots to the national level from the three million contacts. Political analysts used the text messaging instance to appreciate Obama’s significant engagement with the people during the campaigns. Romney also embraced texts during his campaigns as an acceptable way in which Americans can communicate and trade (Leibson). This paper examines political messaging as an efficient way of reflecting and staying connected with the people based on Fitzgerald’s Babylon Revisited.
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Text messages provide a means to policymaking in political parties. Charlie confesses that the past influences the future because one is reminded (Fitzgerald 647). Since parties have to derive reliable and valid estimates of the policy positions of key players, they have to analyze previous political competitions. Texts provide an efficient and faster way of evaluating policy-based party competitions because they overcome potential constraints (Robert et al. 27). Political parties have to employ systematic techniques to determine the political contest, like voters, politicians, scientists,’ and analysts’ surveys. Content analysis of documents is also vital in establishing the policy position of actors (Joel 99). However, hand-coding content evaluations of the political text focus on policymaking. Such consideration allows for the development of new hand-coding schemes for determining party positions, alongside new compatible computer codes (Robert et al. 28). For example, analyses of party manifestos can be achieved by computer coding to facilitate vast volumes of texts for coding, including those generated by individuals and other internal party actors.
Broad theoretical perspectives have been used in analyzing political competition by determining the political positions of key political actors. Joel asserted that history acts as living reminders, like Duncan and Lorraine to Charlie (96), derived from the masses, elite, expert surveys, or behavioral analysis in strategic settings. However, expert surveys and rollcall analyses have been associated with methodological issues, like the direction of causality, which is exemplified by the policy-position data collected using products of political processes under investigation (Sautter 138). Such considerations undermine the validity of the survey approaches in estimating the policy positions of key actors. Alternatively, political messages can evaluate political positions since they are significant by-products of strategic political activity with the broad potential of revealing vital information about the author.
Content can be replicated, modified, and improved once released to the public domain to generate new analyses. Since the world has volumes of scripts that are easy, cheap, and available instantly, systematic evaluations have a massive potential of liberating the political researcher. In such a regard, political messages can be examined for various reasons using historical content or previously generated materials. The analyzed information can be related to collectivities, for instance, political parties or governments, or commentators, activists, legislators, and candidates (Robert et al. 23). However, the biggest challenge in text analysis is the liberation process because the current techniques of systematic analysis are resource-intensive, involving significant amounts of highly skilled labor. The traditional hand-coding approach to content analysis seems to be highly labor-intensive and untimely.
In the recently concluded U.S. presidential elections, text messaging played a significant role in informing Americans. The 2020 election cycle was devoid of door-to-door canvassing, forcing political parties to adopt new strategies of connecting with their potential voters (Leibson). While other political candidates opted for virtual campaigns, peer-to-peer text messaging had significant input. Texting became the revolutionary, political secret tool of choice across America. Saunders also popularized his campaigns in 2016 by sending personalized messages through a new technological platform (Sautter 139). Such consideration was emulated by other local and national political campaigns, creating additional platforms for interacting with millions of potential volunteers and voters. Even though concerns were raised over the compliance of the technology platforms with the Federal Communication Commission, their use continued to rise used in sending peer-to-peer text messages (Leibson). The law prohibited using automatic calls or messages for political campaigns unless it is an emergency or with the party’s consent.
Overall, Fitzgerald commends that texts are potent reminders of the past and inform the present and future. Prominent politicians have used text to their advantage, such as reaching out to potential voters. However, political text messages should be used appropriately to avoid issues with the Federal Communication Commission. Such regulations are essential in ensuring no campaign regulation has been compromised. For example, texts can be appropriately used as voting-day reminders, event alerts, announcements, organizing volunteers, taking stances, and mobilizing particular votes. The current COVID-19 situation has accelerated the use of texts in communication to minimize face-to-face interactions. Therefore, text messaging is a vital tool that should first be evaluated to enhance its effectiveness.
Fitzgerald, Scott F. Babylon Revisited: And Other Stories. Simon & Schuster, 2008.
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Joel, Hawkes. City Rhythms: The Tempo of Story and City in F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Babylon Revisited. Explicator, vol. 16, no. 2, 2018, pp.96-99.
Leibson, Hannah. “The Rise of the Political Text Message.” The Regulatory Review, 2021, Web.
Robert E. Denton, et al. Political Campaign Communication: Principles and Practices. Rowman & Littlefield, 2019.
Sautter, Chris. “U.S. Elections on the Brink.” Campaigns and Elections American Style, 2018, pp. 136-159.