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The Florida Joint Center for Citizenship presents Multiple Perspectives Video One: Groups That Influence Public Perspectives.
In this video we will explore what is called multiple perspectives. This is the numerous different, sometimes competing, ways in which people think about public and current issues. This may be politics, education, sports, the military, the Constitution, and everything else that impacts our daily life. Having multiple perspectives on public and current issues means that we won?t all agree on anything, so that?s one reason we have the First Amendment. We must begin our discussion on multiple perspectives by thinking about the First Amendment.
Now the First Amendment to the Constitution?s Bill of Rights contains five freedoms. You might have heard about these already but just in case, the freedom of religion, freedom of speech, freedom of the press, freedom to peaceably assemble, and freedom to petition the Government. The First Amendment gives individuals and groups the right to express their political views on issues through speech, press, peaceable assembly, and petitioning the Government.
How does this affect the public? You, me, and all of us living together here in the United States, what is the impact of living in a country where people can openly share their perspective on government issues and officials?
After watching this video, you will identify groups that can influence public perspective. But there?s a lot to learn about multiple perspectives so be sure to watch the other video of this module to examine how multiple perspectives can impact participation in the political process and apply your understanding to some scenarios. So let?s dive in we have a lot to cover.
So, let?s begin with some important vocabulary that in reflects the groups that influence the public?s perspectives on issues. We start with Interest Groups or Special Interest Groups. These are groups of people who are concerned with a particular current or public issue and try to influence government officials to act in support of their issue. These are groups like the AARP, the American Medical Association, or the NAACP.
Political parties are organizations that try to get power by electing members of the party to public office so that their ideas can become laws or policies. For example the Republican Party, the Democratic Party, even the Libertarian Party.
Individuals are people like you and me that have opinions on the government and on issues. Remember that if we are citizens of at least eighteen years old, we can vote to help express those opinions.
Individuals, political parties, and interest groups all have different perspectives on the Government. You might even say that they have multiple perspectives. These groups and individuals can try to influence the public?s perspective on issues in a number of different ways.
Political parties and interest groups will support candidates running for office and certain perspective on issues by creating campaign ads, literature, and social media content that let people know where they stand on issues and on candidates. Now keep in mind that interest groups and political parties are not the same thing. Interest groups may often support a political party if that political party shares their perspective on a public or current issue, but they aren?t the same as the political party.
Now just like political parties and interest groups, individuals can support candidates running for office based on their own perspective about issues by volunteering for a campaign, through social media, and of course through voting. And they will probably base their decision on their perspective on issues.
Individuals, interest groups, and political parties can also make their perspective known about government activities. When a bill is proposed in Congress for example, or an executive order is signed, groups or individuals will make their perspective known about the activity in order to gather more or less support for the action.
Individuals in Congress will publicly advocate for a bill in order to get more support. Interest groups can create public service announcements against the bill or executive action or for them in order to raise awareness. There?s just so many different ways to share our multiple perspectives.
Let?s check in. Try to answer the following in your own words. Describe some ways in which individuals, interest groups, and political parties can make their multiple perspectives known.
Some of the ways are supporting issues and candidates for office through campaign ads, literature, working, volunteering, and social media, publicly supporting or opposing a bill about a particular issue, and of course individual citizens can vote.
Let?s recap what we?ve learned so far. Interest groups, political parties, and individuals all have multiple perspectives on issues around government. And there are many different ways express multiple perspectives. Some of these different ways include supporting issues and candidates for office through campaign ads, literature, working, volunteering, and social media, publicly supporting or opposing a bill or action, and voting. But what makes this possible? What allows us to express our multiple perspectives.
So, what allows these interest groups, political parties, and individuals to share and talk about their multiple perspectives on a current and public issue? That good old First Amendment we started our video talking about. The First Amendment allows anyone to write a letter to a senator about an issue which would be freedom of speech, print an article critical of a policy decision about an issue which would be freedom of the press, participate in a protest march about an issue which would be peaceable assembly, or gather signatures about an issue to send to a political leader which would be petitioning the government. Even religion sometimes influences our multiple perspectives. Remember that without the First Amendment, our ability to share our multiple perspectives on current and public issues might not exist.
Let?s check in. What are some different ways the First Amendment allows us to share multiple perspectives? Freedom of speech allows us to write letters to a senator about an issue, freedom of press allows us to criticize policy on an issue on a newspaper, freedom of peaceably assembly allows us to have a protest march about an issue, and freedom to petition the government allows to gather signatures about an issue.
So, multiple perspective on current and public issues shape our participation in the political process, and interest group, political parties and individuals all can share their perspectives as a result of the First Amendment.
But hey! How do we participate in that political process? In order to answer that question, and get some practical scenarios be sure to watch the second video in this module on how multiple perspectives impact the ways in which we participate in that political process.
This video is produced by the Florida Joint Center for Citizenship at the Lou Frey Institute. Thanks for watching!