Negativity, Democracy, and the Political System

John G. Geer

in In Defense of Negativity

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780226284989
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226285009 | DOI:
Negativity, Democracy, and the Political System

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This chapter, which considers the rise of negativity in light of important trends in American politics such as declining voter turnout, lower faith in elections, and shrinking trust in government, also offers an explanation for the rise of negativity and discusses negativity's relationship to democracy and accountability. It furthermore focuses on three of the most visible trends involving the public's attitude toward the electoral process that might plausibly be tied to increasing negativity, the first of which is the public's “faith in elections.” This attitude seems especially appropriate because it captures whether the public views elections as promoting democratic ends. The second trend involves the public's “trust in government.” A key ingredient to a successful democracy involves the electorate's confidence in government. Third, the chapter examines turnout in presidential elections. It concludes with a discussion about civility and negativity.

Keywords: democratic; presidential advertising; accountability; civility; negativity

Chapter.  10156 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: US Politics

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