Political Party Activism

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While individuals from in each political party hold polarizing opinions, the most polarizing individuals in each party would be party activists. What is a party activist? In a Political Behavior article, Edward Carmine and James Woods write, “political activists are a heterogenous group and include delegates to the nominating conventions, those citizens heavily involved in campaign activities, major financial contributors to political parties,” (364). Activism is action taken for a cause that goes beyond what is considered standard or routine. A political party activist is an individual who spends time promoting a political party, the party’s platform, and the party’s candidates. These people tend to hold more ideological political beliefs …show more content…
Activism occurs when an individuals begins to participate in more than elections. Activism is political involvement for people who are passionate about what they believe, or they are passionate about a political party. Popular reasons for engaging in party activism include: personal gain, friendship, desire to influence government, general commitment to a party, and enjoyment of political activity. (Hadley & Bowman 117). A study conducted concerning activists in Alabama found that the chief motivation for party activism was a desire to influence government and a general commitment to a party. These two motivations were found equally prevalent between among Democrats. However, Republican activists are more motivated by issue and or policy concerns than they are by an interest in the party itself (Hadley & Bowman 117). Although they differ ideologically, Republican and Democrat activists are goal-oriented and willing to fight for their partisan viewpoints to be …show more content…
According to a public policy professor at Harvard University, “One-party political machines . . . have been replaced by grassroots activists from both parties” (King 12). A political party machine is a party organization that recruits members with a tangible incentive. These machines were prevalent in the United States until the early 1900s. However, their popularity has been curbed by civil service reform, voter registration, and social services being taken over by the federal and state government. During the early 20th century, party activists began to replace the need for political machines - which further polarized politics in the United States because partisan activists are more ideological than political party machines. For example Activists in the Progressive Era fought the corruption of political machines by compelling local governments to introduce Civil Service Reform. Examples of activists in the early 19th century would be: Margaret Sanger, Booker T. Washington, and W.E.B. Dubois. Each of these activists fought to change political ideology in the United States. These activists in the Progressive Era presented people with a more polarizing ideology, thus weakening political machines and strengthening the power of

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