National Politics And The National Political Agenda Within The United States

2638 Words 11 Pages
“We the people of the United States…” so starts our Constitution. And what an eclectic and motley group of people we are. So it is that the framers of the pre-eminent law of our land saw fit to build rules into our democratic game of government that would protect us all from a simple majority formed from any group conveniently aligned hell bent on having things their way at the expense of the current majority. Despite their significant proportion of US population, particularly in cities and at one time throughout the South, blacks have not played a significant role in setting the national political agenda within our two-party system of government. In his book, Uneasy Alliances, political scientist Paul Frymer put forth his theory of electoral capture as an explanation as to why African Americans have had a disproportionately small impact on national politics and on achieving their policy objectives, especially in presidential elections. Frymer supports his theory with historical electoral data and makes a case for changes to the winner-takes-all Electoral College process as a means to insure more voices are heard in setting our national political agenda. While Frymer’s electoral capture theory stands up to historical review from the beginning of the two-party system in the 1800s through the twentieth century, it seems likely that ethnic, socio-economic, demographic and technological changes in the 21st century may make the theory less relevant to future presidential…

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