Political Gridlock and New Media

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This Thesis seeks to determine the precise effect of new media on the constantly gridlocked state of American politics. We will do this by first covering the inherent susceptibility of the American political system and then going over new media and discourse control through propaganda. We will analyze this process by looking at Chomsky’s 1988 work Manufacturing Consent. In the final chapter we will merge these aspects of new media and gridlock by analyzing the way that new media has affected: the national legislative process, online political discourse and the partisan divide. The effects of new media on the gridlocked status quo are double-sided, for one, new media gives a voice to the people and the political spectrum in the US has widened because of it. New media has made politics more accessible and transparent as a result. However, new media also aids in strengthening political gridlock as the partisan divide between the two major parties has widened because of it. This is because the Republican party has moved more to the right away from the Democrats legislatively speaking. Overall the evidence suggests new media aids more in the worsening of political gridlock in the US then it helps to alleviate it.
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