» Student Handout
Devising Your Political Strategy
Note to Students: You will be creating a persuasive strategy aimed at a particular target group (see below) to either support or oppose President Bush's Social Security proposal. As a political strategist, your goal is to convince the people in your target group that they should favor the policy-maker's proposal for change. As you develop your strategy, be sure to consider ethics. [See definitions below from dictionary.reference.com]
- A set of principles of right conduct
- A theory or a system of moral values: "An ethic of service is at war with a craving for gain" (Gregg Easterbrook)
- Study of the general nature of morals and of the specific moral choices to be made by a person; moral philosophy
- The rules or standards governing the conduct of a person or the members of a profession: medical ethics
Think about the following ethical considerations as you launch your political strategy campaign to inform and convince your target audience:
- Should you disclose all information to all segments of society, even if constituencies have different needs and priorities?
- Is omitting information acceptable, as long as you do not lie outright?
- Is an explicit appeal to different ethnic groups, religions, or interest groups acceptable even if the appeal might divide the groups from each other?
- Should you try, at all costs, to convince people of your proposal's validity? In other words, do the ends justify the means?
- Using the information you learned as you explored the Web sites and completed the handout "Understanding Different Views of Social Security Reform," create a presentation for the group you have been assigned. Remember, you are a political strategist whose goal is to convince your target group that your proposal is good for them. You are not making policy.
- Working with your group, create a cartoon, write a radio advertisement, make a video, write a political speech, or even come up with another idea -- as long as you are compellingly persuasive. Make your presentation to your class.
- As your classmates are doing their presentations, take notes below, writing down which facts they include and whether or not you think they are convincing.
- After the presentations are over, write a paragraph answering the "Ethical Considerations" questions below the chart.
|The Intended Audience
||The Strategy and the Supporting Facts|
|Americans age 50 and older|| |
|Americans aged 25-49|| |
Did any group omit information that you consider crucial?
Did the omission distort what you perceive as the accuracy of the presentation?
Is the omission ethical or not ethical?