What Are the Causes of Political Apathy in America
1. Belief That Vote Doesn't Count
Many Americans have doubts that their vote will be counted or that it even matters. When following election returns, they may see that their state has been declared for a candidate and think, "Why bother?" According to a poll by the "Daily Nebraskan," many members of Generation X and Y see the government as so far removed, they feel like one person cannot make a difference.
Dislike of Politicians
Some people don't vote because of the negative opinion they have of politicians. A 2011 survey from the Pew Research Center found that 69 percent of Americans believe that politicians don't care what average Americans think and 72 percent say that, once elected, politicians lose touch with the voters back home. Part of this dislike comes from the number of scandals at all levels of government involving politicians of both parties. Other people believe that politicians will say anything to get elected and once in office, don't represent their interests.
Lack of Variety in Candidates
When choosing a new president, senator or representative to Congress, voters typically have to choose between candidates from two parties. Unlike in the past, when economic issues defined the parties and divided the voters, the Democrat and Republican parties must deal with many larger issues and don't enjoy the voter loyalty they once had. This decrease in party loyalty leads to voter apathy because, for some people, neither the Democrat nor Republican option reflects their beliefs.
Lack of Trust in Government
Many Americans have lost faith in government. They don't trust the government to make the changes they feel are needed and don't see the point in voting or being involved. Laws and programs that benefit corporations and the wealthy have left citizens feeling frustrated and helpless.
Hyper-Critical Negative Media
Negative political news coverage and negative political ads create cynicism in many Americans, which leads to apathy. News programs do not provide substantive coverage of candidates and their views on issues, offering instead sound clips and opinions from biased panelists. As negative political ads become more mean-spirited and distorted, some Americans get disgusted and completely disconnect from the political process.
Can't change a rubric once you've started using it.