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Assessing the Extremes in Political Opinion and Action

In the aftermath of the tragic shooting of democratic representative Gabrielle Griffiths at a neighborhood meeting yesterday, a sharp and sudden focus was drawn against the increasing extremities of feeling that exist within contemporary US politics. Although an exact motive for the attack that killed and wounded others has yet to be determined, their are rumblings of the accused gunman being extremely hostile towards the current government regime and also especially vocal about his inherent dislike and reasoning.
This reaction is extreme and entirely unjustified in a civilized society, but the instance is not isolated in terms of the level of threat and deep rooted animosity toward the existng political government. There have been several occasions in the last 18 months and 2 years where democratic representatives have been subjected to verbal abuse or vandalism, as concerns and issues with economic policies and health care legislation have combined to produce increased levels of frustration and discontentment with government representatives and legislation.
A Diversity of Opinion
While this particular instance and general type of political protest is repugnant, it is not the only reason for concern in federal circles. At the entirely opposite end of the spectrum, there continues to subsist a growing apathy towards voting and policies in particular geographical and age related demographics, and one which is born of the same levels of disenchantment that fuels acts of violence and anarchy. In a society where two opposed and yet deeply similar and related political issues are pertinent, there are several conclusions and portents that can be drawn.
The trends for political apathy can be seen in voting polls. On average, the rates of eligible voters fulfilling their constitutional duty to vote has fallen in presidential elections, from 65.9 to approximately 64.9 percent between 1990 and 2008. This is a small and yet not insignificant decrease, and is perhaps reflective of a more global epidemic of political mistrust and discontent. This apathy and general suspicion of government is relevant in many democratic western cultures, and has been especially apparent in countries like the UK where mutual distrust has been prompted by scandal and inappropriate expenses claims by established politicians.

This increasing mistrust is bound to breed contempt and suspicion within individual voters, but how this is displayed is down largely to a persons characteristics and behavioural trends. The complexity and diversity of personality types create a swath of variable reactions to and interpretations of different feelings, which in due course leads to entirely divided factions of society. For the majority, these feelings of distaste and uncertainty will lead to nothing more than periodic frustration, but there exist a minority who will react less favorably to such thoughts. Subsequently, an apathetic political view or increasing rage and violent trends of conduct are inevitable consequences of incurred disappointment.

Dealing with Extremes of Political Unrest

There is little that a government can do tackle an individual reaction to emotion, however there are encouraging portents that the political mood may soon be lifted. As unemployment is developing a healthy trend in continual and consistent reduction, so too the economy grows with the creation of requisite jobs. This in itself alleviates a large source of pressure and mistrust within the members of a society, who are always responsive to the peaks and troughs of recession and recovery, and therefore more likely to favor a political regime and the process of election during periods of rude financial health.While a generally healthy and burgeoning economy can help assuage political apathy, there will always remain a small minority who are prone to violent protests and political anarchy. This type of behaviour is prevalent in all governing formats, and is more an issue of human nature that political policies and discontent. Obviously, while economic recessions and contentious legislation will always evoke high emotion and emotive response in certain individuals, it is important to remember that these types of reactions are both unwarranted and entirely out of place in democracy and advanced societies.

In addition to creating a thriving and vibrant economical environment, governments have a duty to remain honorable and transparent with all their conduct. Political policy, while never being able to please everyone, is required to be engineered for the good of society and also needs to be developed and implemented with as much visibility and public interaction as possible. Given the educated and well informed nature of contemporary society and its members, only a government which creates concise, transparent and socially viable policies can overcome the machinations of general apathy and violent intent.

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Navaid I. Syed is the owner and CEO of www.ExcitingAds.com / ExcitingAds! Inc. He is a medical doctor and was born in Mirpurkhas, Sind, Pakistan, on July 31, 1964. He graduated from Liaquat University of Medical and Health Sciences, Jamshoro, Sind, Pakistan, in 1990. He is Educational Commission for Foreign Medical Graduates, Philadelphia, PA, USA, certified.

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