In US politics, underrepresentation is a big issue. I will be focusing on three main under-representation factors, but there are more, including the cost of politics and many more. So, without further ado, let’s discuss three main reasons for underrepresentation in politics in the United States Of America.
The first main reason for underrepresentation in the United States Of America is sexism. Sexism is a big issue worldwide, yet it has been advancing. If you think back to the 1900s, women could not even vote for a while. Therefore, it proves we have come a long a bit and advanced since then.
However, in US politics, women are often lenient in putting themselves forward as a candidate for politics, as they fear they will be judged on all the wrong things. Usually, when a woman puts themselves forward in politics, the public scrutinizes the women’s appearance- her hair, outfit, and make-up – more than talking about and discussing the main thing, her political views. Therefore, women are often too scared to put themselves out there and run as political candidates in the USA.
For example, there has never been a female president in the USA. This could come from a lack of females running, due to fear of sexism, or never enough votes because many scrutinize their looks instead of thinking about their political views.
The following reason for underrepresentation is racism. Racism is a massive issue worldwide, which again is slowly developing, but needs a lot more work, effort and research.
In politics, many ethnic minorities are scared to put themselves forward in politics of the United States Of America due to the racial abuse they face. If someone in public does not agree with the government or even a candidate’s political views, they often use racial slurs to target them. Therefore, many black people, Hispanic people, mixed races and more are lenient to put themselves forward in case it result’s in them experiencing racial abuse.
For example, in the history of the government of the United States Of America, there has only ever been one black President due to many ethnicities not putting themselves forward in case they experience racism.
Underrepresentation- the incumbency effect.
The third and final reason for representation I will discuss today is the Incumbency effect. When you think about the United States government, think about the type of people it consists of. What comes to mind? White, straight, rich, old males? Well, what if I told you that this has a name, the incumbency effect?
The incumbency effect is when someone who has already secured a place in politics has more chance of re-electing at the next election. It costs so much to set up a campaign. You need advertising, workers and many more if you start from scratch. However, if someone has their team and marketing from before, it will not be as hard to set up for the election. Therefore they may have secured a seat in politics.
For example, if someone had been a vice president- Joe Biden- it may be easier to become President if they wished to be elected due to them already having the support they needed. But if a working woman with a family wanted to try and run in an election, getting a place in politics would take a lot of money, time and effort. To learn more about the incumbency effect, as it is a big part of politics, click here!
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