Debriefing and Reframing for the RBA

Link to Infographic:

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B6MG8qgCxEAnbWlRNVFtakNmdFk?usp=sharing

During the peer review process, the primary feedback I got focused on citations and logical links. In my infographic, I used speech bubbles with statements like “Did you hear Romney let a woman die?” and “Obama is a Muslim!” to echo false claims from the 2012 presidential election. To add more credence to my point, I cited the original super PACS that produced these misleading ads that led to voters making these ridiculous claims. Similarly, in my proposal there were a number of instances where I omitted a citation for a statement I thought was intuitive. However, the absence of citations made it difficult for readers to distinguish fact from opinion and trust in me as a writer.

The issue of logical links was feedback I got on both my infographic and my proposal. Both presented a number of ideas but didn’t always make the links explicit. As an example, I started my proposal discussing political polarization in America, before jumping into Citizens United. Especially for those unaware of the Citizens United court decision, the transition was abrupt and under-explained. Another point that was brought up was what aspects of political polarization I wanted to focus on.

Taking all this into consideration, I’ll be making a couple of changes in my RBA. Perhaps most importantly, I will be expounding upon why Citizens United is the largest contributor to political polarization (as opposed to gerrymandering, shifting demographics, etc). Specifically, I want to focus on how this court decision polarizes American on both the voter and politician level. On the voter level, the deluge of negative and false advertisements perpetrated by super PACs turns what could’ve been a civilized political discussion into name-calling and mudslinging. A huge contributor to this problem is the presence of biased media sources, a topic I want to delve into during my research. On the politician level, the need for money and corporate backing naturally forces parties to support policies in line with their largest special interest donors as opposed to their average American voter.

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