Public opinion has many dynamics, influences

Nate Sharir

Public opinion is a powerful characteristic of society. It has the capability to unite people based on sharing a common concept or idea. It also provides the opportunity for us to analyze ourselves and each other all to better our lifestyles as independent figures. There are times when public opinion is utilized in a manner that evokes a different type of response. With the presence and power of the media, the negative qualities of public opinion are bolstered with footage depicting questionable images that may or may not agree with an idea that is being conveyed to the public. That is why we as a society should be able to fully understand public opinion and the way that it affects us.

On Jan. 20, George W. Bush was inaugurated for his second term. As the day’s proceedings were being captured on live television, viewers got to occasionally catch a glimpse of protesters outside the White House picketing and rallying against the swearing in of Bush’s second consecutive term. People viewing this at home either agreed or disagreed with the manner in which these anti-Bush supporters were presenting themselves. Depending on the nature of the television network, viewpoints would range from both positive and negative regarding the whole affair. And, based on these on-air attitudes, the level of public opinion in most societies would either be favorable or unfavorable.

When public opinion is being used properly, people would be convinced that a certain idea is capable to agree with or not. The opinion that the protesters were expressing was that they did not feel that Bush was adequate to be president. As some were being interviewed for various news programs, people at home got to listen and contemplate whether or not they provided a strong enough argument.

The media has the ability to sway public opinion to better fit the opinion of the station that is airing the opinions of these anti-Bush supporters. In some cases, the protester that is being interviewed might, in fact, be a member of an opposing party.

In this case, there might be a degree of political bias in the network coverage.

The power that television news has towards public opinion is quite significant. Television media can provide footage as it develops in order to further change the way people think. This capability is much more powerful than that of the written media due to the in-your-face realism that provides quite an impact. The action is happening right in front of the viewer’s eyes. And based the reactions to the footage that one is witnessing, one’s opinion is either completely re-enforced or questioned so much that one might have to re-think one’s assessment of what is going on in the public’s eye.

Despite the ongoing changes in public opinion, Bush is going to be president for the next four years. You and others might share the same opinions as the current administration, but life as we know it goes on. Maybe Bush’s second term will be a more fruitful one. Perhaps we will come out of these next four years better than how we came in. That’s the benefit of the state of public opinion; it can always be improved for the better.