In the 1992 presidential election only 50% of the voting-age population voted. Biennial congressional races are even worse with voting-age participation rates typically in the 30% range. What do these abhorrent statistics say about this nation? This is a collection of essays about public participation in politics. The ultimate goal of this text is to inspire, argue, coax, and challenge the reader to increase his or her attention to the political, and as a result become an active participant in the political process. Contents: Introduction; Political Participation in American Politics: A Critique, Christine Marie Sierra; How Elites Usurp Democracy in America, Daniel Hellinger; Immigration: The Subjectification of Political Discourse, Henry Flores; Political Messages in Nonpolitical Programming, Art Silverblatt; Sexuality and Citizenship, Shane Phelan; Why Gender Parity? The 50% Solution, Nicola Mazumdar and Jean Reith Schroedel; The 1996 Election and the Welfare State, Mack Jones; A Black-Organized Third Party?,
James Jennigans; New Public Dialogues: Ecstatic Politics from the Public Culture, Nancie Caraway; Expanding Public Life at the Local Level, Christopher Freeman Adams; Notes; Bibliography; Index; Contributors.