Don't take what we have for granted is the greatest admonition I can give to young people.
Participation is required for democracy to work.
I think they should get in the arena because I'mvoting my life to this project.
Getting in the arena doesn't mean you have to run for public office.
It doesn't mean working in campaigns.
This is the best way to influence your future and the future of your community, the country, and the world, as messy and as challenged as it is.
It would be a sad thing to do because I've seen it.
Candidates stress valence issues at every opportunity because they are relatively safe.
They look at the position issues that their parties own or on which they have majority support.
The real campaign is not about debating positions on issues, but about which issues should be considered.
Setting the agenda and creating a narrative that convinces voters to care about it are both important parts of issue campaigning.
It is impossible to understand the modern political campaign without understanding the role of the media.
With twentyfour-hour television news stations, talk radio, and the incredible web of the Internet, citizens are bombarded with information from reporters and pollsters, pundits and late night comedians, Facebook sharers and email forwarders, your textbook authors, and your professor.
You can become a part of the vast network of people passing along information and creating a story about how a campaign is taking place, and creating a narrative about what it all means.
To control the flow of information, while also taking advantage of all that the modern information network has to offer, is a daunting task for a campaign.
It's like trying to dance with a bear without getting bitten off.
There are two types of information in a campaign, the kind you pay for and the kind you don't.
The ads are paid for.
We know that campaign advertising is important, even though many voters ignore them.
Advertising is not limited to radio and television.
Studies show that advertising is useful for voters.
Political ads can increase the loyalty of existing supporters and educate the public about what candidates stand for.
The game has changed because of social media.
Voters base their choice of candidates on these messages.
Before the Internet was a factor in campaign advertising, there was one of the best examples of negative messaging.
Bush was behind in the polls in 1988 and his campaign wanted to change the way people thought about him and Dukakis.
They came up with an effective ad that showed criminals in and out of a prison.
Dukakis's "revolving door prison policy" allowed first degree murderers to leave on weekends, according to a voiceover.
The "Willie Horton" ad ran by the National Security PAC focused on the mug shot of Horton, who was black, while explaining that he was a convict serving a life sentence for murder who had obtained a weekend pass from prison.
The Dukakis campaign failed to respond to this one-two punch, a fatal error in modern politics, and subsequent surveys showed that those who saw the commercials came to think of it.
Bush went on to win the election, and his campaign strategy seems quaint today.
Sometimes the most effective commercials don't have to get on TV because they show up in voters' media feeds and can get to targeted audiences.
The recipient may never hear the response because they spread so fast.
In the intensely mediated era, controlling the message is a new challenge.
Negative advertising about one's opponent, like the Willie Horton ad, may turn off some voters.
If an attack ad that highlights negative aspects of an opponent's record does not go too far, it will register more quickly and be remembered more frequently.
Negative ads are the rule, not the exception, though not all candidates resort to them equally.
Donald Trump spent less on advertising than did Hillary Clinton, most of it to highlight his own behavior and words.
He was called a "dictator" by his opponents.
Thomas Jefferson was accused of having an affair with a slave, a controversy that has outlived any of the people involved, and Abraham Lincoln was claimed to have had an illegitimate child.
Most Americans say they don't, but in the Internet age such negative and deeply personal attacks are more prevalent than ever.
Negative attacks used to be limited to soap box speeches and debates, and quotes that accusers hoped would be picked up by the news media.
Attack advertisements, sometimes paid for by candidates but more often by third parties, are a choice weapon in the battle for the hearts and minds of the electorate.
Today such groups don't need to pay for airtime or space in newspapers, they can just create videos, meme, or even just pithy but potent tweets, and release them into the wild.
The more outrageous the claims are, the more likely they are to go viral.
Negative messages are remembered more by people than positive ones.
Tracking polls show that after a voter has seen a negative ad eight times, he or she begins to move away from the attacked candidate.
Negative ads and media attacks are unpopular with voters because they are nasty, unfair, and false.
The claims that are proven untrue can often backfire on the person making them.
Be careful, be critical, and be fair in your assessment of the messages that pop up on your screens.