A reflection on the United States elections held in the years 2004, 2008, and 2012 depicts a wider array of resemblances and differences. The differences are mainly related to the campaign issues that were dwelled on during these elections. To be precise, the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were the main notable concerns in the 2004 and 2008 campaigns. In the year 2004, the incumbent president; Bush ran a smear campaign against his main contender; Kerry. Nonetheless, Kerry’s campaign was a pro Afghanistan and Iraq war campaign; hence, he was seen as a war hero. This is because a significant proportion of Americans were in support of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars (Ghosh, 2013).
Things were different in the 2008 elections whereby a significant proportion of Americans were indifferent about the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. Therefore, Obama won the support of many Americans because his campaign ideologies were against the Afghanistan and Iraq war. This analysis shows the 2004 and 2008 campaigns were relatively similar as they dwelled on the Afghanistan and Iraq wars. On the contrary, they were different because the 2004 election was pro the war, whereas the 2008 election was against it (McKay, 2013).
On another note, the 2004, 2008, and 2012 elections bear some resemblances and differences aligned with the use of the internet. In the 2004 elections, the use internet based platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube were limited. However, the emergence of these internet based media platforms after the year 2004 offered a viable platform in which Americans could engage in politics. The use of social media platforms for campaigns during the 2008 and 2012 campaigns depicts a change in Americans political culture. This was evident by the fact that younger voters who are well conversant with internet based innovations increased their voting share in the 2008 and 2012 elections (Ghosh, 2013).
Another comprehensive change in Americans political culture that was evident during the elections discussed herein was the development of the Tea Party. The emergence of this party brought significant change in America’s political culture. To be precise, the emergence of this party enhanced the emergence of Republicans who were driven by ideologies. This led to the loss of moderate Republicans. In conclusion, American political culture has changed immensely since the 2004 elections. Worth noting is the fact that that 2012 elections experienced a significant reduction in the number of Americans who cast their votes when compared to the 2004 and 2008 elections. However, these changes do not necessarily project the future voting trends in America (McKay, 2013).
Ghosh, C. (2013). The politics of the American dream: Democratic inclusion in contemporary American political culture. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.
McKay, D. H. (2013). American politics and society. (American politics and society.) Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.