America Political Culture


Table of Contents

Political Myths

Political myths are regarded as heuristic political thinking that mobilizes intuitions to create reasonable plausible or close solutions based common underlying behavioral patterns and culture (Nyhan, 2010; Oliver and Wood, 2014). The symbolic and thematic politic myths of the American culture are linked to fictions, national myths, and other cultural resources deeply rooted in the American’s origin and early history. The political myths elicit both symbols and themes among the American mythical core values and fundamental issues such as democracy, responsibilities, and liberty. Hochschild and Einstein (2015) state that the mythical nature of the political myths can be ambiguous or dangerous based on their political symbols or application. From the American context, political myths are confined to narcotic quality and vision that bind the culture together through individual interpretation, Americans’ interests, values, and beliefs.

The analysis presented in this document explores how political myths emerge and the effects they have on the American politics. Extensively, the analysis uncovers evidence for the emergence of political myths in the American context demonstrating how the emerging political myths define the American’s ideal political image and its political language. Finally, the analysis evaluates the political impacts of the political myths in the American history, present, and the future generation.

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The theoretical approach of the political myth emergence related to social constructivism between the myths and symbol’s roles in the society and politics. The political myths originate from religious, social, psychological, economic, linguistic, and health-related factors in traditional societies when fused with political meaning (Esch, 2010; Oliver and Wood, 2014). The fusion of religious or social factors with politics creates a political language evoking set of false beliefs and values that set grounds for the emergence of political myths. From an individualized presentation, political myths emerge from the cognitive lenses defining how an individual looks at the world and its perceived image. The political myths remain invisible even although it has a significant impact on the world’s basic perception about politics (Jeffrey, 2017). Similarly, the political myths can arise from analogical reasoning where social and political clues fuse to create meaning and appealing reason about the world’s image.

From cognitive or psychological approach, the preexisting schemata in people’s mind influence the power of the myth related to historical events. However, the potential solutions to the origin of political myths do not account for ‘where and how’, but the political narrative and symbol built in a political realm (Oliver and Wood, 2014).  According to Hochschild and Einstein (2015), the political myths thrive throughout history beyond the (claim of the truth to be dismissed) mere superstitions or fanciful tales. Thus, the political myths originate from politically linked processes adopted and re-adopted by a conventional narrative of a social group or individuals significant to their political experiences without focusing on the exact nature or reality of the world.

Unlike other narratives, political myths provide significance to particular individuals or groups of people. Based on Jeffrey (2017) significance narrative, political myths are associated with the products of endless human trials to reduce chaos and unknown masters. However, although political myths can take religious or economic roots and connotations, political myths significance excludes economic or religious phenomenon (Oliver and Wood, 2014.  Thus, the political means emergence significance goes being language and meaning that is shared by a common group at different levels and impacts the political experience or conditions of the affected group.

From the American political context, political myths affect the past, present and future American political generation depending on how they are used, the symbols, and the themes linked to the referred myths. For example, the American political myth associated with the ‘War on Terror’’ take both domestic and international counter-terrorism campaign based on a political environment (Nyhan, 2010). The ‘war on terror’ myth extent to different dimensions of the American lives including the military, intelligence, presidential authorization, and psychological operations. For this reasons, the political myth affects the prominent elements of war, the Americans national identity, and primacy effects among the Americans. Besides, the political myths affect the political decisions Oliver and Wood, 2014. Comparatively, the political myth based on the American contents (Barbarism vs. Civilization) affects the temporary role and historical roots of the political myth in providing legitimized policies and usage significance.

The political myth creates cultural appear against specific political actions and injustices created among the American societies. From the American Exceptionalism mythical approach, the ideas associating the American society as (the chosen nation) presents the American’s ideal image of itself in the world. Nyhan (2010) argues that political myths provide a sense of civic freedom and democracy. For instances, political myths associated with ‘’Author Library’’ associate the people with sense freedom and democracy to dream and attempt achieving the deficiencies of freedom and democracy. Jeffrey (2017) state that the political myth in the American context affects people’s interest and justification to behave differently. Myths provide political justification and legitimacy to participate in certain political activities such political rallies, campaigns and voting processes (‘Conspiracies’ form of public opinion’).

Comparatively, myths that affect political structures and policies such as the state and urban cities have strong impacts on political decisions. For example, myths that bring exceptional grievances to the American society are likely to cause psychological, social, and economic impacts on the families and individuals affected while to some may just take the ownership of the grief and proceed with the normal life. In contrasts, myths that insist on freedom (“It’s a free country” and “Freedom of Speech”) are perceived as the prototype of the democratic process (Nyhan, 2010; Oliver and Wood, 2014). In this regard, political myths influence the political life of the American society through provoking both their psychological and emotional experience. For example, the irrationalities and paradoxes of the Americans political life affect their rational choice, especially in decision making (Oliver and Wood, 2014).  Evidently, the conservatives of the American political myths tend to be more organized and conscientious compared to the liberals negatively affecting their overall social life.

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The political myths have greater impacts in shaping the future of the American society. However, in American political contexts, the reason to accept the myths is always contested with a hope to win the myth meaning and significance because it tends to work in myth against myth strategy. However, the dominance of political myths of the past and the present is widespread and build on continuity. Thus, the political myths emerge from social, religious, psychological, historical, and other factors that are fused to politics for political significance and meaning. The political myths affect the American social life, political life, and their informed choices on their day to day life.

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  1. Esch, J., 2010. Legitimizing the “War on Terror”: Political myth in officiallevel rhetoric. Political Psychology, 31(3), pp.357-391.
  2. Hochschild, J.L. and Einstein, K.L., 2015. Do facts matter? Information and misinformation in American politics. Political Science Quarterly, 130(4), pp.585-624.
  3. Jeffrey S. Dixon, 2017, February. Locating Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings in Political Science Texas A&M University – Central Texas
  4. Nyhan, B., 2010, January. Why the” death panel” myth wouldn’t die: misinformation in the health care reform debate. In The Forum (Vol. 8, No. 1). De Gruyter.
  5. Oliver, J.E. and Wood, T.J., 2014. Conspiracy theories and the paranoid style (s) of mass opinion. American Journal of Political Science, 58(4), pp.952-966.
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