Get Involved: Go Online


Explore American Politics Online

Inform Yourself

1. Keep up-to-date on political news. Political information websites are numerous and useful for checking on a daily or at least weekly basis to keep up-to-date on what is happing in terms of legislation, elections, and other political news. Websites for general political information include the Huffington Post and Politico. The Real Clear Politics website focuses on elections and public opinion polling. Under the Polls tab there are opinion polls on hundreds of different upcoming races. What are the top two headlines on each of these websites? How would you characterize the differences between them?
Find out what’s happening in Congress. To find out specifically what is happening in Washington, D.C., visit Roll Call. The website features information on proposed legislation, the legislative process, and “who’s who” on Capitol Hill. Visit the website and see what the headlines are in each of the drop-down categories. How are the articles here similar or different than the ones on the Huffington Post, Real Clear Politics, and Politico, above?
3. See what the public across the country is thinking. The Pew Research Center offers some of the highest-quality public opinion surveys available. At you will find public opinion polls on a plethora of topics related to American politics. There is even a poll on the costs and benefits of a college education and student debt, with opinions of college students and their parents. How should this information be used by politicians when making education policy? Do you think elected officials in Washington, D.C., will pay attention to this public opinion poll?

Express Yourself

Visit the Rock the Vote website. Rock the Vote was created to help young people express their political power. Its website offers opportunities to register to vote, find your polling place, volunteer for a campaign, contribute money, read blog posts and press releases, and more. Consider joining Rock the Vote for one of its “Road Trips” to mobilize and register young voters across the country. Summer 2012 music tours included the Vans Warped Tour, the Rock the Bells festival, and the band Blink-182. There are opportunities to volunteer for the shows and get free tickets. Are any of the events listed here of interest to you? Why or why not?

Connect with Others

5. Join the discussion on American Politics 411’s Facebook page. This is a page linked to a bipartisan group of students “dedicated to redefining transparency in politics and the media.” You can also find American Politics 411 on Twitter. Skim through the items on its Facebook time line or Twitter feed and determine what materials are “bipartisan” and what materials still have a clear political slant. Consider joining the discussion on one of its posts. Do you think that Facebook and Twitter are an effective way to get political information? Why or why not?

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