As detailed quite eloquently in Chapter 15 of Haywood's text, having political power is not simply getting one's way in a crude and overt manner, like passing or pushing a bill through congress. Rather, power also involves the task of agenda-setting itself, putting an idea upon the national platform of discourse. The author additionally cites Bacharatz and Baratz as critical in defining not simply making yes or no the key player in politics -- for instance, for many years, the discrimination against Black Americans was not even part of the national discussion, until the civil rights movement. (126) Black Americans were an invisible political voice, though a sizable minority in America.
Application of agenda-setting to today's political life
Today, the role of military service and how it affects one's fitness as commander in chief is part of the national debate. The right to rule (129) is equated with military experience, rather than political aptitude or beliefs. Both parties have been complicit with this notion, as John Kerry 'reports for duty' with a salute in his Democratic acceptance speech, even though he actively opposed the war, and George Bush, despite his own lack of military service, has not disdained the notion that military service is not relevant, but attacked John Kerry's war record on a level of accuracy. Bush has suggested that Kerry's lack of support for the Vietnam War upon Kerry's return cheapens the man's service, but refuses to ignore the assumption or the unspoken psychological agenda that the ethics personal and inner life translates into political fitness and prowess.
This focus on personal service as opposed to political policy is part of the larger, popular equation of personality and personal aptitude with an aptitude to govern that is crucial in diversionary techniques of setting a false agenda, and creating what Marxists call a false consciousness, for the national race for leadership. On September 20, 2004 on the "Today" Show, the popular psychological guru Dr. Phil interviewed both candidates individually, and was then asked to give a personality analysis of both candidates, based on his singular meetings with them, as to their fitness to govern -- as if the candidate's personal ability to be a father would translate into their policy upon childcare and terrorism. This assumption or psychological agenda was accepted uncritically; again merely the factual accuracy of personal data was disputed, rather than its relevance in the agenda or the discourse of politics. The psychological assumptions of the agenda, as defined by the personalized nature of the television media, had set the agenda of personality already 'for' the candidates.
Question 1: Psychology and the law
Psychology is relevant to an understanding of criminal thinking in terms of both the detection of crime, in discovering why crimes are committed and who might commit these crimes, and also in terms of setting appropriate retributions that will change how criminals tend to think, reason and feel as individuals who exist outside of the realm of social norms, or within a social code of for instance gang behavior that is not coherent with conventional societal norms. Thus, there is…