#2- The Effect of Political Satire on Politics and Youth

As a teenager, some political satire engages me and makes me want to do something. Popular shows like SNL and Last Week Tonight appeal to a lot of Americans, because they are entertaining and they voice people’s dissents and truths. Every once in a while, I read about how a comedian infuriates a politician for something that they said. Sometimes it relates to what the politician or their staff has done or said. I wonder, how do these shows affect the youth? Does it make them feel like a change is needed? The topic that I want to research is the effect of political satire on politics. I believe this is important, because in a time when the youth feel empowered, is political satire inspiring them in any way? What effect does political satire have on how youth respond to what politicians do? What about political satire makes people strive for change? I wonder if any other youth feel the same way.

I also wonder how politicians feel about political satire. Do politicians think that comedians make their job any harder? I can imagine that having someone make fun of you every day can’t be easy, but is backlash needed to keep politicians in line? Even in the past political satire has given people a voice and I wonder if that voice makes politicians more weary of their decisions.  Do politicians do things so that they can be seen in a better light by the public eye?

Does comedy spark a change in people, especially youth? People are always weary of change, but does comedy help or hurt people’s reaction to the news and current events. Why does comedy effect people in different ways? When change comes around people are always there to voice dissent, but does comedy make people feel happier about their situation too?

Lastly, I wonder how politics affects the types of comedy that people do. In a time where people are more unhappy with their politicians, do comedians have to do more political comedy to get laughs? I believe that comedians say the things that other people want to say, but can’t. Do people feel satisfied that others are embodying their displeasure at the current state of our country? Do comedians feel like they are being heard? Also, since local newspapers are becoming less prevalent, are political cartoons becoming less common and being replaced by more popular strips?

Does political satire help or hinder progress?

Do youth feel more empowered because of political satire?

How has satire affected the view of people who pay attention to the media?

Are politicians becoming more hesitant to put into place regulations that aren’t as popular?

Does political satire affect a youth’s views on different issues?

How do other generations feel about the use of political satire?

How does the generation gap between youth and politicians affect how they vote when they get older?

Does anger fuel change in people?

How does satire in social media affect how youth feel about politics and the portrayal of the politicians?

Gabe Nelson

2 Responses to “#2- The Effect of Political Satire on Politics and Youth

  • Emma Reynolds
    2 years ago

    Gabe,
    Thank you for your thoughtful, detailed blog post. I think you hit on some wonderful questions to help direct your work and conversations as this year progresses. I think it will be difficult but helpful to think of how to gauge these questions. For instance, what does helping and hindering progress look like? I also think it will be interesting for you to explore the formation of satire. How is it written? How are certain events and people selected to be satirized? I am also thinking of the history of satire—one of the first satires ever written was “A Modest Proposal” by Jonathan Swift. How has satire changed since then? Great job, I’m exicted to watch your exploration of satire and the current political climate!

    Best,
    Emma

  • Mary Nagy-Benson
    2 years ago

    Gabe,
    This is really interesting. I enjoyed reading all of your questions, they made me think as well. I enjoy watching SNL and comedians like Jimmy Fallon and James Colbert talk and act out political scenes, people and talk about politics through a different lens than the news. I also wonder about how it affects youth as well as the politicians. I think some politicians can laugh at themselves, when comedians are doing impersonations of them, while others may find it offensive. How do you think these videos affect people who have different viewpoints than the people talking about it? Thank you for this viewpoint and your questions!

    Mary

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