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Voting defines democracy Voting is the fundamental right of almost all American citizens over the age of eighteen In insures that the will of the people is preserved The essential difference between America and a dictatorial nation such as Iraq is the right of our citizens to choose between two parties who represent differing opinions and contrasting viewpoints Throughout the history of franchise American voting behavior has showed continual patterns that can be identified and explained To begin young Americans develop attitudes and form opinions that allow them to get along with society These beliefs affect the political views they hold dear later in life This is a result of the phenomenon known as political socialization The strongest socializing agent in political socialization is the family That is most children eventually adopt the beliefs of their family Therefore most people believe in and vote for issues that are important to members of their preceding generation especially their mothers Additionally the extent to which an individual is involved in the political process is shaped by his or her familys level of involvement If a child is raised in a house that never votes it is quite unlikely that the child will become an active participant and vice-versa Although not as strong of a socializing agent educational institutions also play a role in developing the behavior of the voter Schools are filled with teachers who may display their own biases perhaps indirectly socializing their students This has posed a problem in the mind of conservatives who claim that liberals who are plentiful in both public and higher education unknowingly pull the political beliefs of their students to the left Next there may be several temporary factors that contribute to American voting behavior but party identification has always been a long-term regularity Nearly two thirds of the electorate belongs to either the Republican or Democratic Party These parties represent different beliefs Democrats
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