Political Satire In The American Society… And Mass Culture

The United States of America is known as one of the most important democracy around the globe. For many other countries, the American democracy is an example that they would like to implement. In each strong democracy, political satire is a manner to dissent and protest against politicians’ actions and behaviour. In the following paragraphs, we will try to speak a little about the political satire in the American society.

Role of political satire

Even if political satire is considered to be funny and is used as entertainment, the role of political satire is to correct those wrong behaviours of politicians and government. Sometimes it is difficult to consider if it is wrong or just it is our opinion, but political satire’s role is to highlight the errors that are made during the government process. Unfortunately, political satire may not provide solutions to these errors; it can only bring to the public attention these errors and create something funny for the audience. Another role of political satire could be education of the future politicians, in order to avoid the mistakes from previous politicians.

First political satires in the American society

The first political satires on the American continent appeared during the first political disputes. Because satire was present in the British society, it has been brought in America. One of the best political satirist was Benjamin Franklin in his work “Rules by Which a Great Empire May Be Reduced to a Small One”. Other methods that were used as political satires of the beginnings of politics in America are cartoons. Cartoons were used at that times and are used even nowadays. An important aspect that supports political satire in the United States of America is that this kind of protest against the politicians is supported by the First Amendment.

How political satire looks like in the modern America society?

The American society has changed and the political satire in the United States has changed. The only thing that is similar is that democracy is still there, in the United States. Nowadays, political satire is strongly related with television. In the modern times, there were many films and televisions shows that have criticized politics by using political satire. The first American satires have been released on television in 1960’s and starting from then these satires have become more and more flourishing. Some of the best known American satires that have been released on television include shows such as “Saturday Night Live”, “Weekend Update” or “The Daily Show” and movies such as “Bananas”, “Bulworth”, “Wag the Dog”, “The Simpsons” or “Our Brand Is Crisis”. These are just part of the most important political satires that were done in the last twenty five years. But the shows that we have mentioned before have more than twenty five years of existences in the politics in the United States.

Mass culture satire on the rise, why?

American mass (pop) culture is full of satire websites dedicated to funny, and sometimes dead serious, issues. For example, in the year of 2017 – satire website of misbehaving nannies appeared on the web and it’s a perfect example of how Americans make joke of different parts of our lives. Be it nanny employment in this example, be it something totally different.

Nowadays, political satire is very used in the United States politics. But this is the proof of a healthy democracy and we are sure that political satire will remain part of the American society for many years to come.

InContempt
Political Satire is a well-known art that has been there for quite some time now. In every Era or age you will find people satirizing their political system in one way or another.

 Evolution of Political Satire during the Time

Our world is governed by politics. All over the globe, people take part in the politics. Some of them take part as actors in politics and some of them just as the audience. Because politicians are not very popular sometimes, the population found a method of entertainment based on politics and in this way appeared the political satire.

Political satire and its beginnings

The appearance of political satire dates from ancient times, from the first types of governments. Even from the first political organizations, the political satire has been used in order to protest or to come with critics against governments. One of the oldest examples of political satire belongs to Aristophanes, who created several comic satires regarding ancient politicians or ancient gods. During the Roman Empire, we may find also some examples of political satire, satires belonging to authors such as Paul of Tarsus or Marcus Valerius Martialis. Political satire in the beginnings has been released as poetry, comedy or epigrams. Political satire was an important method to influence public opinion during the Athenian democracy.

Political satire coming closer to our times

We could speak about political satire in hundreds of pages, but we will try to give here only some headlines. Besides the beginnings of the political satire during the ancient period, there were many other important contributions in this domain during the time. One of the greatest and best known political satires is “Divine Comedy” by Dante Alighieri. In his work, Dante considers that some of the politicians of that period should travel to Hell. Another huge name that has used political satire is William Shakespeare, who used plays such as “Richard II” in order to criticize politics of his times. Mark Twain is another important name in political satire. Even if Mark Twain was considered to be imperialism first, he become anti-imperialism and he choose political satire to express his ideas in his work “King Leopold’s Soliloquy”.

Political satire in the contemporary world

The world has changed very much from the past and even politics are different. Due to this, political satire has to be made totally different and it is done completely different than it was done in the past. If in the past political satire was strongly related with poetry, theater, novels and literature, nowadays political satire is more related with media and television. Politics is on the cover pages of the largest and biggest magazines. Due to this, political satire has to be also there. In the contemporary world, political satire is disseminated to the general public as caricatures, as cartoons, as movies or as stand-up comedies. This method of entertaining based on politics is used both during the election campaign and after the campaign, to criticize government. The internet is used also more and more in political satire, by using social networks like Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

We are sure that as long as politicians will exist the political satire will be present in our lives. And we consider that it is a democratic method to criticize government and have some fun.

InContempt
Political Satire is a well-known art that has been there for quite some time now. In every Era or age you will find people satirizing their political system in one way or another.