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Symbolic politics

Dear Editor,

In 1964 Murray Edelman published “The Symbolic Uses of Politics.” Edelman wrote that much of governmental activity was geared toward making people feel good but had little to do with actual policy. Edelman’s book remains relevant.

A recent editorial by Mr. Frassinelli detailing the Pennsylvania Legislature’s bills naming bridges and roads is a great example of symbolic politics. School funding is grossly unfair, the state still does not have an fracking extraction tax, our COVID-19 positivity rate is again rising, and roads are crumbling, but at least the leadership of the state House and Senate can agree on a bill naming a bridge in West Penn Township for Joe Schmoo.

Roy Christman