- American Government and Politics
- American System of Democracy
- Civil Rights and Liberties
- People and Politics
- Political institutions
- Public Policy
- Digital Stories
Welcome to American Government 2011-2012
This class is not a civics course, nor is it an “introduction to” course. Nor is this a traditional survey course, the intended audience is college students. It is important to realize that the lectures and discussions will not summarize the readings nor describe the nuts and bolts of governmental bodies.
Instead, it offers an opportunity to explore in depth and systematically some rather sophisticated arguments, interpretations and controversies about the institutions (Congress, the Presidency, and the Judiciary) and the processes (Elections, Media, Public Opinion, etc.) of American government. Politics and the American political system are badly misunderstood by most citizens, and I will offer interpretations and analyses that may clarify some important events and practices.
I will present lectures and lead discussions that deal with specific aspects of American government and politics. We will critically interpret and evaluate significant parts of the political system. In the process I will try to debunk numerous deeply held but misleading beliefs people have about how politics work in this country. My mission is to challenge your basic beliefs, arouse your intellectual curiosity, and encourage you to think for yourselves. It is my hope that this hands-on experience of "doing" will both enliven your interest in political analysis and help you develop practical skills that you can use in other contexts as well.
Dr. Michael Thompson
I am going to talk about federalism and the different types of it. There are three types of government, the unitary system, the confederal system, and the federal system. Unitary systems place ultimate governmental authority in the hands of the national, or central, government. A confederation is the opposite of a unitary governing system. It is a league of independent states, each having essentially sovereign powers. In a federal system, authority is divided, usually by a written constitution, between a central government and regional, or sub divisional, governments. Arguments against federalism, not everyone thinks federalism is such a good idea. Some see it as a way for powerful state and local interests to block progress and impede national plans. Critics of federalism also argue that too many Americans suffer as a result of the inequalities across the states. Individual states differ markedly in educational spending and achievement, crime and crime prevention, and even the safety of their buildings. Others see dangers in the expansion of national powers at the expense of the states.Powers of the national government, the powers delegated to the national government include both expressed and implied powers, as well as the special category of inherent powers. Powers of the state governments, these are the reserved powers that the national government cannot deny to the states militia. The states have police power which is the authority to legislate for the protection of the health, morals, safety, and welfare of the people. Their police power enables states to pass laws governing such activities as crimes, marriage, contracts, education, intrastate transportation, and land use. The states share concurrent powers with the national government. Most concurrent powers are not specifically listed in the constitution, they are only implied. The constitution also prohibits, or denies, a number of powers to the national government. Vertical checks and balances involve relationships between the states and the national government. They can be contrasted with horizontal checks and balances, in which the branches of government that are on the same level either state or national can check one another. So far we have examined only the relationship between central and state governmental units. The states however have constant commercial, social, and other dealings among themselves. The controversy over slavery that led to the civil war took the form of a dispute over national government supremacy versus the rights of the separate states. Essentially, the violent war brought to an ultimate and violent climax the ideological debate that had been outlined by the federalist and anti-federalist parties even before the constitution was ratified. During the next tree decades the north and the south became even more sharply divided over tariffs that mostly benefited northern industries and over the slavery issue. The ultimate defeat of the south in 1865 permanently ended any idea that a state could successfully claim the right to secede, or withdraw, from the union. Thousands of new employees were hired to run the union war effort and to deal with the social and economic problems that had to be handled in the aftermath of war.
Hamilton, Alexander, et al. The Federalist: The Famous Papers on the Principles of American Government. Benjamin F. Wright, ed. New York: Friedman/Fairfax Publishing, 2002.
King, Preston. Federalism and Federation. London: Frank Cass & Co., 2008.
Democracy means rule of the people. The two most common forms of democracy are direct democracy and representative democracy. In direct democracy everyone takes part in making a decision, as in a town meeting or a referendum. The specific rules may vary: perhaps everyone must agree, perhaps there must be consensus, perhaps a mere majority is required to make a decision. The other, better known form of democracy is a representative democracy. People elect representative to make decisions or laws. Again, specifics vary greatly. A government is an organization in a community or political entity that has the power to enact and enforce laws and maintain the peace and order. A government is necessary since is it considered the leadership of an organization, community or political entity.Laws are important since it defines the behavior of citizens. It defines which are legal or illegal. Without laws, an activity can not be known if it a crime or not. The law-making role of the government creates a code of conduct for individuals to follow.Another role of the government is the maintenance of peace and order. The police and fire department ensures that crimes like murder, theft, arson, etc. are prevented or minimized. If a crime does happen, it is their role to look into how the crime happened and apprehend the perpetrators.
Government also promotes harmony though justice and equality. Once a crime is solved by the police, it is the duty of the judicial branch of the government to bring the perpetrator to court for fair trial and punishment. It makes sure that the right person gets into jail for the right reason.It is also the role of the government to build roads, bridges, rail systems and other infrastructure. These are important since it makes moving about easier and more convenient. It also makes doing business a lot easier since goods and services can be moved faster from the source of production to the marketplace.Another role of the government is to provide children with public access to basic education. It is essential that children learn how to read, write and count.Another role of the government is to collect taxes and ensure that these taxes fund the right projects that are beneficial to society. Money is needed to build public schools, roads and bridges and provide services like welfare assistance, health care, unemployment benefits, etc. This is where taxes come in. The government collects taxes from individuals and business so that schools, roads and other infrastructure are built. It is also important that the government protect its security from threats. It is the role of the government to have a military force to defend its territory from external threats like terrorism, war and invasion. The government's police force protects the citizens against internal threats like civil disobedience, organized crime, lawlessness, insurrection. Another role of the government is to have foster relations with other governments. In an era of globalization, it is important that governments work with each other to maintain world peace and prosperity.
American Government and Politics Today
The Essentials 2011-2012
Government and Politics
By: Skyler Rains
Politics is a process by which certain positions in government are decided by us the people. Government plays a big role in our society these days; it governs all our laws and all of us individually. It is the made up of two main components: one providing a structured system of laws for everyone to abide by, and the second being liberty; which is your general freedom as a citizen of the United States. In politics the people themselves make the important decisions that affect our government, as well as deciding who will be in charge of our government.
Government is described as an institution that protects and makes the decisions that affect our society and how it functions today. Anywhere you turn there will be some form of government there. They have an effect on you the day you are born with you being recorded in the system with all of your information: full name, date of birth, weight, etc. it’s all recorded on your very first day in this country. Eventually you‘ll get older and start attending school, which not unlike most other things, is controlled by the government. If you would happen to get in trouble at any time in your life you will have to deal with the side of government that most people do not enjoy, AKA law enforcement. The more you think about it government is what keeps our society running smoothly here in America.
The definition of government is the governing body of a nation, state, or community, while politics is defined as the activities associated with the governance of a country or area. As you can see, simply based on their definitions, government and politics go hand in hand. You simply cannot have one without the other, they are completely intertwined. Without politics, we would have no politicians, and without politicians we would have no government. Government creates the laws for which the people live by, while politicians are the ones in government voting on those laws. We as citizens do not understand the time and effort that go into all of the policies and laws that our government and politicians create. It takes a lot of man power to make these things happen. Politicians have to be careful not to cross the lines of government and mess with our civil rights, while the government has to understand that sometimes things just have to be done to make this country a better place (or sometimes it can end up making it worse off.)
No matter what you do the government will always be there. You couldn’t even go to school, own your house, or buy anything at all without the government and their policies. Taxes, schools, hospitals and other medical practices, jails, and just about any other organization are somehow influenced by the government. You cannot expect to run from it these days; it will always catch up to you.
There are nearly two hundred independent nations in the world today. Every one of these nations sticks to its own certain system of government, and for the most part we can describe the relationship between central governments and local units in terms of three specific models.
Starting with the Unitary System, which is a centralized governmental system in which ultimate authority rest in the hands of the national, or central, government. This system is also the most popular today.
Then there is the Confederal System, and that consist of a league of independent states, each having essentially sovereign powers. Powers over states are also limited if they are created by such a league.
Finally we come to the Federal System, which lies between the other two systems, and authority is divided, usually by a written constitution, between a central government or subdivisional governments (or constituent governments).
The United States, as well as the likes of India, Mexico, Canada, and Australia are countries with federal systems. Our historical basis of our system was bookmarked at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia where advocates from a massive national government opposed states' rights advocates.
Arguments for Federalism go on and on, so for bigger countries such as the United States and India, federalism allows quite a few functions to be “farmed out” by the central government. Also, even with our modern communications/transportation systems the huge amount of population makes it difficult to locate all political authority in one place. Last but not least, federalism brings people and government closer together. It allows us to somewhat get “in the mix” with policies and have an influence, rather than be unhappy, and dissatisfied with an all-powerful central authority.
There are also arguments against just as well such as people think it's a way for powerful state and local interests to block progress and impede national plans. They believe that the “little guy” will get stomped on and not a second thought will be processed about them. The overall belief is that it's just flat out not equal to everyone, especially the minority groups. Others also see dangers in the expansion of national powers at the expense of the states.
The Constitution sets out different types of powers that can be marked as : the powers of the National Government which include both the expressed and implied powers, powers of the State Governments which are reserved to the states or people, and then the ones the Constitution prohibits or denies to the national government which we call Prohibited Powers. Along with these intertwines the Supremacy Clause, Vertical Checks and Balances, and Interstate Relations.
“In the early 1800's, the most significant disputes arose over differing interpretations of the implied powers of the national government under the necessary and proper clause and over the respective powers of the national government and the states to regulate commerce.” Dealing with these problems : McCulloch v. Maryland and Gibbons v. Ogden were cases that are considered “milestones in the movement toward national government supremacy.”
Even before we had a ratified Constitution there were major problems between Federalists and Anti-Federalist parties. All the controversy over slavery eventually led to the Civil War which brought violence to the maximum and the “ideological debate” between the two. - - - Power of the national government eventually shifted back to states' rights (Jacksonian era 1829-1837), and over the next three decades leading up to the Civil War the North and South became even more divided. However, as the war came to a conclusion the South's desire for increased states' rights resulted in an increase in the political power of the national government. With this happening The Thirteenth Amendment was ratified in 1865 abolishing slavery, and The Fourteenth Amendment in 1868 which sought to guarantee equal rights under state law.
Even though the Civil War put a rest to the idea that a state could secede from the Union, the argument over division of powers between the two was no where close to being over. The debate in our federal system can be progressed through two general stages since the Civil War : dual federalism (a doctrine that emphasizes a distinction between federal and state spheres of government authority) and cooperative federalism (in which the states and the national government cooperate in solving complex common problems). President Hoovers “New Deal” introduced major new laws regulating economic activity, which established the National Recovery Administration (NRA), and eventually ending duel federalism. So to implement cooperative federalism; categorical grants (specific programs/projects) and block grants (more broad areas : criminal justice or mental-health programs) were given out.
In the contemporary world federalism as a political idea had become increasingly important as a way of peaceful reconciling unity and diversity within a political system. Modern developments in transportation, social communications, technology, and industrial organization have produced simultaneous pressures not only for larger states but also for smaller ones.
American Government and Politics Today
The Essentials 2011-2012
American Politics and Big Government
By Collin Gorham
Politics is the process by which people decide which members of society get certain benefits or privileges and which members do not. It’s the struggle over power or influence within institutions and organizations that can grant benefits or privileges. Government is the institution within which decisions are made that resolve conflicts or allocate benefits and privileges. It is unique because it has the ultimate authority within society. Some fundamental political values are order ( security against violence, and liberty, the greatest freedom of the individual consistent with the freedom of other individuals. Liberty can be both promoted by government and invoked against government. To be effective, government authority must be backed by legitimacy. Many things in our government came from ancient greeks. In a direct democracy, such as ancient Athens, the people themselves make the important decisions. The United States is a democratic Republic, also called a a representative democracy, in which the people elect representatives to make the decisions. Ancient Rome was a Republic. The founding fathers modeled our government after these to ancient societies through political writings (federalist papers) and most known in the constitution. Theories of American democracy include majoritarianism, in which the government does what the majority wants; otherwise known as the elite theory, in which the real power lies with one or more elites; and pluralist theory, in which organized interest groups contest for power. As far as fundamental American values included are liberty, order, equality, and property. Not all of these values are fully compatible. the value of order often competes with civil liberties, and economic equality competes with property rights. Popular political ideologies can be arrayed from liberal (left) to conservative (right). We can also analyze economic liberalism and conservatism separately from cultural liberalism and conservatism. Many fights between these left and right wings of politics is the right size of government. Big government refers to a large central government that has power. Form of government characterized by high taxation and public spending and centralization of political power. Americans are most likely to call for the benefits of big government when they are reacting to a crisis. After the terrorist attacks of 9/11, the George W. Bush administration substantially increase the scope of federal authority, and government spending went up as well. Yet no Americans even thought twice about it because our way of life was in jeopardy. After support of the war was gone, once again there was talk of government being to large.
Lasswell, Harold. Politics: Who Gets What, When and How.
New York: McGraw-Hill, 1936.
Hodgson, Gofrey. The Myth of American Exceptionalism.
New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Press, 2009.
The AoC and our constitution[[http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://static.icivics.org/sites/default/files/constitution.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.icivics.org/teachers/lesson-plans/constitution-day&h=282&w=426&sz=250&tbnid=kuIOJ4g_GmoPkM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=136&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dconstitution%2Bphotos%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=constitution+photos&docid=nQ5UpZkCi4vaIM&sa=X&ei=5A-TTr-2BIqutwf3kpCkDA&ved=0CEQQ9QEwAw&dur=161]]
By Collin Gorham
In June of 1776 the second continental congress met and begun the drafting of The Articles of Confederation or AoC. Under the articles the thirteen original colonies, now states had established the Congress of the Confederation. This congress had some powers essential to a nations existence including:
Declare War and make peace.
Enter into treaties and alliances.
Establish and control armed forces.
Requisition men and revenues from states.
Borrow funds and issue bills of credit.
Fix uniform standards of weight and measurement.
Create admiralty courts.
Create a postal system.
Regulate indian affairs.
Guarantee citizens of each state the rights and privileges of citizens in the several states when in another state.
Adjudicate disputes between states on state petition.
Overall these powers creating a league of friendship among the states instead of a National government. The Congress of the confederation further lacked the powers to
Provide for effective treaty-making power and control foregin relations; it could not compel states to respect treaties.
Had no military draft.
Regulate interstate and foreign commerce; left a tariff system available for each state to set up.
Collect taxes directly from the people.
Compel states to pay their share of government costs.
Provide and maintain a sound monetary system or issue paper money; this was left up to the states, and monies in circulation differed tremendously in value.
The vast weaknesses of the AoC there was no central government to maintain peace and civility. Just 3 years after it was established the country faced serious economic depression. Many people were in debt and were often thrown into prison if they could not pay there dues. There were three times as many people in prison for debt than for any other crime.
“Most of the prisoners were small farmers who could not pay their debs because of the disorganized state of the economy.
In August 1786, mobs of musket-bearing farmers led by former revolutionary captain Daniel Shays seized county courthouses and disrupted the trails of debtors in Springfield, Massachusetts.”(pg 39 American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials)
This Rebellion demonstrated the weakness of the central government was weak and could not provide for its people, spurring the countries political leaders to action.
“Changes are necessary, but what they ought to be, what they will be, and how and when to be produced, are arduous questions. I feel for the Cause of Liberty…If it should not take Root in this Soil Little Pains will be taken to cultivate it in any other” (Excerpt from a letter from John Jay to Thomas Jefferson.)
Following these rebellions there was a petition to the Continental Congress for a general convention to meet. In this meeting began the drafting of the constitution of the United States. In this congress began the debates to ratify the Constitution of the United States. Within these were several very important compromises made, the most famous being the Virginia plan, the New Jersey plan, Three-Fifths compromise, and the Great compromise. Much led to the ratification of our Constitution but finally on September 17, 1787, the constitution was approved by thirty-nine delegates.
Daniel,Marcus.Scandal and civility: Journalism and the
Birth of American Democracy. New York: Oxford
University Press, 2009.
Ferling, John. the Ascent of George Washington: The
Hidden Political Genius of an American Icon. New
York: Bloomsbury Press, 2009.
Chapter three of the book is about a concept called Federalism. What exactly is federalism? According to Webster dictionary, Federalism is the distribution of power in an organization (as a government) between central authority and the constituent units (Merriam-Webster). In the United States, we have a federal government. The power is divided between the National government, the state government, and the numerous local governments. According to the book there are 88,576 governments in the United States today (Government 83).
Another question that may come along is why exactly does the United States use a federal system? During the constitutional convention, there were many arguments about how the government should be formed. Some people believed that the government should be all powerful, while others believed that the true power should lay with the states. The federal system we know today was the result of the compromise between those two factions. According to our class textbook, “the appeal of federalism was that it retained state traditions and local power while establishing a strong national government capable of handling common problems” (Government 84). These views did not go without opposition though, as some believed that the states would find a way to block the plans of the nation, because it would be easier for states to be controlled by one group of individuals (Government 87). This is not the only argument discussed in the book. Some were concerned people could suffer because of inequalities in the states (Government 87).
Each government under the federal system is given numerous powers. The powers given to the national government include the enumerated powers, which include things such as printing money, admitting new states, establishing the postal service, and making declarations of war. Other powers given to the national government include the implied power, which according to the textbook is sometimes called the elastic clause, or the necessary and proper clause (Government 88). It provides the flexibility the government requires to solve problems that can come about in today’s society. Although the federal government has numerous powers, it does not have all the power. Numerous other powers are either given solely to the states, or are shared by the governments. One main power that is given to the states is police power. According to the textbook, police power is the authority to legislate for the protection of the health, morals, safety, and welfare of all people (Government 88). This power allows the states to pass laws for numerous activities such as marriage, land use, crime, education, and contracts (Government 88).
The powers that are shared by the states and the national government are called the Concurrent powers. When looking at the concurrent powers, there is not much grey area, as the powers are not only listed in the constitution itself, but are also implied. One of the main concurrent powers is the ability to levy tariffs, in other words tax people. Others that are stated in the textbook include the power to borrow funds, and establish courts (Government 89). While the concurrent powers may seem great, they do not come without a catch, and that catch is called the Supremacy Clause. According to the textbook, the Supremacy Clause is the clause that states that the national laws have supremacy over state laws (Government 89). In other words if the national government has a policy that the states do not like, the states cannot use their power to stop it.
Bardes, Barbara A., Mack C. Shelley II, and Steffen W. Schmidt. American Government and Politics Today. 2011-2012. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011. Print
Image from: https://drewjustice.wordpress.com/2010/08/04/the-size-of-empire/
Is Government Necessary? – Jake Nath
Some people fight whether we even need a government. Some say that we can handle situations without a central force and we can solve our own problems. Government is necessary in so many ways. Some of the main reasons are; security, laws, and economic stability. Without a central force our government would be in ruins and would be compared to countries in Africa that are against each other and divided in a civil war. That is a drastic comparison but how many problems we already have with our government, imagine those problems with no one telling us what is right and wrong.
One of the main reasons we have a government is so they can secure our safety as Americans. Without the government we would not have an army and other countries could attack us and we would be left without security. We would try and defend ourselves but without an economic stable country, we could not afford to arm our forces. Not only security within the army but the government also secures each and everyone one of by doing health care and Medicare. They help with our hospitals and bills. The government helps us with so much and secures us, people that don’t want government just don’t realize how much they do for us and help us with our everyday lives.
Another main reason we need government is they set up laws that we have to abide by. Without rules and regulations people would go crazy and do anything they pleased and this country would be corrupt. Without laws there would be killings and crime and no punishments for those actions. These laws help us stay humane and keep us from looking like a 3rd world country. They help with small and little things. A big law would be murder and crimes, with these, the crimes are put behind bars and keep us out of harms way. A small law would be like speeding. When you receive a ticket it protects other drivers from harm and keeps everyone safe.
The next big reason we need government is to have an economic system. With this system it helps with our trading with other countries. It helps with businesses and stocks. Without a economic system no one would be able to invest in stocks and have the chance to make more money. This system also helps with keeping our money, banks are there to save our money and invest. Banks hold our money and keep it safe, without banks there would be more crimes and burglaries. This is one of the most important systems because it helps with almost every aspect of our lives, money has taken over our lives and it has a part in almost every part of them.
In conclusion, our government needs to stay and is necessary for our everyday lives. It secures us, helps us with staying in line, and helps with our money. Without this system America would not be what it is today. Our government founded our country and it has gotten us so far. With our government we have climbed to the top of nations and everyone respects us. Our army is on top of most other countries and would be that way without government. Bottom line, we need this system and will always be around. It keeps us in line, and it gives us something to listen to. Not everyone can be in control.
- Government book
The Declaration of Independence
On July second in the year of 1776 in the township of Philadelphia Pennsylvania Thomas Jefferson began penning the birth of a new era. In this new era man would not have to bow to the will of kings, nor suffer the taxation of feudal lords. In this new time and place a man’s equality would not stem from the coin in his pocket, but simply because he was born. This document would later be known as “The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America,” and finally “The Declaration of Independence.” This declaration would not only sever ties from English rule, it would found a nation and establish the values of its people.
Since the founding of the original colonies of the new world the English monarchy recognized the vast riches North America could produce. The colonies were controlled by trade companies who sought to reap the untapped bounties of the new land. Gold, fur, timber, and new crops such as potatoes, corn and tobacco were bountiful enticements for any man who sought to make his fortune. Settlers stepped off the great ships with little more than an axe and a hand full of salt cured pork. More importantly these men and women came with their dreams. Dreams of fortune and prosperity quickly faded as the settlers found themselves paying up to eighty percent of their income in taxes to the English monarchy. From tea to tools anything that came from the homeland was taxed using the “Stamp Act.” Even though they were separated by 3,600 miles the settlers were still little more than slaves to the English thrown. “No taxation without representation!” was the cry heard throughout the new world. And with the signing of the Declaration of Independence these words would become clear to King George III.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their creator with certain unalienable rights that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.” These words which open the second paragraph in the Declaration of Independence set the tone for a nation of free men. A nation in which a man’s worth comes from the substance of his inner being. Throughout the world in some of the most prosperous nations a man or woman’s destiny is still held in tight control of the government. Education is a prime example. In Germany, which has become one of the world’s most prominent nations the paths of the students are decided by the government. At age eighteen students take a test not unlike the SATs. However the results of this test determine whether the student attends an academic university or a technical or trade school. Germany is an example of how many nations who are recognized as icons of freedom still limit their people’s choices. In the United States we do not have such restrictions. This is thanks to the words set down at the very birth of our nation.
Though it would take two hundred years until these notions of equality to filter down to all citizens, the signing Declaration of Independence and the ideas contained therein remain one of the most pivotal moments in the United States and possibly the world. May the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution serve now and always as the guidelines for the land of the free and the home of the brave.
By Aaron P. McClellan
- “American Government and Politics Today” by Bardes, Shelley, and Schmidt.
Originally the Bill or Rights limited only the power of the national government. Gradually and selectively, however, the Supreme Court accepted the incorporation theory, under which no state can violate most provisions of the bill of rights.
The first Amendment protects government interface with freedom of religion by requiring a separation of church and state. (under the establishment clause). Controversial issues that arise under the establishment clause include aid to church-related schools, school prayer, the teaching of evolution versus intelligent design, school vouchers, the placement of religious displays on public property, and discrimination against religious speech. The government can interface with the free exercise of religion only when religion practices work against public policy or the public welfare. The first amendment protects against government interferes with freedom of speech, which includes symbolic speech (expression conduct).
The Supreme Court has been especially critical of government actions that impose prior restraint on expression. Restrictions on expression are permitted when the expression may incite immediate lawless action. Other speech that has not received first Amendment protection includes expression judged to be obscene or slanderous. Speech by the press that does not receive protection includes libelous statements. The publication of news about a criminal trial may be restricted by a gag order in come circumstances. Under the ninth amendment rights not specifically mentioned in the constitution are not necessarily denied to people. Among these unspecified rights protected by the courts is a right to privacy, which has been enforced from the first, third, fourth, fifth, and ninth amendments. A major privacy issue today is how best to protect privacy rights in cyberspace. Weather an individual’s privacy rights include a right to an abortion or a ‘right to die”. Another major challenge concerns that extent to which Americans must forfeit civil liberties to control terrorism. The constitution includes protections for the rights of person accused of crimes under the fourth amendment, no one may be subject to an unreasonable search or seizure or be arrested except on probable cause. The fifth amendment, an accused person has the right to remain silent. The sixth Amendment, and accused person must be informed of the reason for his or her arrest.
The accused also has the right to adequate counsel, even if she or he cannot afford an attorney, and the right to a prompt arraignment and a speedy and public trial before an impartial jury selected from a across section of the town. In 1966, Miranda vs. Arizona, the supreme court held that criminal suspects, before interrogation by law enforcement personnel, must be informed of the rights to remain silent and the right to be represented by counsel. The exclusionary rule, forbids the admission in court of illegally seized evidence. There’s a “good faith exception” to the exclusionary rule: evidence need not be thrown out owing to a clerical error is a database. Under the eight amendment, cruel and unusual punishment is prohibited.
American Government and Politics Today
The esentials 2011-2012 editon
Chapter four in the textbook is about our civil rights as Americans. Without these rights America would be a very sad place to live. These rights consist of many things such as our amendments, clauses, school laws, and more. These are just some of the rights protected by our Constitution.
These rights can change, be added to, or even amended. An example of this is when the government passed an amendment overturning prohibition. The first amendment covers several rights. Most of them have more than one right but they aren’t all specifically listed.
There are many rights dedicated to the school system. These include the state not being allowed to give money to church-related schools, forbidding the teaching of evolution, etc. There are exceptions to every rule. Many of the state governments have found loopholes to these rules.
One of these loopholes is known as vouchers. These are used to “purchase” school supplies. Although in 2009 the school vouchers stopped. It is unlikely that President Obama will reinstitute these. One loophole to the forbidding teaching was by introducing the class of intelligent design. This idea failed and was not accepted.
One of Americans most frequently used rights is the Freedom of Expression. Used mainly for speech and press. One of the violations of this amendment is called Prior Restraint. This is stopping an activity before it happens. When used in expression this is known as censorship. There are many kinds of speech which include symbolic and commercial speech.
There are certain types of speech which aren’t protected like obscene speech and slander. Obscenity is very hard to define. It varies on the opinions of different people. Several laws were attempted to protect children on the internet from this. The first two attempts failed. The third attempt succeeded. Slander is defamation of a person’s character. This just means when someone tries to intentionally hurt another person’s good reputation.
There are certain times when security is more important than any person’s personal rights. This happened right after September 11, 2001. One of the rights that were eroded was those centered on the fourth amendment. Some good things were designed out of the tragedy. The USA Patriot Act was instituted which improved the communication between federal agencies.
Then there are your privacy rights. These could include your “right to die” which centers on physician-assisted suicide, abortion, and more. There are no specifically mentioned privacy rights in the Constitution. There are shadows of them in the first, third, fourth, and fifth amendments. The abortion
rights were established in the case of Roe vs. Wade. In this case you can get an abortion within the first three months of your pregnancy. Only three states have legalized physician-assisted suicide. These states are Montana, Oregon, and Washington. These are just a couple of your privacy rights.
Now as I’ve said I think that our rights as American citizens are very important. However, I also think that protecting us also quite important. There needs to be a balance between the two. This keeps the public somewhat satisfied but also it keeps us safe at the same time. A great balance is exactly what we need.
I think that the government needs to be more involved in our educational system and civil rights. Now, Obama is a big civil rights advocate according to http://www.whitehouse.gov/issues/civil-rights. Now I think that the whole voucher thing is stupid. Its money the government just doesn’t call it that. As long as the school’s get money we’re okay. We do need money in the schools. We need the government to evenly distribute the cash to all schools. This is my take on how the government should help the schools.
This is how the government views our rights as citizens. They change, add, and remove some of them as the times change. Still we get our rights and sometimes less when we need protection. This is my view and the facts on the civil rights in the U.S.
Hello, I will being talking to you about how funny our government is. Now keep in mind there are several subjects to witch our great country of America is funny, but on this paper I will be covering civil rights. Now, this for number of reasons is a touchy subject, special to people who consider themselves as minority. But for those who know or may not know, im going to give you the definition and then Ill explain why our country is funny.
The phrase "civil rights" is a translation of Latin ius civis (rights of citizens). Roman citizens could be either free (libertas) or servile (servitus), but they all had rights in law. Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals' freedom from unwarranted infringement by governments and private organizations, and ensure one's ability to participate in the civil and political life of the state without discrimination or repression. Civil rights include the ensuring of peoples' physical integrity and safety; protection from discrimination on grounds such as physical or mental disability, gender, religion, race, national origin, age, sexual orientation, or gender identity; and individual rights such as the freedoms of thought and conscience, speech and expression, religion, the press, and movement.
October 9, 1968 a young man by the name of Tory Anthony Davis was just recently token under arrest for the murder of a young security guard Mark MacPhail, well that was the news about 20 years ago. During Davis's 1991 trial, seven witnesses testified they had seen Davis shoot MacPhail, and two others testified that Davis had confessed the murder to them among 34 witnesses that testified for the prosecution, and six others for the defense, including Davis. Although the murder weapon was not recovered, ballistic evidence presented at trial linked bullets recovered at or near the scene to those at another shooting in which Davis was also charged. He was convicted of murder and various lesser charges, including the earlier shooting, and was sentenced to death in August 1991.Now this wasn’t a small case, it caught the eye of allot of important people. Such as President Jimmy Carter, Rev. Al Sharpton, Pope Benedict XVI, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, former U.S. Congressman from Georgia and presidential candidate Bob Barr, and former FBI Director and judge William S. Sessions called upon the courts to grant Davis a new trial or evidentiary hearing. In July 2007, September 2008, and October 2008, execution dates were scheduled, but each execution was stayed shortly before it was to take place. Now is it funny that a week later there was supposed to be an white murder in Georgia. He was supposed to be put to death by lethal ejection, but the exact day he was supposed to be put down. Georgia decided to pardon him, and wasn’t put to death. Even though his case was more of an open and shut case. But with Davis case witch the evidence they tried to put against him didn’t really convicted him of the murder, he was still put down, like as if he was an dog that bit the owners hand.
The Death Penalty
The reconsideration of the death penalty among the states, to me it is kind of a dumb idea. The death penalty gives the right justification to the victim and their family. Now I understand in some cases the death penalty is over kill, like in cases such as robbery or more of the misdemeanor offenses. But I do fully believe beyond any doubt that the men/women that kill another human being or rape a victim, excluding self defense, should automatically get the death penalty. When a heinous crime is committed it always seems as if the guilty get off pretty dang easy. Life in prison really isn’t “life”. Most inmates get out for early parole or for something else leaving the families of the victim left with no justice served.
Another reason I am fully for the death penalty is because I believe we, the people, should not have to pay for the criminal to live behind bars, still alive, when they killed another person. Why should they get a second chance when the victim does not get a second chance at life? My belief is that if you take a life of another you don’t deserve the right to live. And the cost for an inmate to be in prison especially for years is outrageously expensive and they are certainly not worth it.
Now days there are there are so many rules and laws set out on the death penalty it is hardly being used. Before long the death penalty will be something of the past.
"American Government and Politics Today-The Essentials 2011-2012"(Bardes,Shelley,Schmidt)"
Got Civil Rights?
“The land of the free.” …Or so it was called. Really it was only “free” to the rich, white men. From the day America was discovered, any person who wasn’t a “rich, white man” has had to fight for their civil rights.
Today, American citizens and others within America’s borders have several civil rights. So what are civil rights? By definition, civil rights are “the rights of all Americans to equal protection under the law, as provided for by the 14th amendment,” according to American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials. The text goes on to explain that there is a difference between civil rights and civil liberties, saying that civil liberties are limitations on the government, things that the government can not do, while civil rights are what the government must do to “ensure equal protection and freedom from discrimination.”
If you asked someone who lived in America 200 years ago to explain what they thought civil rights were, they might say something along the lines of, “Tis something only the rich, land-owning, white men are privileged to.” As stated in the first sentence of the second paragraph of the Declaration of Independence, “All men are created equal.” Abraham Lincoln felt the need to sarcastically add, “except Negros.” Even after slavery ended, Black people were not considered “equals.” According to "Civilrights.org", in 1870, after the Blacks had been emancipated, Tennessee passed the first “Jim Crow” or segregation law. It required whites and Blacks to be separated on trains, in depots, and wharves. The rest of the south soon followed suit. By 1900, the south had many laws, called the Black Codes, and it was like slavery all over again. The Black Codes were eventually revoked by congress, but life was no easier for the blacks. They were still forced to be segregated through the separate-but-equal doctrine, which said that as long as the facilities were the same, blacks and whites could be required to use the separate facilities. It was specifically referring to train cars, but it was assumed that as long as the separate facilities were equal, segregation could happen anywhere. The Blacks faced other discriminatory acts, such as voting barriers, race riots, and lynching. Blacks were harassed and even killed.
It was in 1951 that the Blacks made a big move toward desegregation. According to American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials, it was a man by the name of Oliver Brown who decided there was no reason his eight-year-old daughter couldn’t go to the white school only seven blocks away instead of going to the all-nonwhite school 21 blocks away. The court ruled in Brown’s favor. The south resisted the integration in a violent way. It was not easy, but eventually the schools were desegregated. It would be another 10 years before Blacks would be considered “equals” through laws and amendments.
Looking back on Lincoln’s comment, “All men are created equal, except Negros,” one might want to add, “and women.” Women were not discriminated against as bad as the Blacks were—there weren’t separate drinking fountains or train cars, but they could not vote and it was frowned upon for them to be politically active. Gaining suffrage was the primary goal, but women also fought for equality in other areas. They have fought wage discrimination, sexual harassment, and the general white male opinion that women were inferior. Like the Blacks, it would be a number of years before women were “constitutionally equal”.
“Constitutionally equal”: It means equal in theory, but does it really play out that way? American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials reflects on a survey: It says that whites are more likely to “believe that racial equality has been achieved,” but there are few Blacks who agree. The fact that there are few women in top positions in businesses and there are fewer women involved politically compared to men shows that women have not reached full equality. While the two groups may still feel discriminated against, they have come a long way, proving that, with enough determination, anything is possible. The next groups of people searching for equality—the Latinos, persons with disabilities, gays, and lesbians—have already begun their fight—and changes are sure to follow.
American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials 2011-2012
By: Skyler Rains
Civil rights are defined as the rights of citizens to political and social freedom and equality. They are the basic liberties that ensure everyone is treated equally in their everyday life. In other words, civil rights make sure that no matter what race, gender, mental capacity, socioeconomic status, religion, age, or sexual orientation you are; you get the same rudimentary rights as the next person. In our country, civil rights have always been an issue. There have even been wars waged over it. During the span of 1950-1980, a major civil rights movement was taking place in the United States. It wasn’t just in our country during that time that had a civil rights movement; the whole world was having a movement for rights during that time.
Civil rights are also considered to be “natural rights.” We are naturally guaranteed the rights to a fair trial, due process, and a lawyer on the law side of things. We also get freedom of association, the right to assemble, the right to self-defense, and the right to vote. Now, the government likes to sometimes mess with these rights and that is where you see all of these trials of people fighting for their rights.
In the United States, one form of our civil rights is written down in our Bill of Rights. In this bill we are ensured basic civil rights in the form of ammendments. You can find these listed below.
1. Freedom to exercise any religion (Congress should not enact any law in favor of establishing a religion), freedom of speech, freedom of press, right to assemble peacefully, right to petition for redress of grievances
2. Right to keep and bear arms.
3. Protection from housing troops.
4. Protection from unreasonable search and seizure.
5. Prohibition of arrest for answering any capital or infamous crime, protection from double jeopardy, prohibition of taking private property for public use.
6. Right to counsel, trial by jury, and protection of the rights of the accused.
7. Compulsory civil trial by jury (according to common law)
8. Protection from excessive bail, excessive fines, and prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment.
9. Preservation of certain rights that are not enumerated in the Bill of Rights, but are retained by the people.
10. Reservation of certain powers to the states and/or people that are not delegated to the national government by the US constitution.
Obviously, this list does not hold all of our rights as citizens (i.e. voting) however, these are the rights that our original government felt necessary for everyone to be guaranteed and they have remained intact since the creation of the Bill of Rights. Civil rights are one of the most important things in the United States, as many other countries don’t have the rights or luxuries that we do in our everyday life. Everyone in the United States is treated equally now, and that is something that our country prides itself on nowadays. We don’t have “separate but ‘equal’” bathrooms, schools, housing, etc. We don’t hide people in camps because they are of a certain origin. Everyone in the United States has the same simple rights; that no one can take away.
robert hill…. civil librities During World War II, around 120,000 Japanese Americans and permanent resident aliens of Japanese ancestry were relocated or evacuated from their homes in the United States because of their race. People may say we were becoming like the Germans , but I like to think we had a good reason to do so .Nearly fifty years later the country apologized for this grave injustice, and the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 was signed into law, authorizing payments of $20,000 to each such person who suffered as a result. The Office of Redress Administration was established to identify, locate and pay these individuals. ORA officially closed on February 5, 1999. This serves as an informational site regarding the final statistics of ORA and the settlement of the Japanese Latin American lawsuit, Mochizuki vs the united states . Under the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 , the statutory sunset date for the redress program was August 10, 1998. By operation of law, ORA closed on February 5, 1999. Seventy-nine claimants under the Act and 133 claimants under the moshizuk settlement failed to submit all of their necessary documentation by ORA's closing date. Since ORA was unable to make a determination of eligibility or ineligibility for their claims, these cases were filed as pending for the possibility of future processing in the event additional funding was obtained through legislation.
On May 21, 1999, Congress passed new legislation that made additional funding available to pay remaining eligible claimants who had filed timely claims under the Civil Liberties Act of 1988 and the Mochizuki settlement agreement. Although we do not know when the money will be available to hive out , it may be several months or more, the Civil Rights Division began processing these claims. The additional funding was provided by Congress in Section 3021 of the FY 1999 Emergency Supplemental Appropriations Act to date, the Civil Rights Division has found several claimants, whose cases were pending at the end of the program due to incomplete documentation, to be eligible under the Act. Many people think it was wrong to move a certain group of people into “camps” ,but im sure it wasn’t as bad a they made it seem . they where not killed or starved , and they where not there for a very long period of time . The U.S made safe call by doing so .. im not saying lets do it again in todays world , because that would cause problems with other countries. All in all people always need something to complain about , thanks for reading .
Bloody Sunday Civil Rights March
Hello, so day I will be talking about "Bloody Sunday" witch refers to the March in 1965. that civil rights march lead to the death of activist jimmy leee Jackson. The roughly 600 marchers were violently driven back by Alabama State Troopers. The state and county officers beat and gassed the unarmed marchers in an attack. Media coverage of the event shocked the nation and led ultimately to the passage of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The catalyst for the march was the death of 26‑year‑old Jimmy Lee Jackson on February 26. He was shot in the stomach on February 18, 1965, by Alabama State Trooper James Fowler while the troopers were breaking up a peaceful protest in marion perry . Jackson was taken the 50 miles to Selma's Good Samaritan Hospital for treatment, where he died eight days later. At a memorial service for Jackson Rev. James Bevel of the SCLC called for blacks to follow the example of the biblical Queen Esther, who risked her life by going to the king of Persia to appeal for her people. Bevel stated that the activists must similarly march to Montgomery to demand protection from gov. wallece Two days later, civil rights leader mlk offered the support of the SCLC to head up a march from Selma to Montgomery on Sunday, March 7, to protest Jackson's death and to push for voting rights.
The members of the SNCC refused to support the march, however, because they believed that the objectives of the march did not justify the danger. But its leaders agreed to let SNCC president john take part as an individual. Governor Wallace, who had hesitated over whether or not to permit the march, finally decided to direct the Alabama State Troopers to stop the marchers once they had left the city limits of Selma by crossing the Edmund Pettus Bridge. Wallace asked for the city police and county police to assist the troopers. Selma's public safety director Wilson Baker, who was in charge of the city police, refused to let his men join the troopers in what he feared would become a brutal attack on the marchers. He begged Selma mayor Joe Smitherman to let him head off such a clash by arresting the marchers before they crossed the bridge. Smitherman, who had complete faith in Wallace's promise to disperse the marchers without undueing any violence,. On Sunday, March 7, the state troopers, under the command of Maj. John Cloud, along with Sheriff jim clarks deputies and mounted cops , were assembled at the end of the Edmund Pettus Bridge by 12. The march did not begin on time, however, because King had not returned from Atlanta, and there was a good deal of confusion about whether or not to postpone the march. Finally King was reached by phone and gave permission to proceed in his absence. People listened to king , because he sacrificed more then any one during the civil rights era . bloody Sunday was in fact bloody people where gassed and beaten all because of the color if there skin , learn from the past so you do not repeat the future !
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Public opinion and Political Socialization
There is no single public opinion, because there are many different publics. In a nation of more than 310 million people, there may be innumerable gradations of opinion on an issue. What we do is describe the distribution of opinions among the members of the public about a particular question. Thus, we define public opinion as the aggregate of individual attitudes or beliefs shared by some portion of the adult population. When polls show that a large proportion of the American public appears to express the same view on an issue, we say that a consensus exists, at least at the moment the poll was taken. Issues on which the public holds widely differing attitudes result in divided opinion. The most important early sources of political socialization are the family and the schools. In the past few decades, more and more sources of information about politics have become available to all Americans, and especially to young people. Not only do our parents political beliefs, values, and actions affect our opinions, but the family also links us to other factors that affect opinion, such as race, social class, educational environment, and religious beliefs. From the early days of the republic, schools were perceived to be important transmitters of political information and attitudes. Generally education is closely linked to political participation. The more education a person receives, the more likely that person will be interested in politics, be confident in his or her ability to understand political issues, and be an active participant in the political process. For children and for adults, friendships and associations in peer groups affect political attitudes. The impact of the media. The media/newspapers, television, radio, and internet sources strongly influence public opinion. This is because the media inform the public about the issues and events of our times and thus have an agenda setting effect. Today, many contend that the medias influence on public opinion has grown to equal that of the family. Factors such as perception of the candidates and issue preferences may have an effect on how people vote in particular elections. Candidates and issues can change greatly, and voting behavior can therefore change as well. Public opinion polling is based on scientific principles, particularly the principle of randomness. Today, technological advances allow polls to be taken over the internet, but serious questions have been raised about the ability of pollsters to obtain truly random samples using this medium. During the 1970’s telephone polling began to predominate over in-person polling. Political culture and public opinion, Americans are divided into a multitude of ethnic, religious, regional, and political sub groups. Given the diversity of American society and the wide range of opinions contained within it, how is it that the political process continues to function without being stalemated by conflict and dissension? A vital component of public opinion in the United States is the considerable ambivalence with which the public regards many major national institutions. Over the years, military and religious organizations have ranked highest.
Asher, Herbert. Polling and the Public: What Every Citizen Should Know. Washington, D.C.: CQ Press, 2004.
Bishop, Bill. The Big Sort: Why the Clustering of Like Minded America Is Tearing Us Apart. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2008.
People and Politics Chapter 9
By Drew Posegate
The legal qualifications for holding political office are minimal at both the state and local levels, but holders of political office are still predominantly white males and are likely to be from the professional class. American political campaigns are lengthy and very expensive. Interest groups are a major source of campaign funds. These contributions are made through political action committees. The amount of money spent in financing campaigns is increasing steadily from year to year. A variety of corrupt practices acts have been passed to regulate campaign finance.
After the democratic convention of 1968, the McGovern-Fraser Commission formulated new rules for primaries, which were adopted by all Democrats and by Republicans in most states. These reforms opened up the nomination process for the presidency to all voters. A presidential primary is a statewide election to help a political party determine its presidential nominee at the national convention. Some states use the caucus method of choosing convention delegates. The primary campaign recently has been shortened to the first few months of the election year. The voter technically does not vote directly for president but instead chooses between slates of presidential electors. In most states, the slate that wins the most popular votes throughout the state gets to cast all the electoral votes for the state. The candidate receiving the majority of the votes (270) wins.
The United States uses the Australian ballot, a secret ballot that is prepared, distributed, and counted by government officials. Voter participation in the U.S. is often considered to be low, especially in elections that do not feature a presidential contest. There is an association between voter turnout and a person’s age, education, and income level. In colonial times, only white males with a certain minimum amount of property were eligible to vote. The suffrage issue has concerned, at one time or another, most groups in the United States. Today, to be eligible to vote, a person must satisfy registration, citizenship, age, and residency requirements. Each state has different qualifications.
The media are enormously important in American politics today. They perform a number of functions: entertainment, news reporting, identifying public problems, socializing new generations, providing a political forum, and making profits. The political influence of the media is most obvious during political campaigns. Today’s campaigns use political advertising and expert management of news coverage. Frequently, the mainstream media have been accused of liberal bias, although some observers contend that these accusations result from true stories that offend conservatives.
Sources: American Government and Politics Today (Book)
Factors influencing voting
Now days there are a few less restrictions set on voting. But some of the restrictions used to be that you had to be a white male, owned property, and wealthy. About 1870 the Constitution made it possible for some women to vote. With the passing of the 15th amendment, black males were able to vote, even though it was a short lived deal. Then in 1920 with the passing of the 19th amendment all women were able to vote, 1960 all blacks were finally allowed.
But today the restrictions include citizenship, age of 18 and older, and residency of the state you are voting in. but some of the problems we have now that they did not have much of before is the influence of the media. Sometimes with today’s media it can lead towards a bad influence, such as each candidates group trashes the other. The media used to be the biggest form of debate, when it came to papers. But now our candidates are able to move from town to town much easier. So the media is now used as a basic “slander” tactic against each other.
"American Government and Politics Today-The Essentials 2011-2012"(Bardes,Shelley,Schmidt) (PG285-331)
The office of the prudency in the United States, combining as it does the function of chief of state and chief executive, was unique upon is creation. The framers of the constitution were divided over whether the president should be weak or a strong executive. The requirements for the office of the presidency are outlined tow of the of the constitution. The president’s role includes both formal and informal duties. The roles of the president include head of state, chief executive, commander in chief, chief diplomat, chief legislator, and party chief. As the head of the president is ceremonial leader of the government. As chief executive the president is bound to enforce the acts of rights congress, the judgments of the federal courts, and treaties. The chief executive has the power of appointment and the power to grant reprieves and pardons. As commander in chief, the president is the ultimate decision maker in military matters. As the chief diplomat, the president recognizes foreign governments, negotiates treaties, sign agreements, and nominates and receives ambassadors. The role of chief legislator includes recommending legislation to congress, lobbying for the legislation, approving laws, and exercising the veto power.
In addition to constitutional and inherent powers, the president has statutory powers written into laws by congress. Presidents are also leaders of their political parties. Presidents use their powers to persuade and their access to the media to fulfill this function. Presidents have a variety of special powers not available in the other branches of the government. These include emergency powers and the power to issue executive power are dealt with by articles one and tow the constitution, which authorize the house and senate to impeach and remove the president, vice president, or other high crimes and misdemeanors. The president receives assistance from the cabinet and from the executive office of the president, including the white house office. The vice president is the constitutional office assigned to preside over the senate and to assume the presidency in the event of the death, resignation, removal, or disability of the president. The twenty –fifth amendment, passed in 1967, established procedures to be allowed in case of presidential incapacity and when filling a vacant vice presidency.
American Government and Politics Today
The esentials 2011-2012 editon
Hello and good day every one, Im Damion and I will be talking to you about chapter 8 witch is also Political Parties. Ima speak on pretty much the foundation of witch parties were built on but also about the major two political parties, witch you probably know is Republic and Democratic, unless you dumb you should know that. One of the first facts that you should know is that, the republic comes from and was part of the democrat party.
A political party might be formaly defined as a group of political activists who organize to win elections, operate the government, and determine public policy. Although it is difficult to imagine a political system in the United States with five, six, or even seven major political parties, other democracies have three-parties are clearly tied to ideological positions-parties systems. The United States has a two party system, and that system has been around since before 1800. Generally, we can devide the evolution of the nation’s political parties into seven periods: 1. Creation of parties, from 1789 to 1816, 2. Era of one party rule, or personal politics, from 1816 to 1828. 3. The period from Andrew Jackson’s presidency to just befor the Civil War, from 1828 to 1856 4. Civil War and post-Civil War period, from 1856 to 1896. 5. The Republican ascendancy and the progressive period, from 1896 to 1932. 6. The new deal period, from 1932 to about 1968. 7. The modern period, from approximately 1968 to present.
From 1800 t0 1820, a majority of U.S voters regularly elected Republicans to the presidency and Congress. By 1816, the Federalist Party had nearly collapsed, and two party competition did not realy exist at the national level. At the time there was no Democratic party, there was mostly Republican party back then. But now and days there is mostly democratic.
Republicans believe that the United States were founded on the fundamental principle that individuals have certain rights and freedoms which cannot be infringed upon and may be restricted only to the degree necessary to preserve the rights of others. The money you earn is yours and that government in a free society has the right to take only as much as is needed to perform those limited functions, which are appropriate to it. it is imperative today to re-affirm the traditional freedoms and values of America to preserve our great Republic. there can be differences of opinion and that such differences such result in opponents, not enemies. that all of America's citizens can enjoy the rights and freedoms of our country without diminishing the rights of others. that public servants, particularly those whom we elect to office, must be held accountable to the highest standards of ethical conduct.
"If a man cannot be trusted with the government of himself, can he be trusted with the government of others?" [Thomas Jefferson]
Democrats believe that our Founding Fathers did not really mean what they said when they guaranteed certain constitutional rights such as the right to freedom of religious expression, the right to keep and bear arms, and the right to retain the use of private property. government has a right to use your money as it sees fit to redistribute wealth, establish new spending programs in times of budget surpluses, and to return to you only that portion of your money which is politically expedient. American society must redefine its values and the role of the family to fit new lifestyle concepts, which have resulted from the 60ís counter-culture movement and an attitude that promotes an abrogation of individual responsibility. that America must adopt a politically correct, multi-cultural set of values which denies common American heritage and will further divide American society. that all whom oppose them are to be treated as enemies. that some must give up a portion of their rights and freedoms that others may enjoy those same rights and freedoms. that loyalty to a discredited leader is a virtue and if other office holders have committed indiscretions, a sitting office holder should not be criticized for failing to uphold the highest standards of ethical conduct.
Several restrictions set by the constitution on who can be a can become a candidate in the United States are:
President - Must be a natural-born citizen, be 35 years of age, and be a resident of the country for 14 years by the time of inauguration.
Vice President – Must be a natural-born citizen, be 35 years of age, and not be a resident of the same state as the candidate for president.
Senator – Must be a citizen for at least nine years, have attained the age of 30 by the time of taking office, and be a resident of the state from which elected.
Representative – Must be a citizen for at least seven years, have attained the age of 25 by the time of taking office, and be a resident of the state from which elected.
In order to have a successful and persuasive campaign, the candidate’s team must “be able to raise funds for the effort, obtain coverage from the media, produce and pay for political commercials and advertising, schedule the candidate’s time effectively, convey the candidate’s position on the issues to the voters, conduct research on the opposing candidate, and get the voters to go the polls.” Until television campaigning became an issue, a strong party organization at the local, state and national level could provide most services that the candidate needed such as funds and support to continue the race.
Also, there are strategies for winning a campaign. One of them is the visibility and appeal of the candidate. If a candidate is running against an incumbent, the strategy is to get your name out to the public quickly so people have that name in their heads. If the candidate is an independent, the problem of name recognition is very serious. Also, the independent must present an overwhelming case for the public to reject the incumbent and change their minds on who to vote into the eligible office opening. However, Republican and Democratic candidates label third-party candidates as “not serious” and therefore not worth the voters time.
The first event in a presidential race is the Iowa caucus. In Iowa, there are 99 counties and all these counties have conventions to select delegates for both Iowa's Congressional District Convention and the State Convention, then ultimately, these people choose the delegates for the presidential nominating conventions. So in order to get a good name for themselves out there, presidential hopefuls begin campaigning in Iowa. After that, New Hampshire has the first national primary where people cast their votes for presidential hopefuls. If presidential candidates don’t do well in their first primaries, they generally drop out of the race.
In elections (the longest campaign), there are small, local meetings of party regulars who agree on a nominee called a caucus (Schmidt, Shelley, and Bardes 366). Caucuses differ from state to state, and alternatively, there can be a local or state convention at which a line up of nominees of loyal party members is chosen. Then, there are the types of primaries. A closed primary is when the voter must declare their part affiliation and vote in that party’s primary. This prevents registered voters from crossing over in the other party’s primary to vote for the weakest candidate. An open primary is when “a registered voter may vote in any party primary regardless of his own party affiliation (Wikipedia).” In this kind of primary, voters can vote however they feel on whichever party appeals to them more.
Schmidt, Steffen, Mack Shelley, and Barbara Bardes. American Government & Politics
Today. 2009-2010 Edition. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 2009. 366.
(Schmidt, Shelley, and Bardes 366)
Open Primary. (2011, May 6). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 21:57,
October 4, 2011, from //en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Open_Primary&
Political Parties has been around ever since the beginning of America. A political party is defined as a group of political activists who organize to win elections, operate the government, and determine public policy. Interest groups do not run the government or put forth candidates to be elected and reelected. Factions and political parties are similar but, different factions are smaller groups that are trying to obtain power or benefits. For example, of a faction the Democratic Party was seen containing a southern faction that was much more conservative than the rest of the party. The political parties of the US have several major activities that severe a big part in the government functions. Recruiting candidates for public office is important in gaining control of the government and the most talked the subject every year about both main parties. Another activity is organizing and running elections. And the last three are presenting alternative policies to the electorate, accepting responsibility for operating the government, and acting as the organized opposition to the party in power.
The US has a two-party system that only allows two parties to have chance of winning the election. Democrats are more likely to approve of social-welfare spending, having the government involve with the people, and helping the minorities with serious problems. Republicans are supportive of the private businesses and prefer limited government. Also for people take care of themselves. The reasons the larger cities vote towards Democratic because of the reverse income affect that simply to the urban areas. In this last election President Obama received most of his support from the African Americans in all classes in society. Some of the Republicans are called the Religious Right because of their conservative religious beliefs. Most of them are Protestants and a few Catholics, Mormons, or other religions. They focus on issues such as abortion and gay marriage. The rest of the party is economic and business minded. Between the newly resurgent political right and the apparent legislative overreach of the Democrats, it may be worth asking whether the two major parties are becoming too radical.
There are three faces of a party; the first component is the party-in-the-electorate. This refers to all the people that claim to be part of a political party. The second part is the party organization, provides recruiting volunteers to become party leaders; identifying future candidates; and organizing caucuses, conventions, and election campaigns. The last part of a party is the party-in-government and all of the elected and appointed officials of a political party. The each party held an event every four years called the national convention. The presidential and vice-presidential are officially candidates for their party at the convention. The party’s platform is also important because it set forth the party’s position on the issues and makes promises to the public. Each party has its own committee that points the party into the right direction. Sometimes the winning political party has less power over the government is called a divided government. The executive or legislative branches are controlled by the other party. The election is decided by the plurality, in the plurality system the winner is the person who obtains the most votes. In the presidential election a person’s vote goes to the Electoral College and the electors actually put the vote in for each state.
A third party is party that is not the Republican or Democrat parties. A third party can have affected on the Presidential election because it takes away a candidate’s votes. Splinter parties come from major parties that emerged when a problem occurs within a major party. These are two voting styles that used in today’s elections straight-ticket and split-ticket voting. Independent voters are mostly called swing voters; they could swing back and forth between the Republicans and Democrats.
American Government and Politics Today The Essetials 2011-2012 edition pages 251-279
The Parties of Politics
Since the dawning days of our great nation individuals believed that their ideas and ideals would be the keys to a successful country. They feel they know better how to run the country than the next guy. And since the beginning these men, and in more recent years women have gathered and formed themselves into various political parties. From liberal to conservative, capitalist to socialist these groups cover a wide variety of values and ideas. Often times these ideas may interfere with political actions. Other times they will unite people.
One of the first political parties to emerge was the Federalist Party. The Federalist Party pushed and eventually achieved the adoption of the United States Constitution in 1787. Those who opposed the ratification were lumped into a group called the Anti-Federalists. The Federalist who stood primarily for a strong central government, were eventually faced by a more organized and defined party than the Anti-Federalist. This group would become known as the Republican Party. One famed member of this new party was Thomas Jefferson. Because of this the party would be known for a long time as the Jefferson Republicans. Representing artisans and farmers this new party was a strong advocate of state’s rights. The presidential election of 1800 was the nation’s first peaceful transfer of power from one political party to another when Thomas Jefferson won over John Adams.
Over the years there have been such parties as the Whig Party, the Populist Party, the Socialist Party, the Reform Party, and The Progressive Party. However despite successful campaigns and wide support these parties have never been able to win that most sought after position in the country; the presidency. Two parties now dominate the government of the United States. The modern Republican Party and the Democratic Party have controlled the presidency since the early 1900s. This makes the United States a bi-partisan, or two party system. These two very different groups represent two very different methods of thought. The Republican Party holds value in less government control over the people, and the states. The Democratic Party values government playing a larger role in the lives of its people, as well as greater regulation of private businesses. These two belief systems are as far apart as you can get.
There are two sides to every story. So what is wrong with a political system of two parties? Often times the problem arises when one party controls a large majority of seats in congress. Proposals that match their ideals are passed with little opposition. Any proposals that do not match their ideals do not pass. The key to a successful political system is balance between both sets of ideals. Balance however has its own problems. Since both parties represent opposing points of view complete political balance leads to complete political gridlock. Proposals, for example the federal budget, become locked in a seemingly never ending tug of war between the two parties. The only way for one party to win this battle is for them to entice members of the other party to agree, thus achieving a majority vote.
So what is the answer? In recent times the inability for either side to compromise has almost led to a shutdown of the federal government. Stories of political arguments and contests are common in the news. A bi-partisan system leads to gridlock and third parties have proven ineffective. Should we go to a single party? That didn’t work for Germany in the 1930s. Our system may not be perfect, however it remains the greatest in the world.
By Aaron P. McClellan
American Government and Politics Today,” by Bardes, Shelley, and Schmidt.
People and Politics Ch.7
What are they? Interest groups are defined as an organization of people with similar policy goals that tries to influence the political process to try and achieve these goals. Although voter turnout has declined substantially in the U.S. since the 1960’s, the number of interest groups active in lobbying the government has increased dramatically.
Interest groups try to influence every branch and every level of government. This multiplicity of policy arenas helps distinguish interest groups from political parties. Despite their importance to democratic government, interest groups traditionally have had a negative image in America. There is little doubt that honest lobbying is far greater than the amount of dishonest lobbying. However, many political scientists now believe that honest lobbying poses greater problems for democracy than does dishonest lobbying.
Many factors affect the success of an interest group, including the size of the group, the intensity behind it, and the group’s financial resources. The number of interest groups in the United States has been increasing rapidly over the last several decades. Between 1959 and 2001, the number of groups listed in the Encyclopedia of Associations skyrocketed from about 6,000 to 22,000. The increase in the number of groups reflects a growing diversity in the interest group universe. Whereas trade groups clearly dominated the picture in 1959, this is no longer the case. It seems that there is now an organized group for every conceivable interest. Very few occupations or industries now go without an organized group to represent them in Washington.
The three traditional strategies of interest groups are lobbying, electioneering, and litigation. In addition, groups have recently developed a variety of sophisticated techniques to appeal to the public for widespread support.
Lobbyists are political persuaders who are the representatives of organized groups. They normally work in Washington, handling groups' legislative business. Although lobbyists primarily try to influence members of Congress, they can also be of help to them. For example, lobbyists are an important source of specialized information.
The practice of interest groups appealing to the public for support has a long tradition in American politics. Public opinion ultimately makes its way to policymakers, so interest groups carefully cultivate their public image.
There are also different types of interest groups. Political scientists categorize them loosely into four main policy areas
Economic Groups are ultimately concerned with wages, prices, and profits. In the American economy government does not directly determine these factors. Public policy in America has economic effects through regulations, tax advantages, and international trade policy. Every economic group wants its piece of the pie. Their goal is to get their groups its share of direct aid and government contracts.
Environmental interests have a great deal of influence of Congress and state legislatures. Group politics intensifies when two public interests clash, such as it is with environmental protection and ensured supply of energy.
Equality interest groups are those representing minorities and women who make equal rights their main policy goal.
Consumers and public interest groups are organizations that seek a collective good or, by which everyone should be better off, regardless of whether they joined in the lobbying. Consumer groups have won many legislative victories in recent years, including the creation in 1973 of the consumer product safety commission. Other public interest groups include groups that speak for those that cannot speak for themselves, such as children, animals, or mentally ill.
The problem of interest groups in America today is much the same as when James Madison defined it over 200 years ago. A free society must allow for the representation of all groups. Yet groups tend to be more concerned with their own self-interest than the needs of society as a whole. For democracy to work well, it is important that self-interested groups not be allowed to assume a dominant position.
American Government & Politics Today 2009-10 Edition
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Common law is one of the points discussed in chapter 13. Common law is a system used by the judges to help with the decision in courts. The principals in this law are that it is unfair to treat a similar fact different from one another on different occasions. This law often blinds future decisions and also if the parties disagree, the law will come into play. Then, they will review past decisions of the relevant courts. If a similar dispute has been resolved then the decision is bound to follow in its footsteps. On the other hand, if there is a case distinct from any other case, this is called “matter of first impression” and will become precedent.
Which cases reach Supreme Court?
The Supreme Court is the highest court in the federal system. In this system there is no absolute right of appeal to the Supreme Court. The court gets to pick and choose which cases it will decide the fate of. Factors that bear on their decision are usually if lower courts have disagreed or the question has been decided differently by various lower courts. Another factor can also be if the solicitor general is asking the court to take a case. Solicotor general is a person appointed to represent the federal government of the United States. He or She decides what cases the government should ask the Supreme Court to review and what position the government should take before the court.
Federal judges are nominated by the president and confirmed by the senate. Once appointed, they hold office for life, barring across misconduct. The nomination and confirmed process, particularly for Supreme Court justices, is often extremely politicized. Democrats and republicans alike realize that justices may occupy seats on the court for decades and naturally want to have persons appointed who share their basic views. Nearly 20% of all Supreme Court appointed have been either rejected or not acted on by the senate.
American Government and politics today
Political Institutions Chapter 12
By Drew Posegate
Bureaucracies are hierarchical organizations characterized by a division of labor and extensive procedural rules. Bureaucracy is the primary form of organization of most major corporations and universities, as well as governments. Several theories have been offered to explain bureaucracies. The Weberian model posits that bureaucracies are rational, hierarchical organizations in which decisions are based on logical reasoning. The acquisitive model views top-level bureaucrats as pressing for ever larger budgets and staffs to augment their own sense of power and security. The monopolistic model focuses on the environment in which most government bureaucracies operate, stating that bureaucracies are inefficient and excessively costly to operate because they have no competitors.
There have been many attempts to make the federal bureaucracy more open, efficient, and responsive to the needs of U.S. citizens. The most important reforms have included sunshine and sunset laws, privatization, strategies to provide incentives for increased efficiency and productivity, and protection for whistleblowers. Congress delegates much of its authority to federal agencies when it creates new laws. The bureaucrats who run these agencies may become important policymakers because congress has neither the time nor the technical expertise to oversee the administration of its laws. In the agency rulemaking process, a proposed regulation is published. A comment period follows, during which interested parties may offer suggestions for changes. Because companies and other organizations have challenged many regulations in court, federal agencies now are authorized to allow parties that will be affected by new regulations to participate in the rule-drafting process.
Congress exerts ultimate control over all federal agencies because it controls the federal government’s purse strings. It also establishes the general guidelines by which regulatory agencies must abide. The appropriations process may provide a way to send messages of approval or disapproval to particular agencies, as do congressional hearings and investigations of agency actions.
Sources: American Government and Politics Today (Book)
Chapter 12 – Jake Nath
A bureaucracy is the name given to an organization that is structured hierarchically to carry out specific functions. Bureaucratic institutions were formed as a way to manage large-scale collective action, to increase organization and coordination. By definition, bureaucratic organization may not seem to be a bad thing. However, in practice, bureaucracies are known to have a negative effect on all its participants. There are two types of bureaucracies, public and private. Public bureaucracies do not have a singe set of leaders, although the president is the chief administrator of the federal system, all agencies are subject to Congress for their funding, staffing, and their existence. Public bureaucracies “serve” all citizens, while private ones serve private interests. These bureaucracies are supposed to perform their functions as efficiently as possible to conserve the taxpayers’ dollars.
Private bureaucracies are organized to make a profit. That is the big difference between a public and private. Private ones are organized for a specific purpose, to make money. If you work for a private bureau, it is no easy task. You work as long as your supervisor needs you there, you cannot receive overtime pay, and have a specific pay. While a public bureau (government) is a punch in time and you just have to leave at a reasonable time with guaranteed lunch breaks and break times. Working for a private also can be very stressful, your bureau has to make a profit to stay afloat. While a public bureau does not, taxpayers always fund them. There are many pros and cons for most but the best way to go would be working for a public bureau. There are really no risks and the stress level would be almost none. Private bureaus are always being watched and almost like a business they need to make profits to stay a bureau.
Some examples of public bureaus, well really they are called executive agencies are: Legislative Branch, Judicial Branch, and Executive Branch. The Legislative Branch has the power to pass, amend, and repeal laws. The Judicial Branch is the system of courts that interprets and applies laws. The Executive Branch has sole authority and responsibility for the daily administration of the state bureaucracy. Some examples of private bureaucracies are: General Motors, Macy’s, and Bank of America. These are both only a few examples of each. Both of these types of bureaucracies help us in our daily lives. Public bureaucracies help the public by protecting us, setting laws, and being there for problems. Private bureaucracies help us with our “needs.” Like we get food, gas, and other non-necessary things that we have grown to need.
These bureaucracies have always been around and they will continue to help us out in so many ways. From private to public bureaucracies they will always help the public out. Even though the private bureaucracies are in it for themselves, they end up helping out the general public. The public bureaucracies are our government in short terms and the government will always been around and they have always been around. Bureaucracies will always be around in our lifetime and they will always help us.
- Government Book
The functions of congress consist of lawmaking, representation, over sight, public education, and conflict resolution. In the congress you can find more specific power of congress, which includes the right to impose taxes, to borrow funds, to regulate commerce, and declare war. Congress also has the right to make laws that are necessary and proper for carrying into execution.
The legislative branch consists of the House of Representatives and the senate which together forms the United States congress. Congress is made up of four hundred and thirty-five elected members divided among the fifty states. The larger the state the more congressmen, but all states have at least one. The state with more members is California with fifty three members. There follows Texas with thirty two, New York twenty nine, Florida twenty five, Pennsylvania and Illinois nineteen, Ohio eighteen, Michigan fifteen, New Jersey, Georgia and North Carolina thirteen, and finally Massachusetts ten members. There are states with only one congressman and they are Alaska, Delaware, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Vermont, and Wyoming. Kansas state has four members their names are; Huelskamp Tim, Jenkins Lynn, Yoder Kevin, and Pompeo Mike; they are all republicans. Members of the house are elected every two years and they must be at least twenty five years of age a U.S. citizen for at least seven years, and resident of the state they represent.
Today congress is eighty three present represented by white men. There are seventy five female representatives and seventeen in senate. Member of congress are more likely to be lawyers, white, male, and wealthy. Member of congress also possess amazing benefits such as, being well paid, free postage, and also enjoy a number of legal privileges. Prior to 1984, neither Members of Congress nor any other federal civil service employee paid Social Security taxes. The 1983 amendments to the Social Security Act required federal employees first hired after 1983 to participate in Social Security. These amendments also required all Members of Congress to participate in Social Security as of January the first of 1984 regardless of when they first became members of Congress. Congress spends much of their time holding hearings and investigations in committee, for refusal to cooperate with a congressional subpoena can result in charges of contempt of congress, which could result in a prison term.
US Congress Picture
American Government and Politics Today
The esentials 2011-2012 editon
“No person except a natural born Citizen, or a Citizen of the United States, at the time of the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the Office of President; neither shall any Person be eligible to that Office who shall not have attained to the Age of thirty-five Years, and been fourteen Years a Resident within the United States (Article II Section I).” The question, “Who can become President of the United States?” was just answered by Article II, Section 1, of the Constitution. Major and minor political parties nominate candidates for president and vice president at national conventions every four years. Now the president isn't voted for directly at this convention, but rather at the Electoral College.
Once elected and given the name Head of State the president has a number of activities to follow through with such as decorating war heroes, throwing out the first ball to open the baseball season, dedicating parks and post offices, and going on official state visits to other countries. They are also given the name Chief Executive which means they are the head of the executive branch of government. This allows them to sign a statement that turns a bill into a law, fill a government office or position, and grand reprieves and pardons. As well as given the title Commander in Chief which means they are the supreme commander of the U.S and of the state National Guard units when called into federal service. They are the ultimate decision maker in military matters. Chief Diplomat in which they recognize foreign governments, making treaties, and effecting executive agreements, Chief Legislator in which they influence the making of laws, creates the Congressional Agenda, and delivers the State of the Union Message which is addressed to the American people and to the world.
Other Presidential powers include : constitutional powers – basis lies in the Constitution, statutory powers – created for the president through laws enacted by congress, expressed powers – expressly written into the Constitution or into statutory law, and inherent powers – which are derived from the statements in the Constitution; defined through practice rather than law (emergency power – exercised during a national crisis). Other “special” uses of Presidential Power include executive orders which can enforce legislative statutes, enforce the Constitution or treaties with foreign nations, and establish rules or modify rules and practices of executive administrative agencies. Executive Privilege which is the right to with hold information or to refuse to appear in front of a legislative committee.
Now with all this power and free to do pretty much whatever it is possible to mess it up and abuse what you're given. The term impeachment refers to not just the President but other civil officers of the U.S to commit “Treason, bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors (Article I & II).” We all know about the infamous Richard Nixon Watergate scandal and Bill Clintons lying under oath about having sex.
The people in the background that are hardly seen are the members of the cabinet which is an advisory group selected by the President, Executive Office of the President which helps the President carry out major duties, the White House Office which usually takes care of handling the media and political needs, Chief of Staff who directs the W.H.O, the Office of Management and Budget who help the President with preparing the annual budget, and the National Security Council which speaks for itself and advises the President on national security.
Now last but certainly not least is the VICE PRESIDENT! This specific person is the Presidents back-bone. If the President absolutely can't perform their duties the 25th Amendment states that the Vice President can take over and act until the real President can resume. The Vice President is there to make the President sound 100x better than they really are….it's the truth. In some situations it can be good and some bad, but that's why “WE” vote for who's going to run this country.
American Government and Politics Today
The Essentials 2011-2012
The President, all citizens, whether good or bad, has an opinion on the president. Some think he is great, and some blame him for all global problems. The role of the president is complicated beyond the understanding of many. Before examining the president’s role, one must understand who is eligible and how the election process works.
According to the textbook the eligibility rules for running for president are: you must be a natural born United States citizen, you must be at least 35 years of age, and you must have been a resident of the United States for 14 years (Government 371). Citizens do not directly elect the president. The president is elected by the Electoral College. The textbook states the Electoral College is a group of people, who officially elect the president and vice president (Government G-3). The Electoral College has encountered problems in elections. On numerous occasions the president has been elected without receiving at least 50 percent of the popular vote. According to the textbook, six presidents have been elected without getting at least 50 percent of the popular vote. Usually this circumstance takes place with more than two candidates. However Al Gore received 50 percent of the popular vote but still lost to George W. Bush, who narrowly won the Electoral College (Government 372).
The president possesses numerous powers. Those powers include bring the head of state, the chief executive, the commander and chief, the chief diplomat, and the chief legislator. The powers that come with being the head of State include decorating war heroes, making phone calls to astronauts, dedicating parks and post offices, and throwing out the first pitch of the baseball season (Government 373). For example, President Obama is a Chicago White Sox fan, so he would be throwing out first pitch at U.S. Cellular field. The powers involved in being chief executive include appointing people to government positions, and a signing statement. A Signing statement is a declaration that that may be made by the president when signing a bill into law (Government 375). As chief diplomat the president may recognize foreign governments, and sign treaties with the consent of the senate. As chief legislator, the president may propose bills to the house and senate as he sees fit (Government 378-81).
It is difficult to write an essay without stating briefly what I believe was effective presidential behavior. Harry S. Truman, only one letter in his middle name, and demonstrated presidential leadership choosing drastic measures to end World War II. He knew that Japan would not give up in a drawn out land assault. He possessed the will to execute the necessary measures, and I have always respected that.
Many citizens have criticized the effectiveness of our current president. It appears, that like Jimmy Carter, President Obama has good intentions, and has made an effort to reach goals, but he has fallen victim to understanding the political machine. For example, examine the current “Jobs” proposal. The president wishes to create short-term jobs to lower unemployment. He, and his advisors fail to realize once those jobs are completed then unemployment will rise again. According to Fox News, yes, Fox news, 1.9 million jobs will be created through his plan, which equates to a 1 percent drop in the rate of unemployment. While some see this as progress, it falls short of real job creation. Before the recession, the unemployment rate was under six percent (Fox News). Even if this bill goes exactly according to plan, presuming it passes, then the country will still fall short of the target figure of 6 percent or less. Even the president’s advisors are skeptical of success. Mark Zandi, the advisor that helped formulate this plan, states that the plan is only worked to help in 2012, and start fading in the next 2 or 3 years. A failed jobs plan will result in a wrecked presidency and likely a republican president in 2012.
Bardes, Barbara A., Mack C. Shelley II, and Steffen W. Schmidt. American Government and Politics Today. 2011-2012. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning, 2011. Print
The President and his roles
The President of the United States is a very important man. He is the leader of our country; he is the chief of staff, and many other jobs. This person is up for election every four years. Some of his jobs include. One of his roles is party leader. The president helps members of his political party get elected or appointed to office. The president campaigns for those members who have supported his policies. At the end of a term the president may campaign for reelection with his party’s support. Examples of this are choosing leading party members to serve in
the Cabinet. Traveling to California to speak at a rally for a party nominee to the U.S. Senate. Another role is Commander in Chief of the U.S. armed forces. That means all of the military leaders report to and take orders from the president. The president performs this duty as a civilian, someone who is not in military service. Examples are inspecting a Navy yard. Deciding, in wartime, whether to bomb foreign cities. Calling out the National Guard to stop a riot. Chief Executive is another job this gives, empowerment to administer the laws and affairs of the nation. While the president does not make the laws, his agencies have the responsibility and authority to carry out the laws. The examples of this are appointing the head of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), holding a Cabinet meeting to discuss government business and reading Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) reports on the state of national security. One of his key jobs is Chief of State. The president's role as chief of state is to represent the United States at public events. This is mainly ceremonial roles that allows the president to promote/convey/represent American values and acknowledge others who do the same. Examples include Awarding medals to students receiving academic honors. Congratulating astronauts upon their return from space travel. Greeting visitors to the White House. Delivering the State of the Union Address. A very important role is Chief Diplomat Being a diplomat involves interacting with leaders from other nations. The president takes the lead in foreign relations by associating with foreign leaders and, along with the help of Congress, develops a foreign policy with other nations. Examples include Traveling to London to meet with the British prime minister and, working with leaders in the Middle East in an effort to create a peace plan for the region. The last role that I shall mention is Chief Legislator though the president cannot make laws, he can voice his own ideas and opinions to Congress while they draft legislation. He does this through speeches promoting his agenda and by meeting with Congress to discuss policies. The final examples include signing or vetoing a bill passed by Congress. Working to get enough House or Senate votes for a bill to be passed through each respective house and, making a speech in Congress. These are just some of the main jobs of the president he or she is a very important role in our everyday lives.
Running for President
The road to presidency in America is a long one. It’s very easily the road less traveled as it takes lots of time, dedication, and quite simply, money. Also, many people aren’t cut out to let the future trajectory of the free-world rest on their judgment.
The United States Presidential Election of 2012 is the next election and will be held on Tuesday November 6, 2012. It will be the 57th quadrennial presidential election in which presidential electors, who will actually elect the President and Vice President on December 17th 2012, will be chosen. Barack Obama, who is eligible for a second and final term as President, has announced he will seek nomination to be the Democratic Party’s candidate in this election.
There are many steps one must go through before becoming President of the United States. Certain qualifications must be met first and foremost. As set out in the Constitution, the formal requirements for national office are as follows:
1.President. Must be a natural born citizen, have attained the age of 35 years, and be a resident of the country for 14 years by the time of inauguration
2.Vice President. Must be a natural-born citizen, have attained the age of 35 years, and be a resident of the same state as the candidate for president.
There are two types of people who run for office, self-starters, and those who are recruited. Self-starters wanted to run of their own accord. Candidates may run to further their careers, or possibly carry out specific political program goals. Those that are recruited, primarily just offer a ‘face’ for their political party to put forth the wishes and goals of that particular group.
Whichever political party a presidential candidate is affiliated with, then begins to prepare speeches, seek out endorsements from individuals as wells as groups, and set up a staff. They may even hire a political consultant whose job it is to design the entire campaign theme.
One of the major players in determining the next president is the media. Which candidate gets their face, goals, and intentions out to the general public first. The other key deciding factor is how the candidate does in the unprecedented number of early primaries. These are used to determine if the candidate has a chance at winning over the diverse states. It’s the media, coupled with these early primaries that essentially ‘weed’s out’ candidates down to the few that really stand out on all levels.
As election time draws closer it really narrows down to two types of campaigns.
The grassroots campaign consists of the campaign staff setting up in communities and making their goals known and making it clear what they can essentially do for that community if their candidate is elected. The other campaign is known as the ground level campaign. It consists of all appearances and speeches done by the candidate and their running mate. It’s impossible to make personal appearances in every town/city in America, but that all in all is a major factor in getting votes. People voting for a candidate; want to see that individual, in person. Citizens want that person to come to their town and tell them what they intend to do to improve their current social, financial, and future status. “Shaking hands and kissing babies” is the common phrase associated with this.
After that, it all comes down to Election Day. The candidate must win not only the popular vote, but the Electoral College vote as well. The Electoral College consists of electors from every state that equal the combined number of senators and representatives each state has. In order to become president the candidate has to control a majority of the Electoral College vote. There are 535 votes in the Electoral College and the candidate receiving over half those votes becomes the newly elected president of the United States.
American Government & Politics Today 2009-2010 Edition
Foreign policy dictates how a country will act with respect to other countries politcally, socially, economically, and militarily, and to a somewhat lesser extent, how it behaves towards non-state actors. Foreign policy can also be known as international relations policy or simply diplomacy. It seems likely that foreign policy, in some form, has been around since the early days of humanity on the plains of Africa, when large tribes would presumably interact from time to time without engaging in all-out war. Today, foreign policy is handled by foreign ministers, ambassadors, and/or the Secretary of State (in the US). Although foreign policy has always been important, it is especially true today, when air travel makes the world smaller and more interconnected, and powerful weapons make the risk of diplomatic breakdown all the more dire. Subsequent to George W. Bush's assumption of the presidency in January 2001, the U.S. made it clear that it would not accept what had become the status quo with respect to Iraq - a country ruled by Saddam Hussein and free to attempt to reconstitute its assorted weapons of mass destruction programs. As part of their campaign against the status quo, which included the clear threat of the eventual use of military force against the Iraqi regime, the U.S. and Britain published documents and provided briefings detailing their conclusions concerning Iraq's WMD programs and its attempts to deceive other nations about those programs. As U.S. forces moved through Iraq, there were initial reports that chemical or biological weapons might have been uncovered, but closer examinations produced negative results. In May 2003, the Bush administration decided to establish a specialized group of about 1,500 individuals, the Iraq Survey Group (ISG), to search the country for WMD - replacing the 75th Exploitation Task Force, which had originally been assigned the mission. Appointed to lead the Group, whose motto is "find, exploit, eliminate," was Maj. Gen. Keith Dayton, the head of the Defense Intelligence Agency's Directorate of Operations. In June, David Kay, who served as a U.N. weapons inspector after Operation Desert Storm, was appointed special advisor and traveled to Iraq to lead the.
The Constitution gives the Senate the power to approve, by a two-thirds vote, treaties made by the executive branch. The Senate has rejected relatively few of the hundreds of treaties it has considered in its history. Many others, however, have died in committee or been withdrawn by the president rather than face defeat. Some presidents have found it helpful to include senators in negotiating treaties in order to help pave the way for later Senate approval. The requirement for a two-thirds vote ensures that a treaty will need bipartisan support to be approved. The Senate may also amend a treaty or adopt various changes, which may lead the other nation, or nations, to further negotiate the treaty.
The president may also enter into executive agreements with foreign nations that are not subject to Senate approval. Constitutional Provisions Article II, section 2, of the Constitution states that the president "shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two-thirds of the Senators present concur. These few words are the cornerstone to a major part of our system of divided powers, checks and balances. According to one scholar of the early Senate, "the Senate power which aroused the gravest and most widespread apprehension was that associated with the making of treaties." The Constitution's framers gave the Senate a share of the treaty power in order to check presidential power, to give the president the benefit of the Senate's advice and counsel, and to safeguard the sovereignty of the states by giving each state an equal vote in the treaty making process.
The Constitution makes it clear that the president must take the lead in the making of American foreign policy. The President must lead on foreign policy, but the American system gives the Senate, and through it the American people, a powerful role in controlling and shaping foreign policy. The president makes foreign policy but he does not make it by himself. The United States must respent this constitutional system if its foreign policy is to fulfill its first priority of preserving and defending American independence.
Beside the president there are at least four foreign policy making sources within the executive branch there is the Department of State, the National Security council, the Intelligence Community, and the Department of Defense.
The foreign policy goals include:
• preserving the national security of the United States
• Promoting world peace and secure global environment
• Maintaining a balance of power among nations
• Promoting democratic values and human rights
• Furthering cooperative foreign trade and global involvement in international trade organizations
Foreign policy involves humanitarian aid; one good example is when the members of the U.S Navy helped young Haitians after the devastating earthquake in early 2010. The main objective of foreign policy is to use diplomacy or talking, meeting, and making agreements to solve international problems. They try to keep problems from developing into conflicts that require military settlements. One of the major challenges for U.S foreign policy makers is how to respond to the threat of terrorism.
The War Power-in Article II, section 2 designates the president as “commander in chief of the Army and Navy of the United States”. For example in 2001 George W. Bush authorized an attack against the al Qaeda terrorist network and the Taliban government in Afghanistan and in 2003 Bush sent military forces to Iraq to destroy Saddam Hussein’s government.
The Treaties and Executive Agreements Article II, section 2 of the constitution also gives power to the president to make treaties. For example, during World War II, Franklin Roosevelt reached several agreements with Britain, the Soviet Union, and other counties. “In all since 1946 more than eight thousand executive agreements with foreign counties have been made”.
American Government and Politics Today
The esentials 2011-2012 editon
The United States is only one nation in a world with almost two hundred independent countries, many located in regions where armed conflict is ongoing. Foreign policy is the goal of the government wants to achieve in the world and the techniques and strategies to achieve them. Also diplomacy, economic aid, and technical assistance are important dealing with other countries. The foreign policy process usually originates with the president and those agencies that provide advice on foreign policy matters. National security policy is designed primarily to protect the independence and the political integrity of the United States. It concerns itself with the defense of the United States against actual or potential future enemies. Defense policy is a subset of national security policy. Defense policy refers to the set of policies that direct the nature and activities of the U.S. armed forces. Diplomacy is another aspect of foreign policy. Diplomacy includes all of nation’s external relationships, from routine diplomatic communications to summit meetings among heads of state. This view of America’s mission has led to the adoption of many foreign policy initiatives that are rooted in moral idealism. This philosophy sees the world as fundamentally benign and assumes that most nations can be persuaded to take moral considerations into account when setting their policies.
In years past, terrorism was a strategy employed by radicals who wanted to change the status of a particular nation or province. In 2001, terrorism came home to the United States in ways that few Americans could have imagined. An attack of nineteen terrorists hijacked four airplanes and crashed three of them into buildings two into the World Trade Center in New York City and one into the Pentagon in Washington D.C. And the fourth airplane crashed on a field in Pennsylvania. Why did the al Qaeda network plan and launch attacks on the U.S.? One reason was that the leaders of the network, including Osama bin Laden, were angered by the presence of U.S. troops on the soil of Saudi Arabia, which they regard as sacred. Al Qaeda’s ultimate goals, however, were not limited to forcing the United States to withdraw from specific countries or even the entire Middle East. Al Qaeda envisioned worldwide revolutionary change, with all nations brought under the theocratic rule of an Islamist empire.
In 1945, the United States was the only nation to possess nuclear weapons. Several countries had nuclear weapons the Soviet Union, Britain, France and China. More than 22,000 nuclear warheads are known to be stocked worldwide, although the exact number is uncertain because some countries do not reveal the extent of their holdings. The United Nations tried to talk with Iran includes Britain, China, France, Germany, Russia and the U.S. By 2009, the UN Security Council had already voted three rounds of sanctions against Iran in reaction to its nuclear program. North Korea was allowed to keep their nuclear power, which American intelligence officials believe may include as many as six nuclear bombs. In 1980, China was granted most favored nation status for tariffs and trade policy on a year to year basis, so this was called NTR. China exports substantially more goods and services to the United States than it imports, and as a result its central bank has built up a huge reserve of U.S. Treasury bonds and other American plans.
Humanitarian assistance has also been a major component of America’s foreign policy. The issues in Africa, the earthquake in Haiti, and the earthquake in China are perfectly examples Humanitarian efforts. The United States has been involved in at least 125 undeclared wars that were conducted under presidential authority. In 1950 harry Truman ordered U.S. troops in the Pacific to counter North Korea’s invasion of South Korea. Executive agreements have a long and important history. During World War II, Franklin Roosevelt reached several agreements with Britain, the Soviet Union, and other countries. The Constitution also gives the president the power to make treaties provided that two thirds of the senators present. The President usually has been successful in getting treaties through the Senate.
American Government and Politics Today
The esentials 2011-2012 editon
“Domestic policy can be defined as all of the laws, government planning, and government actions that affect each individual’s daily life in the United States (Schmidt, Shelley, and Bardes 560).” In forming a policy, there are step that need to be followed. The first is agenda building. In this step, Congress must be aware that an issue needs congressional attention. An issue can be brought to attention by some sort of crisis, technological change, or mass media campaigns, as well as the efforts of politicians and effective lobbying groups. After agenda building comes policy formulation. In this process, the policy at hand is basically formulated into what it should be with the most benefits. Discussions about policy proposals will be held between government officials and the public. Congress will hold hearings, the president will speak the administrations views, and the topic may even turn into a campaign issue. After the policy formulation comes the policy adoption. What happens in this step is the best proposals from the discussions are selected. Following policy adoption comes policy implementation. The policy selected is implemented by bureaucrats, the courts, police, and individual citizens. Finally comes policy evaluation. When a policy is implemented, it is evaluated by groups inside and outside of the government and they determine what actually happens after a policy has been in place. If necessary, the policy will be improved to better suite how people use it. It is clearly a long road to pass a policy.
A domestic concern in our country that’s raising questions is health care. In 1965, about six percent of our income was spent on health care, and ever since then, that percentage has risen, exceeding fifteen percent by 2005 and expected to be over sixteen percent by 2010. One of the logical reasoning’s behind rising costs is that people in America are living longer, exceed ages that were way above when health care was first set in place. Another reason health care costs are elevating is the price of advanced technology used to prolong life is so expensive. A CT scanner can cost one million dollars, an MRI scanner can cost two million dollars, and a PET scanner can cost four million dollars. These tools that doctors use around the country are becoming higher in demands as people want to live longer, so people have to pay a higher price when these machines are used on them.
In 2006, President Bush signed a bill declaring that seven hundred mile fence shall be put up along the Mexico/U.S. border.
"Unfortunately, the United States has not been in complete control of its borders for decades and, therefore, illegal immigration has been on the rise," Bush said. "We have a responsibility to address these challenges. We have a responsibility to enforce our laws. We have a responsibility to secure our borders. We take this responsibility seriously." (Fletcher, and Weisman)
This statement brings me to the next domestic concern in America; Immigration. Every year, nearly one million people immigrate to this nation. Ten percent of the United States population wasn’t even born on American soil. Hispanics have taken over African Americans as the largest minority group in America. But, there are some positives that come with immigration. For one, it offsets the low birthrate and aging population in America. Also, immigrants expand the workforce, which (through taxes) help government programs that benefit the ageing here in America.
Schmidt, Steffen, Mack Shelley, and Barbara Bardes. American Government & Politics
Today. 2009-2010 Edition. Boston, MA: Wadsworth, 2009. 560.
Fletcher, Michael , and Jonathan Weisman. "Bush Signs Bill Authorizing 700-Mile Fence
for Border." washingtonpost.com. The Washington Post, 26 10 2006. Web. 5 Oct
Policies Are Everywhere
A little boy is outside riding his bike when he wrecks over a pothole. He bruises his knee, scrapes his hand, and has a gash in his forehead. Very concerned about her little boy and his cut, the boy's mother considers different ways to keep him safe, including requiring a helmet or forbidding him to ride his bike at all. She decides to require him to wear a helmet, and grounds him when he doesn't do so. The mother then watches her son safely ride his bike. This mother has a made a policy. On a much larger scale, the national government makes policies. The government uses the five-step policy making system: (1) Agenda Building, (2) Policy Formulation, (3) Policy Adoption, (4) Policy Implementation, and (5) Policy Evaluation.
The first step, agenda building, is making Congress aware that there is a problem. According to American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials, policymakers rely on the media for most of their information. Technology changes or a crisis may also demand Congress' attention. In the example of the little boy, his mother saw his cut as a crisis; she was made aware of a problem.
The next step is policy formulation. Different ideas for the new policy are discussed in the media and in the halls of Congress. According to “Wisegeek.com”, the policy proposals are reviewed in hearings and debated between government officials, interest groups, and individual citizens. Back to the little boy, the mother debated whether to forbid all biking or to require a helmet.
Of the many proposals made, only one can become the new policy. This is called policy adoption. The final draft of the new policy will have several compromises in hopes of pleasing everyone. According to “Wisegeek.com”, weaker policies are more likely to pass, as the stronger policies deal with the problem more directly and therefore are harder to gain enough approval. As you read earlier, the mother "adopted" the policy that required her son to wear a helmet.
When the son disobeys his mother's new rule, the mother scolds and grounds him. She has moved to the fourth step: policy implementation. Policy implementation requires government action by the bureaucrats, the courts, police, and individual citizens. Typically an organization or agency will be responsible for carrying out the new policy.
The final step, policy evaluation, is typically ongoing. It is usually a study of how effective the policy is in solving the original problem. According to American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials, "Groups inside and outside the government conduct studies to determine what actually happens after a policy has been in place for a given period of time." The evaluation often leads to additional public policy changes. The mother may be pleased by the safety of her son's head, but when he falls again and scrapes his elbow, she may want to add a new policy requiring elbow and knee pads.
Throughout this paper, we've broken down a small scale, individual's rule-making, but it happens on a national level as well. The government usually sticks to this five step process. Some of the major policies the government has made include the topics of healthcare, immigration, crime, and energy and environment.
The steps to making new policy sound like common sense, and seem relatively simple. They really are common sense and simple, but in reality, they take a very long time. The final step, policy evaluation, is still going on today for all the policies, just like the mother still watches out for her son's safety. From the mother watching out for her son to the government watching out for America, from the simple issues like speed limits to the more complex issues like energy and environment, policies exist everywhere.
American Government and Politics Today: The Essentials 2011-2012
Audrey Lorenz and Odasie Wright
Chapter 1 and 2
Politics is a big part of our everyday life. It’s the struggle over power within an organized groups, it’s the process of resolving conflicts and coming up with collective decisions. Government also plays a large part in our lives. Government is everywhere, some people like to ignore politics all together; however it is impossible to avoid the government. Without government they’re would be anarchy and as people wipe each other out, there would only be a few survivors left. Even the government had authority, ultimately the power lies within the armed forces and the police. There are many different types of government, totalitarian regime in which there is a small group of leaders or a single leader who makes all the decisions for society. Authoritarianism is when the government is completely ruled by one individual. Aristocracy means ruled by the best. There is also a theocracy which is ruled by God. Oligarchy means ruled by a few. Anarchy is a Greek word meaning the absence of government. Individuals make their own decisions and act upon whatever they want. Finally there is democracy, which means ruled by the people within the limits of their culture.
Now to go into the matter of the constitution, this story goes back to 1607, when a company chartered by the English government sent a group of farmers to establish a trading post, Jamestown, in what is now Virginia. The colonists at Jamestown instituted a representative assembly, which is a legislature composed of individuals who represent the population, thus setting a precedent in government that was to be observed in later colonial adventures. The first Continental Congress was held at Carpenters hall in Philadelphia on September 5, 1774. It was a gathering of delegates from twelve of the thirteen colonies (delegates from Georgia did not attend until 1775). At that meeting that was little talk of independence. When they sent a petition to King George lll expressing their grievances, the British government condemned the congress’s actions, treating them as open acts of rebellion. The second continental congress me in May of 1775(this time all of the colonies were represented, at this point fighting had broken out between the British and the colonists. One of the main actions of the second congress was to establish an army. It did this by declaring the militia that had gathered around Boston and army and naming George Washington as commander in chief. By 1776, military encounters had become increasingly frequent. On April 6th, 1776, the second continental congress voted for free trade at all American ports with all countries except Britain. The next month, the congress suggested that each of the colonies establish state governments unconnected to Britain, and then in July, the colonists declared independence from Britain. The Virginia legislature called for a meeting of all states to be held at Annapolis, Maryland, on September 11, 1786. The result of this meeting was a petition to the Continental Congress for a general convention to meet in Philadelphia in May 1787 “to consider exigencies of the union”. The final document of the US constitution was approved on September 17, 1787.
American Government and Politics Today, The esentials 2011-2012 editon Chapters 1 and 2
Jake Nath and James Leonard
Collin Gorham and Damion Walls
Odasie Wright, Shelton Harvey, and Audrey Lorenz
Nora and Skyler
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Bill of Rights
The bill of right is the first ten amendments to the United States constitution they are. Amendment I Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
Amendment II A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a Free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
Amendment III No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered neither in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.
Amendment IV The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Amendment V No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.
Amendment VI In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defense.
Amendment VII in Suits at common law, where the value in controversy shall exceed twenty dollars, the right of trial by jury shall be preserved, and no fact tried by a jury, shall be otherwise re-examined in any Court of the United States, than according to the rules of the common law.
Amendment VIII Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines did not impose, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.
Amendment IX The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.
Amendment X the powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.
These ten were the first they were written in August 21, 1789. They were introduced by James Madison to the first United States congress. The Bill of Rights plays a key role in American law and government, and remains a vital symbol of the freedoms and culture of the nation. They are both bad and good the reason being. There are some of them that are not reliable in this day of age. Such as the second amendment calls for a militia and that is not always probable in this day of age because not everyone own a fire arm.