POLITICAL RESEARCH PAPER 16
Aninsightful understanding of all areas of government and politics iscrucial in ascertaining the truth. Consequently, one cannot fall preyto manipulations and political gimmicks from people who have ulteriormotives. Therefore, discovering credible information is important indifferentiating facts from fallacy. This paper presents 13 sectionsthat analyze various political issues from an opinionated viewpoint.
SectionOne: Controversial Political Issues
Voter ID laws-The law requires that an individual should present some form of identification for them to register as voters or receive a ballot to participate in an election. The laws are established at state levels to govern the form of identification that will be recognized at the polls. Primarily, the law eliminates racial bias but has put an undue burden on privileged elites to choose elected officials.
Agenda 21- This is a nonbinding but voluntary action plan that encourages countries and international organization to participate in environmental sustainability freely. This was established by the United Nations Summit to enhance economic policies that will last. Sustainable development is now emerging as government policy is being implemented around the country.
Mandatory Vaccines- They are the obligated vaccines that every individual in a country or state needs to undertake in a bid to live or work in such states. This helps eradicate the spread of infections such as Diptheria and Pertussis among other diseases . The law varies across different states thus, it is not uniform and depends on the discretion of various regulatory bodies in the states whereby they consider the dangerous diseases depending on the environments. However, adhering to the policy consumes a lot of time, money and energy to maintain and update immunization record for all individuals in the country.
NDAA / Patriot Act- The law allows detention of immigrants that are suspected to be terrorists thus enhances the government to prevent terrorist attacks. Primarily, immigrant terrorism suspects are held until the war on terrorism ends thus, they are detained indefinitely. However, the law allows unlawful imprisonment thus is against the principles of democracy. Moreover, the detention is subjected to immigrants and not American citizens thus, it is discriminative and may not attain its aim of fighting terrorism since perpetrators may be locals.
Gun Regulations-easy access to guns can lead to increased rate of crime thus the need to regulate them, to reduce chances of criminal activities. However, violent crimes may reduce when more citizens have access to guns since they can protect themselves from potential attackers and abate the extent of a criminal attack.
NSA- An intelligence organization mandated with global monitoring, collection, and processing of information for foreign intelligence. The information collected can be utilized to conduct noble research programs although it aids in the violation of privacy to most individuals whereby it can enhance other forms of crimes such as theft. Moreover, the invasion of privacy is considered by most individuals as a violation of their rights.
Drones- They are unmanned aircraft that are remotely controlled and fly with the aid of software control. Primarily, help to reduce risks considering that they are smaller and can fly lower than other planes and thus there is less military hardware. However, drones are at risk of takeover by the enemies and later used to attack the country.
Benghazi- It involved the coordinated attack against two U.S government facilities in Benghazi. The attacks aimed at sending a message to the American government not interfere with other countries affairs and the message was delivered effectively. Nonetheless, there was a loss of life and damage to properties thus, the mode of communication was not effective.
Fast and Furious- This is a series of action films that revolve around illegal street racing. Essentially, this series of film is a source of entertainment to different individuals that watch them.However, it can also lead to the adoption of violent and careless driving among people especially the youths as well as developing a violent behavior.
Common Core- An initiative that outlines the requirements that ought to be taught in the English language and other subjects in the educational curriculum. Developing common core helps individuals to compare their progress favorably to standards of other countries or institutions, thus enhancing benchmarking. However, it is difficult for both teachers and students to adjust due to the ever-changing educational needs.
Iran deal- this deal was meant to keep Iran from producing the nuclear weapon for at least ten years to enhance lifting of economic sanction against the country. On the other hand, this deal does not guarantee that Iran will not support terrorism activities against other countries hence, it may not counter terrorism in any way.
The issue of your Choosing- it offers an individual the freedom of choice, but on the other hand, it may have a negative effect on the rights and freedom of other individuals.
SectionTwo: Theories and Forms of Government
Thisis a form of government whereby all property within the boundaries ofa nation is jointly owned by the citizens of the country. Accordingto Todorova, Dimou & Troebst (2014), communism is the brainchildof the German philosopher, Karl Max. In communism, there is a commonownership and authorities strive to achieve equity among all membersof the society.
Thisis a theory of government formulated in Eastern Europe by FriedrichEngels and Karl Marx. Roper (2013) indicated that Marxism originatedin the mid-19thcentury whereby Marx and Engels aimed at transforming the society byminimizing conflicts that arise from class relations. Marxismendeavors to minimize social struggles that arise from capitalism.
Thisis a political ideology that advocates social ownership of means ofproduction. Socialism also promotes collective efforts of economicdevelopment in a manner that citizens have the right to give theirinput in the process of stimulating economic development (Cam &Kayaoglu, 2015).
Thisdenotes a form of government in which the head of state has to comefrom a royal family. The member of the royal family who reignsbecomes the king or queen (Wolf, 2015). Examples of Monarchs includeDenmark and Britain whereby the head of state is different from theleader of government (Wolf, 2015). The head of government is electedby the citizens of the monarchy.
Arepublic is a country in which government power rests in peopleelected by the citizens of the nation. In a republic, all arms ofgovernment have to adhere to the rule of law (Morison, Commager &Leuchtenburg, 2011). Therefore, in a republic, the citizens holdpower indirectly since the individuals they elect in politicaloffices have to represent their interests.
Thisis a term that refers to a political leader who has unlimited powerover their subjects. A dictator does not leave room for theirsubjects to air out their opinions freely (Frantz & Geddes,2016). Instead, his/her decisions are considered final. Therefore, ina dictatorship form of government, a ruler does not tolerateopposition.
Thisis a form of government in which all powers are vested in the state(Augusteijn, Dassen & Janse, 2013). As such, the governmentcontrols and regulates every aspect of public and private affairstherefore, it runs all sectors of the economy.
Tyrannyis a form of government that subjugates its people. According toThompson (2015), a tyranny abuses power for the sole aim ofbenefiting individuals in authority.
Thisrefers to a state whereby no government control exists (Mearsheimer,2014). In other words, there is the absence of government controlhence, everyone has unrestricted freedom to do whatever they like.
Section3-Historical Documents in the U.S constitution
(a)The U.S. Constitution- the most powerful constitution in the worldwas signed into law on September 17, 1787. The authors of thisconstitution were delegates who had an aim of establishing America’snational government and relevant laws guaranteeing human rights andfreedom to help develop the country. The major aim of the USAConstitution guards the fundamental rights of the American citizens.On the same note, the constitution helps to limit the power of thegovernment by placing them in the hands of the people therebyavoiding instances of oppression. Moreover, it forms a basis ofreference thus, individuals can refer different informationregarding the interpretation of various matters
b) The Articles of Confederation- The articles acted as the firstconstitution of the United States of America and were signed onNovember 15, 1777. The article was authored by the ContinentalCongress and was ratified on March 1, 1981. Primarily, the articleswere aimed at governing the affairs of sovereign states and thecentral government but created a loose confederation of sovereignstates and a weak central government. Consequently, theconstitutional convention was established in 1787 to aid theformation of stronger Federal government.
c)Declaration of Independence- this is a formal statement declaring thefreedom of the thirteen American colonies from the Great Britain andIota. It was documented on July 4, 1776. It was written by ThomasJefferson. The Declaration of Independence was meant to state thesovereignty of the thirteen states that had been under British rule.Moreover, it states that the government exists for the benefit of thepeople simply because all people are equal. As such, it promotesequality among all citizens
d)The Federalist Papers- It is a collection of more than 85 articlesand essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jayto promote ratification of the Constitution of the United States.These articles were originally published in 1788 and enhanced theratification of the United States constitution. The papers werewritten with a sole purpose of interpreting the original intent ofthe constitution hence, educated the citizens on the need to ratifythe constitution.
Powerstruggles exist between the American Federal government and stateadministrations. These power struggles are as a result of severalfactors that cause a rift between the interests and objectives ofstate governance and the U.S. Federal command. Kepps et al. (2012)established that this power struggle began during America’sindependence from Britain when federalists under the leadership ofHamilton and Washington advocated a strong national government thatunited all parts of the country. On the other hand, Anti-federalistmovement under the leadership of Thomas Jefferson campaigned forincreased power of states whereby each region would have the powersto make their own laws and enter into international agreements withother countries (Kepps et al., 2012). An example of a power strugglebetween these two forms of government is the controversy thatsurrounds the Affordable Care Act. On one side, state governmentsassert that they should have the power to implement their ownhealthcare plans that best suit the needs of their people.On theother side, the U.S. Federal government under the leadership ofPresident Obama insists that the central government holds theultimate power to ensure all U.S. citizens can equally access qualityhealth care services.
Electedofficials are known to break the law by abusing their positions ofpower. For example, in 2009, South California Governor Sanford Markused a state-owned aeroplane to fly to Argentina to see a woman hehad for a long time had an extramarital affair (Lawyers, 2016). Thisis a clear example of gross misconduct in which an elected publicofficial misuses government resources for personal gain.Consequently, Governor Sanford faced a possible impeachment aftercivil rights activists took to the streets to protest against suchabuse of power. Worse still, Sanford took about four days off withoutnotifying his assistants. As such, several business meetings withinvestors were cancelled at the last minute (Lawyers, 2016). Thismade some investors to lose confidence on the South Carolina stategovernment’s commitment to addressing the needs of the businesscommunity.
The Federal Reserve is the Central Bank of the United states that was created on December 23, 1913, under the foundation of the U.S. Congress. Primarily the Federal reserve is the United State’s core banking system and is headquartered in Washington, D.C. The bank controls the American fiscal and monetary systems and deploys necessary measures to control economic growth (Hansen, 2011).
The term free market denotes a unique economic system in which government restriction and involvement are either limited or entirely absent (Hansen, 2011). In a free market, the prevailing price for commodities is as a result of the interplay between consumers and the market itself. As such, commodity prices are determined by the laws of demand and supply thus, no intervention from any stakeholder is required.
Government spending at times surpasses the revenue generated from taxation and other income generating activities the state engages. As a result, to cover the deficit the need to source for extra fund arises giving rise to debt whereby the government can borrow locally or internationally. Local borrowing is enhanced through the issuance of treasury bills and bonds that are offered by the federal reserve. The current debt amount of the United States Federal Government stands at $19 trillion (Jens, 2016). The debt has reached this amount since the Federal Government has been borrowing internally from local investors and externally from countries such as the People’s Republic of China. A progressive tax structure is the most appropriate system that suits the Americans. The reason for this is that such a structure ensures that citizens pay taxes according to their levels of income. People who have higher incomes pay elevated taxes than those with little earnings. Arguably, individuals who are able to pay taxes but opt not to do so should not receive any benefit of taxes that other people disburse. An exception to this is is street families and other homeless Americans who are not able to raise money to pay taxes. For every dollar that an American earns, they should pay a tenth of it as tax and keep the rest.
Ten aspects that local government spends public funds on include building public utilities, social amenities, health care, elementary education, maintaining roads, paying staff salaries, scholarships, public transportation, local security, and environmental conservation projects.
Tenaspects that state government spends public funds on include healthcare, salaries for staff, environmental programs, education, energy,transportation, infrastructural developments, health care, donationsto charitable organizations, and scientific research.
Tenissues that the Federal government spends public funds on includesalaries for civil servants, grants and donations, equal access tohealth care services, building national highways, scientificresearch, education, foreign military expeditions, providingincentives and subsidies to the business community, law enforcementand diplomatic relations.
An executive order is a legal directive that the U.S. President issues without any need for approval by the Congress. The executive order is used to direct Federal officials and agencies to execute policies and laws established by the Congress. Through issuing such an order, the President exercises the delegated degree of legislation.
Current U.S. President Barrack Obama has issued and signed 235 orders.
Inthe United States, political parties have different platforms andopinionated points of view on governance and democracy. Four examplesof political parties are Green Party, Democratic Party, LibertarianParty and the Republican Party. The Democratic Party is thebrainchild of anti-federalist activist Thomas Jefferson. This partyis primarily dominant in the South-Eastern part of the United States(Karl & Douglas, 2012). The party’s political ideology is basedon various economic, political, and social pillars. For instance, theparty believes in a universal access to health care, same-sexmarriages, and a progressive tax structure (Karl & Douglas,2012). This is the primary reason President Obama signed theAffordable Care legislation into law.
TheRepublican Party has its roots in the anti-slavery movements of the1880s. The party’s political platform leans on conservatism.Members of the Republican Party advocate restrictions on trade unionmovements, capitalism, free business enterprises, and policies thatpropose a reduction in the powers of the federal government(Petersen, 2011). The party’s conservationist policies also opposesame-sex marriages that democrats support.
TheLibertarian party was established in 1971 by Nolan David with thepurpose of promoting civil liberties. According to Libertarian Party(2016), this political party supports a world of unlimited liberty.In other words, the Libertarian Party seeks the sovereignty ofindividuals. Members believe that leaders should strive to make theworld a free place whereby the government should not use any kind offorce on citizens. However, the party’s ideology of liberty insiststhat people have to accept the consequences of unlimited freedom.Libertarians also oppose any censorship on the mass media’s methodsof reporting political, economic, and social occurrences (LibertarianParty, 2016). Another platform for the party is for governmenttransparency and accountability. Party members advocate governmenttransparency in all sectors of the economy but insist that citizenshave the right to privacy in every area of their lives.
TheGreen Party is a political setting founded in 1991 after severalmeetings with green groups. The party’s political ideology is basedon four key platforms. Firstly, the party believes that the Americansneed to use renewable forms of energy. According to Green Party(2016), non-renewable energy forms have a damaging impact on theclimate. Secondly, the party believes that an elected governmentshould do all it can to reduce public expenditure on the U.S.military presence in all parts of the world (Green Party, 2016). Thisideology is motivated by increasing budgetary allocations on the U.S.military presence in the Middle-East and Nothern Africa. Thirdly, theGreen Party supports public funding for open debates that enable theAmericans to identify the best candidates for various politicalpositions (Green Party, 2016). Finally, the party advocates propermanagement of the Federal reserve as a way of controlling risingbills.
Thisis a not-for-profit organization based in California that providesfunding for causes that aim at bringing social change (TideFoundation, 2016).
Thisis a group that campaigns for an end to political propaganda amongthe political class (MoveOn, 2016).
Centerfor American Progress
Thisis an organization that advocates an improvement in the ideas thataim at improving the living standards of the Americans (Center forAmerican Progress, 2016). This advocacy institution supportsaccountable governance that is dedicated to tackling economicchallenges.
Thisis an independent radical organization that holds left-wing politicalideologies (Weather Underground, 2016). It believes in communism,Leninism, and Marxism. This organization is also known as WeatherUnderground Organization (WUO).
Organizingfor America was a project initiated after President Barrack Obama’sinauguration to lobby support for the President’s policies duringhis tenure (Browns, 2015). The project’s support for PresidentObama’s political agenda gained momentum following the change inname to Organizing for Action.
Thiis a magazine established in the mid-1950s to provide insights andpolitical commentary on political developments that hit the headlinesin major media houses.
Centerfor Self Governance
Centerfor Self Governance is an independent educational organization thattrains American citizens on civil matters. This non-profitorganization aims at making Americans revive their place in civilauthority (Center for Self Governance, 2016).
HumanEvents refers to a website that comprehensively analyses politicalnews and developments in the United States (Human Events, 2016). Thereporters at Human Events use a conservative approach to analyzingpolitical news and developments.
Thisis an institution that monitors information in media houses. ToAchieve their core objective of correcting possible misinformationfrom media houses, this institution does an elaborate analysis ofinformation that media houses in America disseminate (Media Matters,2016).
Thisis an advocacy group that was founded by David Koch and Charles Kochto assist Americans who have a conservative mindset to interact withelected leaders (Freedom Works, 2016).
Thisis an independent conservative research organization that targets todevelop policies that positively influence public policy making inthe United States (Heritage Foundation, 2016). Heritage Foundationalso aims at changing how leaders use their positions of power.
Thisis an institution that analyses political content in the mediathrough scientific means. The sole aim of the organization is toreduce bias in the media (Media Research Center, 2016).
Incompleting this assignment I have learnt that there are variousaspects of government and politics that many people ignore. Suchignorance makes people prone to unending political gimmicks from thepolitical class. Also, having a comprehensive understanding of thehistory of the American state and Federal governments and how theyoperate is useful in appreciating how these administrations functionon a daily basis. Such understanding gives one the impetus tocriticize these governments with facts at hand. Both negative andpositive criticisms are crucial in putting both elected and appointedindividuals in leadership positions on their toes. Through thisassignment, I have learnt that tyranny, totalitarianism, anddictatorship are destructive forms of governance that oppress thecitizens of a country. As a result, one can appreciate that the U.S.is a republic that values public opinion. Arguably, in the UnitedStates, power is vested on the Americans instead of public figures.This is attributable to the reason that the Americans can remove anyelected official from office through the power of the vote. Thisassignment has also shed light on the obligations of the judiciaryaccording to Article 3 of the U.S. Constitution.
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