WHICH ONE IS MORE
IMPORTANT TO YOU, AND
WHY SHOULD THIS QUESTION
EVEN MATTER TO ME?
What do the Millennial’s supposedly support?
Do you agree?
American youth are less likely to be informed about government and politics and participate less in politics
The Political Disengagement of College Students
SINCE 9/11, COLLEGE STUDENTS HAVE BECOME A BIT MORE
INTERESTED IN POLITICS
Those who participate in the political process are more likely to benefit from gov’t programs and policies
It is true that the elderly have more political clout than young people
Old people vote
Voter turnout for people under the age of
25 has dropped from 50% in 1972 to 33% in 2000
There has not been an event that youth have wanted to pay attention to until 9/11
2/3 rds of a national sample reported that they do not understand government
Sample of U.S. Immigration and
Legitimacy: the degree to which a political system is accepted
Problem: how can the U.S. political system be legitimate, if 66.7% of the population doesn’t understand their own gov’t?
YOU AND YOUR GOV’T DETERMINE
WHETHER THIS WILL BE ACCEPTED!
Fact: the gov’t uses force to rule society
Problem: most people don’t like being controlled
Americans cherish their FREEDOM
Problem: if the gov’t exists to control its constituents, how can it maintain its legitimacy?
Answer: people surrender some of their
FREEDOMS in order to obtain the benefits offered by the gov’t
The institutions and processes through which public policies are made for society
Legislative-makes the laws
Executive-enforces the laws
Judicial-interprets the laws
This definition leads to two basic questions:
How should we govern?
Ideal vs. Real Democracy
What should government do?
Does gov’t do what we want it to do?
The process by which we select our governmental leaders and what policies these leaders produce
Politics produces authoritative decisions about public issues
Also consider Harold D. Lasswell’s definition:
Who gets what, when, and how
Who-voters, politicians, interest groups
Income, safety, and deference drives politics
Only a minority of people get what they want.
Whatsubstance of politics and gov’t (issues)
How-voting, compromising, and lobbying
Political participation and single-issue groups (NRA)
The gov’t is held responsible for the following:
Provide PUBLIC GOODS
Protecting Americans’ FREEDOM
All gov’t policies reinforce certain norms at the expense of others
FREEDOM-nation defense, collect taxes
ORDER-national defense ($400 billion a year), collect taxes
EQUALITY-national defense, collect taxes
Which one do you feel the gov’t needs to focus on promoting, if you had to pick one?
Explain which one is the most important to you in a one page written explanation
ORDER: establishing the rule of law to preserve life and to protect property
This is the oldest objective of gov’t
Thomas Hobbes (1651) believes life without gov’t would create a society existing in a “ State of Nature .”
Social Contract: people give up some rights to a gov’t in order to receive social order
The contract was irrevocable and humans are selfish
Hobbes believed there is a “war of all against all.”
John Locke (1690) believes unlimited gov’t leads to abuses, and the gov’t should be from the people
Gov’t needs to protect peoples’ “natural rights” of life, liberty, and prosperity
These ideas are found in the Declaration of Independence
If the state turned itself into a tyranny, Locke argued in favor of a right of rebellion
Locke believed human nature is characterized by reason and tolerance
He also believed the contract could be broken
Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison regarded
Locke’s ideas as political truths
EQUALITY: gov’t should provide everyone with equal opportunities
This is the newest objective of gov’t and is extremely controversial
Promoting EQUALITY became an objective of gov’t during the Great Depression (started in 1929 when the stock market crashed)
Social Security, Medicaid (poor), Medicare (elderly)
How does the gov’t accomplish this task?
Answer: take from the rich and give to the poor
PROVIDING PUBLIC GOODS: benefits and services that are available to everyone
Example: roads, schools, and someday it might include healthcare for all
Basically, it’s an extension of promoting
FREEDOM: a measure of the number of things a person can do without interference
There are two types of FREEDOMS that exist:
FREEDOM TO: is the absence of constraints on behavior
Example: FREEDOM of Speech
FREEDOM FROM: often symbolizes the fight against exploitation and oppression
Example: FREEDOM from Religion
Could to much FREEDOM be harmful?
59% of Americans say they are happy with the U.S. gov’t although 2/3 rds of Americans really don’t understand gov’t
FREEDOM vs. ORDER
Should the military be forced to allow homosexuals in the military?
Should the gov’t (state or federal) be forced to allow homosexuals to get married or disallow gay marriage?
Korematsu vs. U.S.
The Patriot Act
FREEDOM vs. EQUALITY
Should the gov’t be able to force businesses and colleges to take special steps to ensure that minorities are hired and/or accepted into college?
Should the gov’t be able to tax your earnings and use that money to help a person that is on welfare
What if that welfare recipient continues to have children while on welfare?
Regents of the University of California vs. Bakke
ORDER vs. EQUALITY
Should the KKK be able to have a parade
Should homosexuals be able to have a gay parade
Hurley vs. Irish American GLIB Association
Gay-Straight Alliance meeting at school
Buck vs. Bell
Conduct research on FDR, JFK and/or Bill Clinton, and
Democrats in general
Conduct research on Warren Harding, Richard Nixon and/or
George W. Bush, and the Republicans in general
Write down two of your own example of dilemmas the gov’t faces for each of the following:
FREEDOM vs. ORDER
FREEDOM vs. EQUALITY
ORDER vs. EQUALITY
We will discuss each one in class
Pick the one you feel is the most important and explain why in a 2 page hand-written explanation
Work with like minded individuals and do your best to convince your fellow classmates
You will read this in front of the class, and the group with the most convincing argument, in support of their topic, will receive 10 bonus pts
The assignment, itself, is worth 50 pts
The process by which policy comes into being and evolves over time
All Americans have the following:
How citizens project these concerns into the political realm becomes the true art
Martin Luther King, Jr. I have a dream speech!
Definition: transmitting the preferences of
Americans to the policymakers in gov’t
News & Entertainment Media
Pick a topic/issue you want the gov’t to support and find two interest group that would support your topic/issue
Definition: consists of the issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actively involved in politics at any given time
These arise when people disagree about a problem and how to fix it.
Some issues will be considered, and others will not.
If a politician wants to get elected again, he/she needs to pay attention to their constituents
Dorgan, Pomeroy, Conrad, and a farm bill
A government’s policy agenda changes regularly
Bailout for many American businesses!
These institutions have been created by the U.S. Constitution
Courts (Federal and State)
Bureaucracies (Federal and State)
The fourth policy making institution
Public policy: every law passed, budget established, and ruling handed down
Impacts of Policies:
Does it solve the problem?
Does it create more problems?
Policies can be established through inaction
Doing nothing or nothing different can prove to be a very consequential decision
Example: AIDS was considered a gay person’s disease
Majority rules while protecting minority rights
A system of selecting policymakers and organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public’s preferences
The founding fathers were not fond of democracy, b/c many of them doubted the ability of ordinary Americans to make informed judgments about what gov’t should do
Roger Sherman, a delegate to the Constitutional Convention, said the people “should have as little to do as may be with the gov’t.”
Read Federalist #10
Article I Section 3-Senators chosen by the state legislatures
Elected by the people b/c of the 17 th Amendment (1913)
Article II Section I-electoral system established
An Ideal democratic process should satisfy the following five criteria:
Equality in votingthe principle of “one person, one vote”
(Wesberry v. Sanders-1964 )
Effective participation-citizens must have the chance to express their preferences equally
Enlightened understanding-open creation and discussion of ideas by all
Citizen control of the agendacitizens should collectively control gov’t policies
Inclusiongov’t must include, and extend rights to, all those subject to its laws
Definition: a form of gov’t in which sovereignty/power rests with the people, who elect agents to represent/govern them in lawmaking and other decisions
Read Federalist #10
Definition: a form of gov’t in which representatives elected by the people make and enforce laws and policies
The people hold the ultimate power b/c the people get to elect/re-elect the reps
Increased Technical Expertise
Limited Participation in Government
Escalating Campaign Costs
Diverse Political Interests (policy gridlock)
Are the people knowledgeable- and do they apply what they know?
Do interest groups help the process, or do they get in the way?
Do political parties offer clear consistent choices for voters?
Does the President & Congress work in the best interests of ALL the people?
Individualism is the belief that individuals should be left on their own by the government.
Individualism is highly valued in the United
States with a strong preference for free markets and limited government.
How big a role does the Constitution say should be played by the federal government?
Does a bigger, more involved (active) government limit the people’s freedoms?
Do we need a bigger, more involved government to protect our freedoms?
Do competing political parties make for better policies?
Do more interest groups create a bigger government?
Does the media help control the size and policies government?
Can the president control the government, or has it gotten too big?
Can Congress respond to the needs of the people, or just to the interest groups?
Do members of Congress expand government by seeking to be re-elected?
Do the federal courts overstep their bounds and intrude on the powers of other branches of government?
Are the federal agencies too large and unresponsive to the public they are supposed to serve?
If you don’t understand gov’t, you can’t take a legitimate part in gov’t
Last but not least, why would you choose not to have say in your future and the future of the U.S.
Who gets elected often determines whether
ORDER, FREEDOM, and/or EQUALITY will be the United State’s focus for the next four years
Find out which party you like and research a few other unique/odd parties
Research and pick the top two parties you would be inclined to support and then pick a third odd/unique party of interest.
Explain each of the three party’s beliefs, what they support/oppose, and why you think each party is important in the American political realm