WHICH ONE IS MORE IMPORTANT TO YOU, AND WHY?
WHY SHOULD THIS QUESTION EVEN MATTER TO ME?
What do the Millennial’s support?
supposedly 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 Today 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
understand government Sample of U.S. Immigration and Naturalization test 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
Definition: 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?
Definition: 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-voters, politicians, interest groups
Income, safety, and deference drives politics
Only a minority of people get what they want.
What substance 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: Maintaining ORDER Promoting EQUALITY 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 EQUALITY
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?
80 70 60 50 40 30 20 10 0 FREEDOM ORDER EQUALITY 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 Fahrenheit 9/11
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
EQUALITY FREEDOM ORDER Conduct research on FDR, JFK and/or Bill Clinton, and Democrats in general
ORDER FREEDOM EQUALITY 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: Interests Problems Concerns 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 Political Parties Elections News & Entertainment Media Interest Groups 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 Political Issues 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 Legislature (Congress) Executive (President) 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 voting the 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 agenda citizens should collectively control gov’t policies Inclusion gov’t must include, and extend rights to, all those subject to its laws
Republic 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 Representative Democracy 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
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 Vote Smart 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