6 WHY SHOULD PEOPLE VOTEThose who participate in the political process are more likely to benefit from gov’t programs and policiesIt is true that the elderly have more political clout than young peopleOld people voteVoter turnout for people under the age of 25 has dropped from 50% in 1972 to 33% in 2000There has not been an event that youth have wanted to pay attention to until 9/11
7 AN UNCOMFORTABLE TRUTH 2/3rds of a national sample reported that they do not understand governmentSample of U.S. Immigration and Naturalization testLegitimacy: the degree to which a political system is acceptedProblem: how can the U.S. political system be legitimate, if 66.7% of the population doesn’t understand their own gov’t?
8 GAY MARRIAGE AMENDMENT YOU AND YOUR GOV’T DETERMINE WHETHER THIS WILL BE ACCEPTED!
9 A SIMPLE FACT: Fact: the gov’t uses force to rule society Problem: most people don’t like being controlledAmericans cherish their FREEDOMProblem: 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
10 Government Definition: This definition leads to two basic questions: The institutions and processes through which public policies are made for societyLegislative-makes the lawsExecutive-enforces the lawsJudicial-interprets the lawsThis definition leads to two basic questions:How should we govern?Ideal vs. Real DemocracyWhat should government do?Does gov’t do what we want it to do?
11 Politics Definition: Also consider Harold D. Lasswell’s definition: The process by which we select our governmental leaders and what policies these leaders producePolitics produces authoritative decisions about public issuesAlso consider Harold D. Lasswell’s definition:Who gets what, when, and howWho-voters, politicians, interest groupsIncome, safety, and deference drives politicsOnly a minority of people get what they want.What-substance of politics and gov’t (issues)How-voting, compromising, and lobbyingPolitical participation and single-issue groups (NRA)
12 WHAT IS THE PURPOSE(S) OF GOV’T? The gov’t is held responsible for the following:Maintaining ORDERPromoting EQUALITYProvide PUBLIC GOODSProtecting Americans’ FREEDOM
13 DILEMMA THE GOV’T FACES All gov’t policies reinforce certain norms at the expense of othersFREEDOM-nation defense, collect taxesORDER-national defense ($400 billion a year), collect taxesEQUALITY-national defense, collect taxesWhich 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
14 ORDERORDER: establishing the rule of law to preserve life and to protect propertyThis is the oldest objective of gov’tThomas 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 orderThe contract was irrevocable and humans are selfishHobbes 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 peopleGov’t needs to protect peoples’ “natural rights” of life, liberty, and prosperityThese ideas are found in the Declaration of IndependenceIf the state turned itself into a tyranny, Locke argued in favor of a right of rebellionLocke believed human nature is characterized by reason and toleranceHe also believed the contract could be brokenBenjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison regarded Locke’s ideas as political truths
15 EQUALITYEQUALITY: gov’t should provide everyone with equal opportunitiesThis is the newest objective of gov’t and is extremely controversialPromoting 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
16 PROVIDING PUBLIC GOODS PROVIDING PUBLIC GOODS: benefits and services that are available to everyoneExample: roads, schools, and someday it might include healthcare for allBasically, it’s an extension of promoting EQUALITY
17 FREEDOMFREEDOM: a measure of the number of things a person can do without interferenceThere are two types of FREEDOMS that exist:FREEDOM TO: is the absence of constraints on behaviorExample: FREEDOM of SpeechFREEDOM FROM: often symbolizes the fight against exploitation and oppressionExample: FREEDOM from ReligionCould to much FREEDOM be harmful?
20 WHAT DO AMERICANS VALUE? 59% of Americans say they are happy with the U.S. gov’t although 2/3rds of Americans really don’t understand gov’t
21 DILEMMAS THE GOV’T FACES FREEDOM vs. ORDERShould 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 ActFahrenheit 9/11
22 DILEMMAS THE GOV’T FACES FREEDOM vs. EQUALITYShould 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 welfareWhat if that welfare recipient continues to have children while on welfare?Regents of the University of California vs. Bakke
23 DILEMMAS THE GOV’T FACES ORDER vs. EQUALITYShould the KKK be able to have a paradeShould homosexuals be able to have a gay paradeHurley vs. Irish American GLIB AssociationGay-Straight Alliance meeting at schoolBuck vs. Bell
24 WHAT DO DEMOCRATS VALUE EQUALITYFREEDOMORDERConduct research on FDR, JFK and/or Bill Clinton, and Democrats in general
25 WHAT DO REPUBLICANS VALUE ORDERFREEDOMEQUALITYConduct research on Warren Harding, Richard Nixon and/or George W. Bush, and the Republicans in general
26 DILEMMAS THE GOV’T FACES Write down two of your own example of dilemmas the gov’t faces for each of the following:FREEDOM vs. ORDERFREEDOM vs. EQUALITYORDER vs. EQUALITYWe will discuss each one in class
27 ORDER, EQUALITY, FREEDOM; WHICH ONE MATTERS TO YOU? Pick the one you feel is the most important and explain why in a 2 page hand-written explanationWork with like minded individuals and do your best to convince your fellow classmatesYou 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 ptsThe assignment, itself, is worth 50 pts
28 The Policymaking System The process by which policy comes into being and evolves over time
29 People All Americans have the following: InterestsProblemsConcernsHow citizens project these concerns into the political realm becomes the true artMartin Luther King, Jr. I have a dream speech!
30 Linkage InstitutionsDefinition: transmitting the preferences of Americans to the policymakers in gov’tPolitical PartiesElectionsNews & Entertainment MediaInterest GroupsPick a topic/issue you want the gov’t to support and find two interest group that would support your topic/issue
31 Policy AgendaDefinition: consists of the issues that attract the serious attention of public officials and other people actively involved in politics at any given timePolitical IssuesThese 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 constituentsDorgan, Pomeroy, Conrad, and a farm billA government’s policy agenda changes regularlyBailout for many American businesses!
32 Policymaking Institutions These institutions have been created by the U.S. ConstitutionLegislature (Congress)Executive (President)Courts (Federal and State)Bureaucracies (Federal and State)The fourth policy making institution
33 Policy Impacts PeoplePublic policy: every law passed, budget established, and ruling handed down
34 Policy Impacts People Impacts of Policies: Does it solve the problem?Does it create more problems?Policies can be established through inactionDoing nothing or nothing different can prove to be a very consequential decisionExample: AIDS was considered a gay person’s disease
35 Majority rules while protecting minority rights DemocracyMajority rules while protecting minority rightsDefinition:A system of selecting policymakers and organizing government so that policy represents and responds to the public’s preferencesThe 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 doRoger 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 #10Article I Section 3-Senators chosen by the state legislaturesElected by the people b/c of the 17th Amendment (1913)Article II Section I-electoral system establishedAn 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 equallyEnlightened understanding-open creation and discussion of ideas by allCitizen control of the agenda-citizens should collectively control gov’t policiesInclusion-gov’t must include, and extend rights to, all those subject to its laws
36 Republic/Representative Gov’t not a so-called Democracy 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 decisionsRead Federalist #10Representative DemocracyDefinition: a form of gov’t in which representatives elected by the people make and enforce laws and policiesThe people hold the ultimate power b/c the people get to elect/re-elect the reps
37 Challenges to Democracy Increased Technical ExpertiseLimited Participation in GovernmentEscalating Campaign CostsDiverse Political Interests (policy gridlock)
38 Questions About Democracy 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?
39 American Individualism 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.
40 Questions about the Scope of 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?
41 Questions about the Scope of Government, continued 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?
42 Questions about the Scope of Government, continued 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?
43 Questions about the Scope of Government, continued 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?
44 WHY STUDY GOV’T?If you don’t understand gov’t, you can’t take a legitimate part in gov’tLast 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
45 PICK A PARTY OR TWOFind out which party you like and research a few other unique/odd partiesVote SmartResearch 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