Presentation on theme: "Politics in the United States Philosophical & Political Dimensions of the Republican and Democratic Parties A PowerPoint Presentation and Lecture by: Russell."— Presentation transcript:
“Politics” The societal forum for the legitimate acquisition and exercise of administrative power.. The processes by which “legal” and economic power are acquired and realized through action.
Max Weber: Legitimating Authority Traditional authority Charismatic authority Rational-Legal authority: Leaders’ entitlements to power and control are based on procedure s (such as voting) wherein which the public “selects” between candidates and/or policy alternatives offered them by the “political parties.”
Political Parties WHAT DO THEY ACTUALLY DO? HOW DO THEY FUNCTION? Logistical Apparatus to Engage in US Politics Formulating & Disseminating party “platform.” Selecting and Promoting Candidates. Acquiring member donations to fund campaign and other party-related activities. Obtaining Corporate Contributions......the primary source of party funds for BOTH parties.
What about “third” parties? A number of, so called, “third parties” exist in the US, among them “the Green Party” and “The Libertarian Party.” Since these parties cannot aspire to attain sufficient support to elect their candidates, they serve......Two Primary Functions 1) “Informer” - Exert pressure on mainstream parties to recognize certain issues; and... 2) “Spoiler” - Divert critical votes away from certain candidates in certain political contests.
Conservative = “Traditional” fashioned after the past…. Liberal = “Progressive” fashioned towards the future….
The “Conservative” Party: Republicans The “Liberal” Party: Democrats
The old liberal and conservative labels are less useful in understanding politics today. Both parties have appropriated liberal and conservative positions as convenient to effectively manageme of public opinion….
For instance, Republicans often highlight their “compassion” for the disadvantaged population, a “liberal” trait; Conversely, Democrats frequently endorse “tough love” conservative stances on social issues to insure continuing voter support.
Robert Merton: Economic & Social Dimensions of Political Belief & Action Conservative on Social Issues and on Economic Issues. Conservative on Social Issues but NOT on Economic Issues. Liberal on Social Issues and on Economic Issues. Liberal on Social Issues but NOT on Economic Issues.
What about the “main” two political parties, the Democratic and Republican parties? What makes them different from one another?
Though not widely realized, Democrats and Republicans are in one way more similar to one another than different: Both are mechanisms through which ultimate power is acquired, legitimated, and exercised by a tiny and powerful few, those in control of most key economic resources.
Nevertheless, as voters......it is important to recognize fundamental differences between the parties in order to best inform our decision- making when participating in politics as voters.
“Traditional” political parties in the US hold a very different philosophies on how our country should be “governed.”
Party Philosophies Republican : leaders are granted authority to make decisions for their constituents, but are ethically responsible to answer to their own best judgement, even when in opposition to the will of the “popular” voting constituency. Democratic : leaders are granted their authority from voters through the vote, and are responsible to attend to their constituency’s needs and wishes as closely as possible, once elected.
“CONSERVATIVE” “LIBERAL” PROGRESSIVE Tolerant of nonconformity Self-critical (toward improvement) Ecumenical Justice: rehabilitation & mercy Primarily cooperative Optimistic Pro-change New Testament compassion TRADITIONALIST Intolerant of nonconformity Self-righteous Exclusivist Justice: eye for an eye Primarily competitive Pessimistic Anti-change Old Testament intolerance
“CONSERVATIVE” “LIBERAL” PROGRESSIVE Flexible Variable (diverse) Zen Passive Re-active Culturally relative Issues: negotiated-mixed outcomes New Testament compassion TRADITIONALIST Regimented Uniform Doctrinaire Aggressive Pro-active Ethnocentric Issues: zero sum Old Testament intolerance