US GOVERNMENT CLASS

US GOVERNMENT CLASS

 

Assignment 1 • Due Sep 19 by 11:59pm You must demonstrate your understanding of course content, so be sure you have completed assigned readings before you work on this
assignment Is the United States facing a constitutional crisis? The United States is experiencing disruptive politics, as promised by the Republican Party and
President Donald Trump. The Republican Party possesses comfortable majorities in the US House (241/194) and US Senate (52/48), the presidency, a majority of US Supreme
Court judges, and 32 state legislatures. With this strong mandate for change offered by the electorate in 2016, Republicans seek to reduce or eliminate tax,
regulatory, health care, environmental policies; build a wall along the southern border, ″drain the swamp″ of lobbyists and insider interests, and more to fulfill
campaign promises. Mr. Trump has brought to the presidency unconventional ideas about governing and the role of government in society. Having registered as both
Democrat and Republican at different points in his life, his leadership style has not won over all congressional Republicans. Additionally, with an administration
mired in an assortment of controversies surrounding Russian interference in the 2016 elections, the Republican agenda has not moved forward as much as many in the
party would like. The Democrats, roundly trounced in the elections (save for the nearly 3 million more popular votes Hillary Clinton won), are playing the role of
“loyal opposition” by challenging the new administration, something the Republicans did so well during the Obama years. With political partisanship at record levels—
meaning little to no inter-party compromises on issues—stalemate seems to be an apt desсrіption of politics in Washington, DC these days. But isn′t some degree of
gridlock precisely what the separation of powers with checks and balances promotes? Even when one political party controls the branches of government, institutional
limitations on the exercise of power are built into the political system. This was done at the founding of the nation in order to 1) protect wealth, and 2) promote
liberty for freemen. The revolution that gave rise to the United States was not a social transforming event; rather, its focus was on establishing a new political
order. The new political system created by the Constitution allows for slow, incremental, deliberative change through mechanisms that are more likely to thwart than to
embrace change. This may have been an adequate response the post-Revolutionary War environment they found themselves in at the end of the 18th Century, but can it
survive the rapid changes upon us today? Scholars see several disturbing trends in American government on the left and the right that contribute to the disruptions we
observe today: the unprecedented use of social media by the president, his appointees, and members of Congress; gerrymandered election districts that produce overly
partisan candidates; nearly unfettered money in campaigns; and elected officials who care more for their reelection than the public good. Much of what ails politics is
the relatively low level of political participation (roughly 60% in 2016). Political mandates for change in public policies are difficult to assess when 40% of the
eligible electorate opts out of voting. Is this the kind of political system that can respond adequately to the challenges of the 21st Century? It might be, but the
United States today couldn’t be more different now than it was when our current political system came into existence in 1789. From some 4 million in population in 1790
(the first official census) in 13 states to nearly 325 million today in 50 states, from horse and buggy to the International Space Station, from an electorate of only
white propertied men to full adult suffrage, the country has changed while political structures remain the same. The issues Americans face in 2017 are polarizing and
profound; they speak to the kind of nation we are today and what we seek to become. The two main ideological groups in the United States, liberals and conservatives,
offer not only differences of opinion on the same issues, but also different sets of issues that reflect their policy preferences. Consider the following (incomplete)
list: Liberal Conservative Wealth inequality Taxation Access to affordable healthcare Business deregulation Racial profiling and police brutality Repeal of Obamacare
Immigrant rights Strong defense LGBTQI rights Law and order Reproductive rights Wall along Mexican border Environmental protection Deportation of illegal aliens Living
wage Ban abortion/defund Planned Parenthood Separation of church and state School Choice This assignment′s scenario suggests the need to explore alternatives that would
encourage more responsive government and your task is to do that exploration. Here are your instructions: In addition to information available in the textbook and
supplemental videos, you are to find and use any legitimate information source to obtain information about making American government more responsive to the issue
demands the country faces today (use keywords to search). Though you will consult and list your sources, you must not quote or paraphrase from them—you must write in
your own words (failure to follow this instruction leads to an automatic reduction of points). Below you will find some of the ideas under consideration to make
American government more responsive: • Several proposals are floating around (and some states have adopted) to change the way congressional election districts are
drawn in order to produce less partisanship in political decision making. • Several states, including Texas, have passed resolutions calling for a new constitutional
convention whose purpose would be to draw up a new national constitution. • A popular proposal calls for term limits on members of the US House and US Senate to
promote greater turnover—and perhaps greater responsiveness—in Congress. • A significant movement wants to see the Citizens United US Supreme Court ruling allowing
corporations and unions to fund campaigns overturned or repealed by constitutional amendment. Once you have adequately researched the topic, you will prepare a 540
word (minimum) essay that argues in support of or opposition to the idea that the United States is in a constitutional crisis. You must back up your argument by
specifically describing why you take your position and demonstrating your understanding of the information you have learned in Module 1. Your response must be written
in academic English. You will use your own voice and write in your own words. To earn full points you must follow all instructions carefully, proofread for writing
errors, and submit on time. Upload your essay by clicking on the yellow submit button to open the text box. Copy/paste your response into the text box and then click
on the yellow submit button to submit your work. Any late work must be submitted within one week of the due date and will be penalized a minimum of 50% of points.

 

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