Project #158061 - Political Science - American Government

General Tutors

Subject General
Due By (Pacific Time) 12/04/2016 12:00 am

1) Respond to at least 4 of the following questions. Define the key term(s). Then provide your opinions as requested. Then provide the source of your information with a citation (in the text) and full reference of your source(s). 1. Why is free speech important in a society? Can too much free speech have negative consequences? Are there times when we might want to restrict speech? 2. What does it mean to have academic freedom? Should professors be able to discuss anything they want in class? If we restrict a professor's ability to discuss what he or she wants in class, how might that hinder the student's educational experience? What benefits might come from it? 3. How should we deal with the ambiguous nature of the Constitution when it comes to rights? In the case of the right to privacy, how much privacy do Americans have a right to? What other rights besides privacy might be ambiguous? 4. Should the United States have a Bill of Obligations? If so, what should be included in it? Would a Bill of Obligations change citizens' views toward government and civic engagement? 5. Explain why the Bill of Rights are included under Civil Liberties and not under Civil Rights. Pick two of the Bill of Rights and explain what each of these two bills seeks to achieve. Provide a current event or situation to each of the two bills that you explained. 6. Explain what is meant by Civil liberties. Give three examples where we as citizens accept limitations on our civil liberties. For example, we have the liberty to marry, however plural marriages are illegal. 7. Explain what was sought after in establishing a freedom of religion. Do you feel that you freedom of religion is upheld? Do you feel other religions are imposed upon you? Please be specific in your responses and please make sure you support your opinion with references. 8. Regulation and censorship of the Internet are “hot topics” in modern political discussions. In the past few years, Congress made two attempts to tackle the problems of an unregulated Internet. The laws PIPA and SOPA were not passed, but political observers have noted that Congress will still keep trying to pass some version of them. An overview of these laws can be found at: Is it a good thing these laws did not pass? Why or why not? Do we need some sort of regulation on the Internet. 2) Respond to at least 4 of the following questions. Define the key term(s). Then provide your opinions as requested. Then provide the source of your information with a citation (in the text) and full reference of your source(s). 1. What was the intent of the Equal Rights Amendment? Why did it fail? How, if at all, would the status of women be different today if the ERA were ratified? 2. What are the similarities between the African American and women's civil rights movements? What are the differences? In what ways have the movements helped one another? Are there any instances where one might have hindered the ability of the other to achieve its goals? Why did women get the right to vote 70 years later than African Americans? Were women worse off? Or can you not really even compare the two types of discrimination? 3. What is the current status of the gay rights movement? What victories have been gained? What still needs to be achieved? How likely is it that gays and lesbians will continue to obtain more rights in the future? Is it unsettling that there is no uniformity of laws regarding gay marriage across the United States? Some states allow gay marriage, some allow civil unions, and some states allow no form of homosexual domestic partnerships, at least not ones recognized formally. What does that mean for homosexual Americans? Does the pending repeal of the “don’t ask, don’t tell” military policy make students feel more optimistic about rights for gay people in America ? 4. How do we know when social or political inequality exists? What does it mean to be "equal”? Are equity and equality the same things? Should our constitution merely provide the potential for equality to exist ? Or should it guarantee an equal outcome? 5. Discuss the political representation of African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanic Americans, Asian Americans, and women in the U.S. government. How much political representation do these groups have? What gains have been made in increasing political representation? Why might these groups still have to struggle to increase political representation? 3) Reply to at least 4 of the questions below. Be sure to cite your sources, including the textbook or internet sources. Failure to do so may result in zero credit for the assignment and university sanctions. Post your response as an attachment to the assignment thread. 1. In the Chapter there is an article by Alexander Burns, "How much do voters know?". It is important to use critical thinking skills to formulate your own opinion when reading and evaluating articles. Please use the CLUES tool to evaluate the article: Consider the source and the audience, Layout the argument, the values, and the assumptions, Uncover the evidence, Evaluate the conclusion, andSort out the implications. 2. Define political socialization and explain the specific agents of political socialization. Which agents are most important, and which are least important? For students in class, what is a bigger influence, their parents or their peers? Why? Give examples of how your parents and peers influence your ideologies. What roles does the media play in political socialization? Please give specific examples. 3. Define and explain what public opinion is. Discuss the differences in public opinion based on various demographics. How does age affect our opinions? Gender? Religion? Race? Why do you think these differences in opinion continue to exist? Can you think of any other influences? 4. How informed about politics does the American public appear to be? The author mentions rational ignorance, please define this concept and give examples. Define and explain the shortcuts to political knowledge that are mentioned in the text. Do you think these shortcuts allow a person to be adequately informed? 5. Polls are often used to measure and track public opinion. Please list and define the type of polls that are mentioned in the text. Why might polls be accurate? Why might they be inaccurate? In general, how reliable are polls? Given the reliability of polls, do you think their influence on our political process is reasonable? 6.What is a political party? What is the general value that the largest parties represent. Do you belong to the same political party as your parents. Why or why not are you in agreement with their political point of view? What are the agents that have shaped your political ideology? What are the agents that may have influenced your parents political ideologies? Do you think that peoples ideologies change over time? Why or why not? 4) Respond to at least 4 of the following questions. Be sure to define the key term(s) first. Then give your opinion If requested. Be sure to cite your sources, including the textbook or the internet. 1. Who was James Madision? What are political parties? Why was James Madison an opponent of political parties? Why do people dislike parties today? Why do political scientists believe that parties play a fundamental role in a democracy? How important are political parties in a democracy? 2. What are the elements of the responsible party model? How well does the American party system meet this model? To the degree that the American system does not meet the model, why is this true? Would our political system be better or worse if the American party system met the standards of the responsible party model? 3. Most local elections in the United States are nonpartisan, meaning a candidate's partisan affiliation is not listed on the ballot. Given what we know about political parties, how might the dynamic of a nonpartisan election compare to that of a partisan election? What would seem to be the strengths of nonpartisan elections? The weaknesses? Overall, do nonpartisan elections appear to be good for democracy, or might they weaken it? 4. What is a think tank? Can think tanks really be thought of as research institutes if they produce ideological content? Or is the expectation that opposing ideological groups will provide research that counters their ideological research? Is this a help or a hindrance to policymakers? 5. What is an interest group? Define which types of interest groups are likely to fall victim to collective action problems, specifically the free rider problem. What is the nature of the goods the groups are producing? How does that affect the groups' ability to recruit and retain loyal members? What does this mean for American politics when economic interest groups fall on one side of an issue debate, and public interest groups fall on the other side? What about equal opportunity groups opposing economic interest groups? Make sure to define the type of good the groups are after as the logic behind why they might or might not succeed. 6. How do colleges, universities, and student governments on campus get around the free rider problem? One key way is creating required student fees for many campus services. Student activity fees, technology fees, and other compulsory fees ensure that no one can free ride. The fees can be charged to everyone who registers for courses or they can be charged to those who use them. Which approach is fairer? Which is likely to lead to better facilities? Which approach do you favor? Why? 7. The text discusses a key role of interest groups in providing information. Whether through think tanks, technical information provided to policymakers during direct lobbying, or information that counters existing information provided by other interest groups (for example, health interest groups combating research from tobacco interests on smoking), the text makes clear the key role information plays in interest group politics. Do you think the best ideas win out? Or do resources sometimes trump ideas? In the area of interest group politics, what is the relative mix of importance between ideas and resources for success? 8. Many argue that third parties are problematic because any votes that go to a third party candidate serve to “split the vote” so that a candidate ends up in a political office when he shouldn’t have. They point to the votes received by Ralph Nader in the 2000 election. Do students agree with this assessment? If so, how do we recognize the legitimacy of third parties while keeping the electoral system accountable and intact? 5) Reply to at least 4 of the following questions. Be sure to define the key term(s) first. Be sure to cite your sources including the textbook and internet sources. 1. To avoid another controversial election like the one in 2000, should the United States do away with the Electoral College? Would providing a more direct influence for citizens improve presidential elections? Or does the system work fine? Or should Electoral College votes be split within states, as they are in Nebraska and Maine? If students want to do away with the Electoral College, what system do they want in its place? A one-person-one-vote system? Would such a system make candidates ignore small states? 2. Does America's low voter participation matter? Does it demonstrate a lack of efficacy of American politics? Or could it be a sign of satisfaction with American politics? Are some people rational nonvoters? What could or should be done (if anything) to improve voter turnout? 3. From 1976 until 2008, every major-party general election campaign for president was publicly financed for the two major parties and for any third party that had done well in the previous election. In 2008 Barack Obama became the first major-party candidate to reject public financing of his general election campaign. Whether this will mean the end of publicly funded presidential elections cannot be determined at this time. However, President Obama’s actions raise important questions. Should all federal (congressional and presidential primary) elections be publicly financed to avoid fundraising? How could or should they be funded? Keep in mind that many Americans do not choose voluntarily to fund presidential elections (through the check boxes on their tax forms). 4. The text discusses the different rules, stages, and strategies that affect the presidential election process. Is this the best way to pick a president? Successful strategies at different stages include raising money, capturing momentum and making ideological cues, and then making nonideological cues to swing voters in states rich in Electoral College votes where the race is tight. Does that process seem to provide the best president? Does it work well? 5. Many political observers argue that debates are not a useful measure of a presidential candidate’s political worth because a candidate could be terrible at the debate format, yet still be a great president. Do students agree or disagree with this opinion? Can someone be a great president but be a terrible orator? Or is such a skill vital to the presidential office? 6. Explain why people do not vote. Explain why people do vote. Address three reasons that impact each of these. Example Race might impact why people vote and why they do not vote and explain why. 7. Explain what the primaries are in regards to the presidential election. Address the different types of primaries. Which do you feel is most fair? 8.What is the Electoral College? How does the electoral college decides the election. Explain how the popular vote is used in the election. How many electoral votes are needed to win? How many electoral votes are there? Where does this number come from? 6) Reply to at least 4 of the following questions. Be sure to define the key term(s) first. Be sure to cite your sources even if they come from the textbook or internet. 1. Please explain what media bias is. Does a media bias actually exist? If so, then is it a liberal or conservative bias? Please explain the evidence of these biases. What television stations, newspapers, and radio hosts have a conservative bias? Which ones have a liberal bias? And which ones do a pretty good job being free from an obvious bias? How do you think these mediums influence the viewers opinions? 2. Please list and explain the different media outlets that people get their news from. How do these media differ in their coverage of politics? Are they bias? If so, then how? Based on the answers to these questions, are the media adequately informing the public? What is media consolidation? How do you think media consolidation influences how media informs the public? Do you think media consolidation is a good or bad thing? Why? 3. What is meant by the term commercial bias? Why do the media have a commercial bias? How does it affect the coverage of the news? Is it the responsibility of the media to give citizens the information they need to be informed, or should they give their viewers what they want? How does this influence the opinions of the viewers? 4. Discuss the rise of the Internet and the development of blogs. Do you think there are bias in these mediums? If so, then why? What are the benefits of these media? What are some negative aspects? How will the continued growth of the Internet and blogs affect media coverage in the future? How do we foresee the trend of citizen journalism? 5. Please define and explain the four media effects on public opinion. Do media effects matter? Define and give an example of selective perception. Does media objectivity greatly determine whether the media plays an influence on public opinion? What examples can you provide? 6. The authors of the text explained how hyper partisanship among members of Congress has proliferated over the years. This has had detrimental effects on the functioning of the government. What is hyper partisanship? Please give examples of hyper partisanship in Congress. Do you think this attitude has been reflected in the media? If so, how? Have you noticed a more nasty tone in editorial pages in recent years? 7) Respond to at least 4 of the following questions as your summary for Chapter 14. Define the key term(s) first. Then give your opinions if requested. Be sure to cite your sources including the textbook and the internet. 1. What are the U.S. government's current health care policies? How do they differ from policies in other countries? Should the United States have a universal health care system? Should patients be entitled to a "bill of rights?" 2. Why do some believe that Social Security is in trouble? What reforms to Social Security have politicians and interest groups proposed? Why is it so difficult to reform Social Security? If you could implement one reform, what would it be and why? 3. Why is solving public problems so difficult? Is it government's job to help eradicate a public problem like poverty? If it is government's job, then how can government go about eliminating poverty? If it is not government's job, then whose job is it? 4. There is an old saying that in the area of foreign policy the president proposes and the Congress disposes—meaning the president has real structural advantages over Congress in the area of foreign policy. Do you agree? Should it be that way, based on your reading of the Constitution? 5. Given the limitations involved, can intelligence be accurate enough to rely on preventive wars as a foreign policy tool? Has the U.S. experience in Iraq, both in terms of not finding any weapons of mass destruction and in terms of the violence since the end of major combat, made it any less likely that we would go to war like this again? Or put another way, why not do in Iran or North Korea (the other two-thirds of the axis of evil) what we have done in Iraq? 6. Can deterrence and compellence apply to nonstate actors? There is a "joke" that for deterrence to work your opponent has to have a return address. Is that true? If it is, does that leave only preemption and prevention as strategies for making yourself safe? In an increasingly open global society, are we thus increasingly at risk? 7. Consider the statement "Sanctions hurt the least powerful and give the most powerful something to rail against." Do you agree with this statement? If it is true, does that mean we shouldn't use sanctions as a tool in foreign policy? Don't we have a moral obligation not to do business with a state that chronically violates human rights and political freedoms? And if that is true, then why have an embargo on Cuba but open trade with China? 8. Are we "keeping the republic" in the area of foreign policy? If we are to be a democracy, is foreign policy getting more or less democratic over time? How can we hold officials accountable and yet maintain state secrets at the same time?9. Do you think the United States should provide millions of dollars in funding for foreign aid for certain issues such as the need for immunizations and food in other countries. Considering current poverty statistics here in the United States, can we afford this funding? Should foreign aid be a priority when there are still domestic needs? 8) Use the library and the internet to review information about the founding of the State of Michigan and the writing of our Constitution. Skim through the Michigan Constitution reviewing the various articles and the value that each one holds. Respond to the following questions. Make sure to cite all of your sources. 1. What reason was given for the 3 (major) changes that were made to the constitution each time it was reissued/modified? 2. What is the first article and why is it given such a prominent position in the document? Who is given the power according to Article II. 3. Explain the difference between the state senate office and federal office senate. Explain the difference between the state house member and federal House of Representatives. (Address requirements to hold office, term limits if any, address different types of responsibilities, address different types of policy they might vote on) 9) Respond to at least 4 of the following questions. First define the key term(s). Then give your opinions if requested. Be sure to cite and list references. Failure to do so will result in no points for the assignment based upon plagiarism. Remember, even opinion questions require an academic resource to support your opinions. 1. Critics often say that congressional public works projects are really pork barrel spending/ear mark spending done to help incumbents get reelected. Please define and give examples of the term pork barrel and earmarks. Explain what allocative representation is and what are some of the alternatives? Would it be better if unelected federal civil servants decided where and which public works projects were done? Or do local representatives and senators have a better grasp of where spending should be carried out? Why do you think this is true? 2. Please define and explain what gerrymandering is. What are the perks of gerrymandering? Is gerrymandering fair? Are there better ways to redistrict? Are there fairer ways to redistrict? Should there be fairer ways to redistrict? Could there realistically be a more objective method of choosing districts? If so, then what are some alternatives? 3. Explain and define what descriptive representation is. Should Congress be more descriptively representative? How could this be ensured? What would a descriptive representation at the congressional level look like? Would it threaten democracy if representatives of particular demographic groups were favored in elections in order to bring about more descriptive representation? 4. Using the section in the text “How a Bill Becomes Law—Some of the Time,” explain the path that the authors describe. Do you think the process is the one that is most likely envisioned by the founders? Why or why not? Did they intend for our country to have a more complicated or less complicated legislative process? Should the process be more or less streamlined than it is today? 5. The number of people represented by each representative has more than tripled since the size of the House grew to 435 members in 1913. Should the number of congressional representatives be increased in the House? Please explain why or why not. Would representation be improved if more representatives were added? How do you think representation could be improved? Is there a limit to the size the House can reach before it cannot operate effectively and efficiently as a legislative body? Do you think size influences their ability to create and pass legislation? If so, then how? 6. Identify and list the two senators for your state and your representatives in Congress. Who is the speaker of the house, the majority leader, and the minority leader? Who is the presiding officer of the senate, the majority leader, and the minority leader? Some positions have new leaders, so you may have to do additional research then just referencing the book. Do you think you need to have this knowledge in order to be a well-informed citizen? Why do you think knowing this information is important? Give an example of how you would use this information. 10) Respond to at least 4 of the following questions. First define the key term(s). Be sure to cite your sources and provide a full reference to your sources. 1. What is executive privilege? How much executive privilege should there be? The Bush administration pushed to shield information from the public. Its reasoning was that, to make effective policy, policymakers must be able to have candid conversations with advisers that are not shared with the public. How much should the president and the executive branch be able to use executive privilege? What are the downsides to not releasing information? What would our founders (who met in private but also did not trust any branch with too much power) say about this? 2. What is the political platform? Would Americans support a presidential candidate who did not make generous promises? One of the elements of the double expectations gap is that presidential candidates have to make promises to the American public to get elected, but they cannot fulfill these promises due to a lack of constitutional powers. Consequently the public gets frustrated that presidents have not lived up to promises. Two solutions are available : Either presidential candidates should not promise so much, or the president's powers should be increased. Our checks-and-balances system probably makes the latter of these options unrealistic. But is the former option realistic? Would someone who did not make grandiose promises be a viable presidential candidate at all? Are we doomed to this expectations gap forever? 3. What is the power to persuade? What would the presidency be like if its only powers were those found in the Constitution? Could presidents succeed? How are these powers supplemented by the power to persuade? 4. What are the requirements for becoming the President? Do you believe there will be a Madam President within your lifetime? What reasons are there for thinking that a woman might soon represent one of the two major parties in a presidential election? What reasons are there for thinking that a woman could or could not win the presidency? 5. Presidential power often increases in response to a crisis such as the Civil War or the Great Depression. Do you think the economic crisis that began in 2006 with the mortgage crisis has led to increased power for the presidency? Do you think it will lead to increased presidential power? What kinds of increase in presidential power might come about as a result of such a crisis? Do other branches of government also gain more power in such a crisis? Do you think Americans have been resistant to legislation pushed through by President Obama, such as the American Recovery and Restoration Act? 6. If a president comes into office during a recession, how much time should he be given to turn the economy around? Is one term enough? Does succeeding in this endeavor require the cooperation of Congress and the absence of hyper partisanship? Regarding presidents who have succeeded in improving the economy in the past, what type of Congress did they deal with? What other conditions existed during the time period when past presidents succeeded in turning around the economy? 11) Respond to at least 4 of the following questions. First define the key term(s). Then give your opinions as requested. Be sure to cite your references or risk earning zero points based upon plagiarism. 1. Is it good or bad that bureaucracies often frustrate the president's agenda? Does it provide an extra check on the president, or does it frustrate the will of the people who elected the president? 2. Which of the following two models concerning the relationship between bureaucracies, Congress, and interest groups is more realistic: iron triangles or issue networks? Can they coexist? 3. What are the benefits and drawbacks of Congress delegating some of its legislative power to bureaucracies through bureaucratic discretion? Does it mean policies are carried out with the correct technical expertise, or does it mean that people who are not accountable to voters make policy? 4. What is bureaucratic culture? Have you witnessed bureaucratic culture at your college or university? Does it fit with the definition of bureaucratic culture used in this chapter? Does the culture help the college or university to function? How can it drive students crazy? 5. What are the detriments and benefits (pluses and minuses) of bureaucracies like those that exist in the U.S. government? Think of at least three good things and three bad things. For example, filing a Social Security disability claim may take over a year and require two or three appeals; however, most Social Security disability attorneys will tell you that, overwhelmingly, the Social Security administrative judges make the right call on the majority of cases. In the end, the right thing is done and the claimants get the benefits to which they are entitled. Are there any feasible alternatives to bureaucracies? Have you had any experiences with these bureaucracies? 6. Explain what the Bureaucracy does, explain what Bureaucrats do, and explain the importance of why the bureaucracy is important. Address the difference between the bureaucracy and congress. 7. Explain what is meant by the spoil system. Explain the Civil service reform Act, the Pendleton Act, and the Hatch Act. How have these acts impacted you today? How do you think they might impact you in the future? 8. List and explain the four types of organizations found within the bureaucracy 12) Respond to at least 4 of the following questions. First define the key term(s). Then give your opinions as requested. Be sure to cite your references in order to avoid a plagiarism penalty and earn zero points for the assignment. 1. Supreme Court justices are elected for “life” and some states follow the same procedure. How should judges be selected? What are the advantages and disadvantages of the federal appointment process? What are the pros and cons of judges being electing by the people? What are the benefits of the mixture of both selection processes? Doesn’t the process of appointing judges rather than electing them allow judges to do what is right instead of what is popular? Would the outcome of Brown v. Board of Education have been different if the judges were up for election the next year? 2. Should judges serve during good behavior? How can we best balance judicial accountability with judicial independence? How can students become active in their community to help ensure this balance exists? 3. How does a strict constructionist interpret the Constitution, compared to a judicial interpretivist? Why is a judicial nominee's view regarding how the Constitution should be interpreted such an important factor in a president's nomination? Should the Constitution be interpreted literally or as an evolving document? 4. The founders wanted the courts to be protected from politics. In what ways was the judiciary designed to limit the role of politics? Are the courts completely immune from politics? Why is it desirable to limit the role of politics in the judicial process? Are there times when politics should be part of the judicial process? 5. Alexander Hamilton argued that the judiciary was the least dangerous branch of government. Was he right? How much power do today's courts have? What would Hamilton think of the judicial system today? 6. Would the founders approve of the fact that, in a case like Roe v. Wade, the plaintiff had already had her baby by the time her case was heard? Would they approve of the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court hears only 2 percent of the cases presented to it? 12) Create a summary of 5 active political parties. Include the date of creation. Describe the founding principles and current operating principles of each party. Has it changed? Why? Describe the population that currently tends to identify with that party and the reason why. Be sure to include the information source. 13) Find and view a copy of the documentary film, "Let the Fire Burn". After viewing the film, answer the following questions. Be sure to cite your information sources. Why did the officials take the action that they took? Were they justified in taking this action? What alternative actions might you have taken? Is there any link to what we saw here, to what we are seeing now? Do you see an end to the violent environment that we are currently experiencing? Why or why not? What other thoughts come to your mind about this video and the current environment.


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