American Civics the American Population Essay
- Length: 12 pages
- Subject: Government
- Type: Essay
- Paper: #67602533
Excerpt from Essay :
The proposal must first be promoted to a sympathetic Representative in the House who has sufficient power and support in Congress.
This representative will introduce the bill while the House is in Session. The bill will then be assigned a number at referred to a standing committee, which studies the merits and deficiencies of the bill. Witnesses and experts will then be allowed to present their case for or against the bill for the education of the committee. The bill will then go to a mark-up session where committee members debate the bill's merits and may offer amendments or revisions. Committees may also amend the bill, but the full house holds the power to accept or reject committee amendments. After debate, the committee votes on whether to report the bill to the full house.
Once the bill reaches the floor of the House, representatives in support and in opposition debate the merits of the bill. The House then takes a vote, with majority approval sufficient to pass the bill. Once the bill is approved in the House, it is then sent to the Senate which may pass, reject, or amend it. The bill will become law when the House and the Senate agree to identical versions of the bill.
The President, as the chief of the executive branch which is tasked with enforcing the laws of the United States, has special authority in regards to federal crimes. In this capacity as chief executive of the law enforcement branch, the President may order the capture, arrest, and trial of a person suspected of committing a certain federal crime.
The President also has the authority to alter the legal status of persons convicted of federal crimes. The President may pardon any individual convicted of a federal crime without Congressional approval unless the individual was impeached by Congress. The pardon will restore various legal rights lost as a result of the pardoned offense, such as liberty from imprisonment. However, the pardon does not reverse the conviction and pardoned criminals are still determined to have committed the crime.
The President may also commute the sentences of persons who have committed federal crimes and been convicted and sentenced for those crimes. This commutation of sentence can apply to any type of legal penalties, including imprisonment, fines, or mandatory probation. However, the commutation of sentence is most often applied in order to reduce or attenuate a person's term of imprisonment.
Political parties serve a number of important purposes in the nation's current political system. Political parties help unite disparate political interests into a political coalition which can attract support from the popular electorate. Political parties usually declare a political ideology or governmental vision to attract popular support. This vision is usually supported by a written platform with specific political objectives and recommendations. This platform is, ostensibly, carried out by members of the party who have been elected to political office.
Political parties provide structure and predictability to the democratic process. Without political parties, there would be a jumble of individual politicians pursuing narrow political objectives. Political parties also provide efficiency to the democratic process by consolidating the political power of various interests, which would otherwise be forced to negotiate a particular position on each bill. Political parties can exist in a variety of systems, but the main systems are the one-party, two-party, and multi-party system.
Two-party systems, with two strong parties of nearly equal strength tend to be highly stable, as the voters have a clear alternative to go to if they are displeased by one party. Multi-party systems, in which there are more than two strong political parties, often prevent one party from winning a majority of votes. The only way government can function in such a deadlock is by two or more parties agreeing to work together, usually by forming a stable political coalition and/or voting blocs in the legislature. Thus, the coalescence of disparate interests into two parties which occurs before election in the U.S. two-party system, tends to occur after election in the United Kingdom multi-party system through negotiations between parties in the Parliament.
In terms of fairness to all interests, multi-party systems are the most fair because they enable the political representation of a broader array of interests than is typically possible in a two-party or one-party system. The two-party system is also capable of representing a broad array of political interests if such interests are amenable to either one of the two party's general political platform. However, the two-party system does not represent every political interest in the U.S. because there are also a number of minor political parties, or third parties, such as the Green party.
The one-party system is the least fair because it lacks an apparatus for excluded political interests to participate in the political process. This is exemplified in the governments of North Korea, Cuba, and the People's Republic of China, all of which are one-party Socialist Republics where citizens are often denied free of speech and action. Such parties are commonly considered to be dictatorships or totalitarian governments.
The first reason is lack of education about American Civics. A large portion of the eligible voting population attained only high school education or less. Public high schools are notoriously ineffective at teaching American Civics and American history. Even undergraduate college education is deficient in teaching American Civics and one would not expect a graduate to understand bicameral legislation unless that person took an political science focused on American government, which is not a requirement at all universities. Individuals without sufficient knowledge of American Civics might not understand the significance of certain political developments and will not be motivated to influence these political developments through voting.
The second reason is popular distrust of the political process and of politicians in particular. There is a widespread and well-deserved stereotype of politicians as dishonest, corrupt, and self-interested. This is exemplified by the complaint of many eligible voters who refrain from voting because they do not see a candidate that they like.
The third reason is the belief by individuals that their vote will not make a difference in an election. This belief is reasonable considering the margin of victory in many elections, which can number in the millions. These individuals do not realize the basic principle of power in numbers. Nor do they realize the long-term effects of voting and not voting caused by the tendency of politicians to represent the interests of demographic segments who vote more.
The fourth reason is lack of technical knowledge on how to vote. This deficiency is exemplified by the failure of many eligible voters to register to vote. This problem tends to be more true for remote, disconnected, or disadvantaged segments of the eligible voting population.
The fifth reason is general apathy towards the political process. This is especially true among younger people and minorities. Many do not recognize the huge effect that the political process has on their own lives. Some of it, though, is due to a general distractedness with entertainment and leisure and a neglect of civic responsibility.
Testimonials seek endorsements from famous or prominent figures to demonstrate the quality of a certain product, person, or position. The figures giving the endorsement, however, are often famous for talents or knowledge that have nothing to do with the subject that they are endorsing. For example, the Hollywood actor and martial artist Chuck Norris' support of Mike Huckabee during the 2008 Republican primary elections.
The bandwagon technique is an attempt to persuade the audience to adopt a particular position by claiming that every other person is adopting that position. An example of bandwagoning is when a commercial declares that "everyone else is doing….so why haven't you."
Glittering generalities is a technique used to influence people's thinking through words that sound great but have little actual meaning. They are also referred to as empty platitudes, especially by opponents. For example, the statement by George W. Bush in the 2004 election that he wanted to be re-elected so that he can "protect our country from those that seek to harm us."
Plain-Folks Appeal is a personality or posture adopted by politicians seeking popular support to demonstrate that they are similar to their audience and will represent their interests. It often involves the representation of oneself as a common man or a plain, "hardworking American" just like you. For example, Mitt Romney's recent claim in the 2012 Republican Primary's "that he knows how it feels to worry about getting a pink slip."
Card-stacking is a technique that uses facts in a way that favors a particular product, idea, or candidate. It is also known as selective coverage. For example, newspapers may give front-page attention to the activities of the candidate that they favor or endorse.
Name-calling is the use of an unpleasant label or description to attach a negative quality or value to a…