Unformatted text preview: American Political Culture: Seeking a More Perfect Union Chapter 1 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 1 Political Culture American ideals are the basis of our national identity. Serve as a common bond European ideas during Enlightenment shaped these beliefs 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 2 Related Links Debate: Voting Systems Are Fair Soapbox: Reagan's "Shining City on a Video Theater: Free Association in Am 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 3 America's Core Values Liberty: the greatest individual freedom given the freedoms of others. Equality: all people are of equal moral worth and entitled to equal treatment under the law. Self Government: the people are the ultimate source of governmental power. 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 4 Related Links Participate: Accessible to All Soapbox: Kennedy's "City on a Hill" S Video Theater: Make Mine Freedom 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 5 Other Core Values Individualism: personal initiative, self-sufficiency and material accumulation Unity: Americans are one people and form an indivisible union Diversity: individual and group differences are a source of our national strength and should be respected 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 6 Related Links Debate: National security is more imp Simulation: Immigration Soapbox: Clinton's Second Inaugural Video Theater: Make Mine Freedom 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 7 The Power of Ideals Ideals define what society sees as reasonable and desirable behaviors. American emphasis on liberty and individualism leads to Less support for government social welfare programs More emphasis on equal opportunity Look at accessibility of higher education 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 8 Percent stating that the freedom to pursue life's goals is m ore im portant than a governm ent guarantee that no one is in need 58% 43% 31% 31% 33% 36% Germ any Italy Great Britain France Canada United States Chart from p. 11 in text. Data from a multinational survey released in 2004 by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press. 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 9 The Limits of Ideals
Ideals don't match reality because they are general principles and sometimes conflict with each other. Equality = fairness and equal opportunity Liberty = personal freedoms 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 10 Issues to Consider Do minorities really have the same rights as whites? Do immigration laws discriminate? Does affirmative action promote equal opportunity or restrict employers' liberties? 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 11 Related Links Images: Death at the Polls Images: Kaiser Wilson Banner Images: Civilian Exclusion Order #5 (R Images: Wallace Blocks Integration 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 12 Politics: The Resolution of Conflict Politics is how a society settles its conflicts. Harold Lasswell said it this way: "who gets what, when, and how." The major conflicts: Distribution of scarce resources Differences in values These conflicts lead to debates over a society's goals and laws. 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 13 The Social Contract Politics operates by rules defining who makes decisions Historically, ordinary people had little power. About 400 years ago, ideas about sources of government power began to change.
King George III 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 14 Where Did We Get Our Ideas? Thomas Hobbes: government based on a social contract. John Locke: individuals have certain inalienable (natural) rights life, liberty and property. Rousseau: government based on individuals' consent and for their benefit. Hobbes Locke 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates Rousseau
15 Related Links Debate: National security is more imp Soapbox: TR's "Right of the People T 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 16 The Major Rules of American Politics Democracy Constitutionalism Capitalism 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 17 Who Governs? Democracy political power is held by the people. U.S. system of governance is very fragmented. Oligarchy rule of the elite (a small group). Autocracy: total rule by one person. Democracy is derived from Greek word, demokratia, "power by the people." 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 18 Constitutionalism A set of rules restricting a government's exercise of power over its people and to define other powers. As compared to others, U.S. government has an extraordinary emphasis on individual rights. 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 19 Economic Systems Capitalism: government has a minimal involvement with private industry. U.S political system has sharp distinction between what is political (public decisions) and what is economic (private decisions). Socialism: government has a large role in owning businesses, regulating economic decisions and providing security for the individual. Communism: government owns most or all major industries . 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 20 Chart comparing economic systems from the MANAGEMENT AND ACCOUNTING WEB 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 21 Political Power: The Control of Policy In government, power is the ability to control public policymaking. Kinds of government power: Totalitarian government controls all aspects of political and social life. Authoritarian government leaders claim all powers but are limited by other centers of power in the society. Democratic ongoing power struggles between competing interests. 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 22 Who Should Have Power? In Federalist 10, James Madison argued that government is dangerous when one groups gain full political control. 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 23 Related Links Video Theater: Despotism Soapbox: Eisenhower's Farewell Addr 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 24 Authority The ultimate right to make binding decisions and to enforce those decisions. 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 25 Theories of Power Majoritarianism: majority rule determines public policy Pluralism: policies decided by special interests who dominate a policy area Elitism: policy made by a small number of influential individuals Bureaucratic Rule: power controlled by high level administrators in government agencies 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 26 The Concept of a Political System and This Book's Organization 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 27 American Political System Five overriding tendencies: Enduring cultural ideals a common bond Fragmentation of governance based on checks and balances Competition between diverse groups Emphasis on individual rights and responsibilities Separation of economic and political decisions places many economic issues outside of political control 2007 Susan Roomberg, SKR Associates 28 ...
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