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amfinalpaper - Kelly Mahoney Research Paper Drastic Changes...

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Kelly Mahoney Research Paper December 12, 2007 Drastic Changes in American Politics Since September 11th? Since the terrorist attacks of 9/11, sweeping changes have occurred throughout the county with regard to foreign and domestic policies. Citizens’ attitudes about various aspects of the political system shifted, with specific regard to the favorability of the government, Democratic and Republican parties, trust in the government, levels of political participation, civil liberties and national security. Making America safe is now the main concern of voters, and domestic issues have been put on the back burner. With regard to the two political parties, Americans trust Democrats on compassion-and-caring issues, such as the environment, health care, Social Security, and Medicare. However, they trust the Republicans on issues such as national security, defense, fighting terrorism, economic growth, fiscal discipline, crime, and welfare (Dlc.org). With these facts in mind, voters preferred a Republican president. Since Sept. 11, Americans have been looking for ways to serve their country and think the federal government should create avenues to allow citizens to do so. In regards to respect for civil liberties within national security and public participation and trust in government, 9/11 has made a significant impact on how policies are shaped by the government. After 9/11, the country was on high alert for terrorists. The confidence we once had in our national security had significantly diminished. President Bush signed the Patriot Act on October 26, 2001. The acronym stands for: Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism Act of 2001. It significantly extended the authority of U.S. law enforcement agencies for the purpose of fighting terrorism in the United States and abroad. The act increased the ability of law enforcement agencies to search telephone and e-mail communications, medical and financial records; expanded the Secretary of the Treasury’s authority to regulate financial transactions, particularly those involving foreign individuals and entities; lessened restrictions on foreign intelligence information gathering within the United States; and lessened the discretion of law enforcement and immigration
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authorities in arresting and exiling immigrants suspected of terrorist acts. With the expansion of the government’s power to peer into citizens’ private lives, advocates of civil liberties felt as though the government’s power was unnecessarily encroaching on privacy. The act also provides that “government may monitor religious and political
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