Impact of Politics in the United States
Impact of Politics in the United States discusses that The United States government is a government ruled on democracy, a government driven by the people based on elections. The U.S. political systems are formed by the Democrats and the Republicans political parties. Also, the interests of the U.S. citizen differ fundamentally in their varying backgrounds, including their age or race, and types of job they do. Finally, the U.S. politics are also formed by unique interest lobbyists, groups, and the media. The U.S. politics have introduced various factors that have built the country’s government and citizen on the light and pedestal, it sits today; with a strong political law, unwavering Acts, and total adherence to policies, the United States continues to remain the most successful government systems in the world. Besides all these amazing facts about politics and its impacts in the United States, there are other major challenges facing the country. These include government mandate, gender identity, the amendments, death penalty, religious freedom act, abortion, to mention, but a few. This paper aims to demonstrate the impact of politics in the United States as well as a culmination of federalism and the Emancipation Proclamation in relation to its impacts in the United States political system.
The United States Political System
By the size of the electorate, after India, the United States is the second largest democracy in the world, with Indonesia as third. History and survey have also had it that the United States is the most powerful nation in the world, with respect to its economy, military, and politics. However, the political system of the country still suffers some major challenges. (Darlington, 2016) The United States government is operated on the basis of the written constitution, based on its word count of about 4,400 words, it remains the shortest constitution at the national level in the world. (Martin, 2016) This document is a living document that had been changed over time. Also, the amendment is not just something that is easily changed when enacted, but with time, change is usually imminent.
Moreover, the United States is known widely as a federal republic which as its President, the United States Congress, and the U.S. federal courts having to share powers set aside in relation to the national government. Similarly, there is also a share of sovereignty between the federal government and the state government. The United States politics begin from the executive branch, headed by the President which is formally independent of both the judiciary and the legislative branches. As stated above, the two political parties, Democratic and Republican Party are the major dominating parties in the United States politics after the American Civil War. Though, there are other political parties which are not as large as the aforementioned, such as Green Party, Constitution Party, ad Libertarian Party. Fundamentally, all the Political parties are definitely not the same, each of them have their own policy, party slogan, party platform, and other political issues they are fighting for.
More so, the differences between the American political system is very high compared to other well established democracies in the world. For example, the United States political system has a greater power in the existing in the upper house of the Legislature arm, the distribution of powers between the executive and legislature, an expansive scope of power controlled by the Supreme Court, and the unique dominance of the major political parties in the country. Moreover, the multiplicity of legal decision-making in the country reflects its history. The states created the federal government, based on the fact that they were colonies created separately and governing themselves independently without the intervention of any other systems. Meanwhile, the units in the local government were created by the same colonies in order to competently carry out their various operations ad functions. The more the country keeps expanding, the more new states are modeled on the already existing ones.
In the course of this module, understanding political systems and creating one had helped in comprehending the level of competition amongst the political parties. There has been vigorous competition between parties and party members, which is indeed essential for the success of democracy, because it serves as a way to engage the interest of citizens in politics, putting them into participating in the process, and lastly, making the elected candidates more accountable and transparent to their immediate constituents. (Flain & Shufeldt, 2014) In addition to this, there is a fundamental relationship between citizens and their government when there is competition amongst political parties in the country. Competition in politics is based on different reasons, this is because there are various purposes as to why people engage in politics. These include, knowing too well they will receive a better allocation of values and resources from their government, acquisition of political power against others whose group are also in power, but against them. Which implies, when there’s a coalition of political people engaging in political conflict with another rival coalition, they will compete for political power. The bottomline is each group aims to have a better gain from the government and also to see how best they can either put things right in their constituency, states, or country or for other reasons best known to them. (Way, 2016)
Finally, politics in the United States are degrading the quality of various sectors of government in the country. For example, the quality of education in the United States has been shaped because of the level of competition between political parties. According to Daniel Sexton (2012), the two renown political parties in the America do not have strong impacts on the education sector, especially in state education, this is in relation to their policies on education spending. But over time, there has been a level of effort taken to ensure that the education system is addressed to a certain level, which is necessary to give their party a good reputation for other elections. Also, the American politics are really gradually growing insane, if fast attention is not taken to treat the problem, there’s a possibility things may get worse. According to Jonathan Rauch (2016), Americans are very angry than ever, especially at compromisers, those in politics, and establishments because of the seen incapability of the Congress working out things even when they have aligned their interests. Also, the parts of the American citizen that have express systematically conservative or liberal views are increasing expansively. Apparently, the number of ideological convergence between the two major parties has decreased greatly.
Another influence of politics in the United States is Federalism. Federalism is a significant and innovative concept in the United States Constitution, even if this world is not so evident there. Just as stated within the process of this module, federalism is simply the distribution of power between the state and national government over a geographic region. In the United States, it was stated above that the states existed before the national government. (Saga, 2013) Federalism has been in existence for over 200 years and overtime, federalism in American has experienced change. All the three levels of government, including the local, state, and federal government perform a unique role in the citizens’ lives, the things to expect about the nature of services and people’s rights from the government have tremendously changed, and the level of association between the levels of government has become relatively complex too. (Katz, 1997)
The unique political strategies of the United States have helped federalism in the country become a dynamic, a multi-dimensional pattern with administrative, economic, and political areas and also constitutional ones. We can conclude that this is more realistic today than than it was from the very beginning. The American political systems have enjoyed some advantages or benefits of federalism. These include the following:
- Diversity among the levels of government. Where the local government is faced with any issues, they can deal with it themselves. Similarly, if the state is faced with issues within their capacity and allocation, they are free to do. Each level of the government can deal with issues specific to them.
- The existence of federalism brings about citizen participation in government. Since there is power sharing within the state government, power does not have to be handed over to the national or federal government. Federalism allows the participation of citizens, since the state government is given power to make their own decisions, therefore people can actively perform their roles for political positions or governmental responsibilities.
- Improvement of efficiency in the government. The separation of power helps the government to be run efficiently and effectively today. It’s just like saying the central government of Washington, DC takes control of all community issues in the nation, including schools, water, police, garbage collections, street lighting, and other sectors in the nation, that would be a daunting process. Federalism has made the political system easier. Also, federalism will continually encourage innovation and experimentation in every state public policy.
Some discouraging factors of federalism could include the following:
- Federalism gives way to special interests in the protection of their privileges. Over the years, various segregationists have used states’ rights argument to prevent federal laws made to ensure equality and abhor discrimination. Now, the argument of the states’ rights has been constantly used based on racial discrimination defense and has now turned out as a code for racism.
- National policy is being frustrated. Federalism allows people to obstruct no just the civil right policies, but other policies in diverse aspects such as pollution, energy, and poverty.
- The benefits and costs the government offers are now being spread unevenly. Federalism paves way for some state to spend beyond what some other states would have spent on a sector like education. Also, the taxes paid in some states are somewhat higher than other states, in fact, about five states does not even have an income tax at all.
The view of representational federalism does not agree with the fact that there should be any constitutional section of powers between the states and the whole country, as well as categorically that federalism is based on the states’ role in the election of Congress members and the president. The federal system in the United States is retained because the national officials re chosen from government subunits, which implies that the president emerged based on the allocation of electoral votes to the states, and members of the Congress based on the two Senate seats from each state and the allotment of state representatives based on population. Therefore, these powers are found in the political process at the national level – an influence of district and state voters on their representatives and senators. Meanwhile, representational federalism is no respecter of any constitutionally protected powers of any state.
Another impact of politics in the United States is the Emancipation Proclamation issued by President Abraham Lincoln on January 1, 1863. As rightly stated in the course of the module it was enacted to proclaim freedom to the slaves of the ten Confederate states in rebellion at the time. Another purpose of the proclamation was to ensure that those freed slaves can be enlisted as part of the Union Army, in order to increase the available manpower of the Union Army. The step was necessary at the time to abolish slavery and bestowing American citizenship on ex-slaves. Though, the Proclamation didn’t specify that slavery should be outlawed in these states or free those slaves, it widened the goals of the Union in the war, they were confronted with; and thus, made the destruction of slavery into fully defined Union goal, while reuniting the country.
The Emancipation Proclamation has been considered a political strategy used by the President at the time to win the war at hand. According to Owens (2007), the Emancipation Proclamation was Lincoln’s strategy in the course of the War of the Rebellion. This was a major weapon Lincoln used based on prudence. That is, Lincoln was able to apply prudence to adapt to the universal principles of specific situations to reach a means that suit the existing circumstances. Though, there has been arguments that Lincoln had been determined to implement the Emancipation Proclamation from the very day he assumed office, therefore, to achieve this objective, he puts a plan to engage policy of gradual, legislated, and compensated emancipation the moment he became president. His mindset was that he could convince the Congress to agree on an appropriation of funds for slave owners’ compensation to gradually free the slaves. Basically, the Emancipation Proclamation, when viewed from the Military perspective, it paved way to a logical step to weaken the South while giving strength to the North. (Owens, 2007)
The political impact of the Emancipation Proclamation brought about conflicting views from various politicians. According to Webber (2006), Horatio Seymour, who was running for New York governorship relates the Emancipation Proclamation as just a strategy for slaves to carry out other violent acts on white southerners, emphasizing that it was an approach to butcher children and women in order to spur the interference of those civilized Europe.Additionally, the Copperhead Democrats also viewed the Emancipation Proclamation as an abuse of presidential power which is unconstitutional. Others have viewed it as a means to test the equality of races which continues to be condemned on a daily basis. Therefore, politically, it is viewed as an impartial approach which President Lincoln used to benefit his own interests. Racism continues to remain strong in relation to this issue. This is because, various views have shown that there was a conflict on the two sides, as many in the North were in support of the action and others were against.
Conclusively, there are many impacts of politics in the United States. Politics have brought about great industrialization in the United States government today, however, things are still lacking, the issues are still high at stake, but all in all, political strategies are still being taken into actions to ensure America continually progresses in spite of the challenging situations. The presence of federalism has also made American politics easier to run, power is decentralized across the arms of the government and decisions are being made for the success of each state. The Emancipation Proclamation has indeed laid down a strong foundation for the American political system. However, the major purpose of its enactment are not totally in operation in America today. This is evident in the emergence of more prisons and prisoners, multiplication of racism in the Southern region, and socioeconomic upheaval among slaves.
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