October 28, 2013
o 60 million Spanish calls
o Angela Merkel’s (German Chancellor) phone tapped since 2002
o Nuclear submarines on the move
o Syria submits declaration of chemical weapons program 3 days early.
o 10 car bombs in 40 minutes kills 41 in Iraq.
o Israel released 26 Palestinian prisoners in bid to resume peace talks.
The White House Civil War
8 years of construction. 1861-5.
John Adams and wife first to live Fuelled by decades of tension
there. between the North and South.
1814 set on fire to White House of Justification: State rights, Western
the time. expansion, slavery, etc.
(Was never white until it was re- Lincoln election caused 7
built) Re-built and moved in by southern states to secede from
1817 by James Monroe. the union.
Wasn’t called The White House 1865 Confederates surrender.
until Roosevelt in 1901. 620 000 soldiers killed; most
1902 Roosevelt began a major devastating war fought on
renovations (mainly the West American soil.
Wing). Because of the war, we reap the
Oval Office was constructed by benefits of the ambulance system
his successor. and triage.
Truman began a renovation when Anesthesiology and plastic
structure was shaky. Moved back surgery began. Many actually
in in 1952. died from diarrhea.
Very symbolic of American
“Of the people, by the people, for the people.” – In Lincoln’s address.
People are the life force of democracy. Especially representative democracies.
Taking part in politics. Not limited to voting.
Types of People THREE major types of political participants:
Hardcore, political junkies
Always vote for their party (Democrat or Republican) – no
swaying; communicate with the representatives constantly.
Active, but with less intensity.
National elections (not local: sheriff, deputy, etc.).
Keep score, but not playing.
They know outcomes, but wouldn’t have been involved.
Independents; “swing votes”; don’t adhere to one party – vote
on an issue-by-issue basis (pragmatic – targets of attack ads).
Majority (unfortunately); three-quarters of Americans.
Occasional vote; largely disengaged – includes volunteering,
civic action, etc. They don’t see involvement in government
action as important in their lives.
Don’t see government as important.
Not just apathy.
No time, resources; survival mode.
Many poor people can’t take the time to research, pay
attention to news, or vote.
With or pursuing a degree
Don’t vote; empty vessels
On the rise.
*Can democracy survive with the growing number of uninvolveds on the rise?
If they don’t care enough to vote, then they also don’t care enough to reform
There are far more members of the population that align themselves with the
Democrats, but most of these people cannot get out to vote – this is why the GOP has
won so much.
Benefits of Participation
“Magic potion”; people who participate in politics are generally:
o Healthier o Wealthier
o Generally more satisfied.
o When a student joins at least one club, their GPA actually goes up.
Why do we have a decline in participation? The West has really pushed the idea of the
individual. As this idea continues to grow, it is harder and harder to get people to get
involved in public activities.
Types of Participation
o Taking part in politics
Three major types
o Electoral activities
Voting – primary means of engaging in public life. US has one
of the lowest turnout rates of any developed country.
One of the lowest voter turnout rates
One below Canada.
Voter exhaustion; life.
There are too many elections in the US – sheriff,
librarians, etc. Elections are held during the weekday –
on a Tuesday. This is very inconvenient for some.
Lawn signs, donating money.
o Civic voluntarism
Volunteering, donating money.
US is one of the leading countries in volunteer
Our age group; the most active in US history.
Volunteering leads to more involvement in the common
sphere, which leads to increased attention, but oddly
enough, not increased participation. Why?
Increases voting, political attention.
o Political voice
Actively exercising your right to voice your views
From 140 characters (Twitter) to a march.