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CAS PO 111 (43)

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Boston University
Political Science
CAS PO 111
Graham Wilson

INTRO TO AMERICAN POLITICS: WEEK ONE  1 ALL ABOUT GOVERNMENT: Good government isn’t just about following the constitution; it’s about providing safety, security and allowing freedom as well as coming in and supporting citizens and states in a state of crisis. I. STRESSED FUNDEMENTALS: It is the government’s duty to establish order, laws and safety. • Keeping our money safe • Preventing monopolies (EX: AA merger with US Airways) • Setting and enforcing the rules • Keeping environment safe (global warming etc.) • Power of defense – Keeping people safe, America safe • Education (NCLB) • Protection of minorities • Roads and other public works • Diplomacy; working w/ other countries (War and peace, trade) • Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security (ObamaCare)  Used as safety net to prevent extreme poverty and restitution Where the government spends its money, time and energy changes throughout the years and under certain presidencies. “To govern is to choose” – More so, choose to where we spend our energy and the balance between policy areas. II. NSA : NATIONAL SECURITY AGENCES Cyber Spies • Monitoring us (the people) – our calls, email etc. • The extent – Unknown • The reason – Preventative measures – prevent terrorism. Counter argument: • Invasion of privacy • Unconstitutional • Being deprived of our freedom Protection comes at a price: • How far will we go and how many freedoms will we give up for protection? • Surveillance: Safe, useful, however do we really want to be monitored with every move? III. HISTORY: Controversial Issues • Progressive era – 20’s -30’s – Food safety INTRO TO AMERICAN POLITICS: WEEK ONE  2 • New Deal (30’s) – Welfare System • Great Society Theory (60’s) – Food stamps and Medicare • ObamaCare (2013) - Should we cut back on food stamps? - Should we smack down on Wall street matters? Presidents can be surprising: Nixon and the EPA Bush and NCLB IV. GROWING GOVERNMENT : • Medical Marijuana • Gay Relationships • Globalization • Growth of intl trade • Aging population • Terrorism – increase in homeland security • Big business increase • Prison issues ORIGINS: CITY ON A HILL The United States isn’t just a country; it’s a way of life. The American Creed is an example for other countries. I. IDEAS BEHIND THE US: • Rights: Freedom to pursue your own religion, freedom of the press, • Democracy: Holding elections not only for presidency but also for congress, judges, mayor and sheriff. (Americans are asked to cote in more elections than any other democracy.) • Equality: Allowing everyone – regardless of race, religion and wealth to do all things. • British Heritage: Brought over and colonized by the first Americans – as well as fighting for independence. • Failure of socialism: Socialism is a huge point of contrast – most all democracy’s used to be socialist. America was never like that, it never had an aristocracy and people disagree racially. INTRO TO AMERICAN POLITICS: WEEK ONE  3 • Immigration: A country defined by a creed and with emphasis on support for rights and individual rights and democracy. • Slavery: Example of glaring contrasts between the American dream and reality. Thomas Jefferson was a profound promoter of revolutions and liberty, yet he was a slaveman. “Those who yelp for liberty are the ones who drive the slaves…” II. America’s definition of equality and values • Equality before the government • Equality of opportunity  Not in outcome: Everyone has the opportunity to be wealthy however the outcome is unequal in terms of wealth and income. • In regards to race, we did not have equality before the government and in opportunity until after the civil war, technically. • Basic Test of whether or not a country is a democracy: When all adult can vote. America was not a real democracy until the voter’s right act --- 50 some years ago. • Between blacks and women – equality in America was basically a joke. • West coast – Japanese Americans were put into
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