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More Political Science School Posts Drafted at Ungodly Hours

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Mar. 10th, 2010 | 05:52 am

As this course draws to a close, I feel more strongly than ever that the United States government has a solid foundation in the Constitution, the Bill of Rights and in the three branches of government (legislative, executive and judicial) that counter balance each other. With this framework in place, our model of government can be and has been an inspiration to other countries around the world. Our founding fathers were enlightened, forward thinking individuals who were more interested in building a government from the ground up than they were in playing party politics.
For the United States to continue to fulfill its promise as the political experiment that succeeded, our political leaders need to exercise a similar bipartisan work ethic. As we have seen with the recent health care reform bill, each political party is more interest in pushing forward their respective agendas than they are in working toward a bill that will pass in both houses of Congress. If politicians could put aside their differences to pass legislation that would honestly address poverty, crime and education the people of the United States would benefit tremendously.

Another means by which the U.S. can fulfill its latent potential is through the use and exploration of alternative energy sources. Unfortunately, the oil companies and many large corporations have dominated the U.S. political landscape for many years, altering its ability to create policies that would reduce our reliance of foreign oil. As innovators in the research and development, the United States should be leading the way in developing alternate sources of energy. This would not only be a boon to the environment but would end our extended military involvement in oil producing countries. If corporations were not allowed to play any part in the American political system, we would already be using these alternate fuel sources instead of spending billions of dollars to protect our dwindling oil reserves overseas. The human life lost and the money squandered on foreign oil in the 20th and 21st centuries make me wonder if Exxon Mobil will one day have to face a Nuremburg like tribunal for crimes against humanity.

Of course, the only way that the United States will see any change in the way government operates is if the voting public takes it upon themselves to elect leaders who will work for the interest of the people. Voters need to remain educated, interested and active in politics from the local to the federal level. Americans need to understand which items are real issues that will impact their everyday lives and which are simply smokescreens. There are many divisive non issues played out in the political arena (Terry Schiavo, anyone). I don’t wish to offend or criticize anyone’s religious beliefs, but religion needs to be left out of politics all together and the sooner the voting population realizes this, the sooner politics will stop playing to these types of issues. It is time for voters to become serious in protecting their constitutional rights and stop worrying who does what and with whom in private.

I have named at least three things that I would like to see changed. Ending partisan politics when it becomes a hindrance in getting progressive policies enacted, removal of the influence of large corporations from government when they hinder social and economic progress and educating and interesting voters (and attempting to convince them to leave religion at home when they go to the polls) are the three biggest changes I would like to see in the American political landscape.

Now for the three things about the U.S. that I can’t get enough of? Well, I’m pretty fond of all of the religious, personal and social freedoms that we enjoy. I love the idea that all naturalized citizens (unless you are a convicted felon) can vote. I like knowing that, in theory, The Supreme Court is made up of enlightened individuals who deliberate on the meanings of the laws that are passed. Public education is great and I wish we could extend it to the college level. I like having nice roads to drive on, sidewalks to walk on and clean water to drink. I like knowing that the government cares enough about my health to make sure that the food I am eating and the products that I am putting in my body are safe and will cause me no unnecessary harm (to the best of their knowledge). I like being able to travel pretty much anywhere in the world without restriction. That opens up a whole lot of doors for me. These are just a few of the privileges that I enjoy as a citizen of the United States.

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