discussion question us gov class

Wk1.O1.”How Active Is Your Government?” Please respond to the following:

Based on the scenario and the knowledge gained from this section, address the following:

Explain two to three roles that modern government plays in the lives of American citizens. Then, determine at least two benefits and two limitations of the power of the U.S. government in affecting the day-to-day lives of its citizens.

Read the US Constitution (part of this week’s mandatory reading) and speak to the constitutionality of these actions. Be sure to focus particularly on Article 1, Section 8 of the US Constitution and provide your thoughts on the constitutionality of government actions. It is very important to remember that the ONLY powers of the Federal government are those listed in Article 1, Section 8 or an amendment. The powers of your state governments are listed in your state constitutions.

Be sure to differentiate between actions taken by Federal, state, and local governments–the constitutionality of actions taken by each level of government is very different. For example, only the FEDERAL government can print money, but only state and local governments can involve itself in education.

Wk1.O2″Are Your Rights Protected?” Please respond to the following:

Indicate two or three of your personal rights that are protected by the Constitution. Support your arguments with sound logic and specific examples.

Remember to address whether your rights are always protected and specifically HOW they are protected.

Be sure and read the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights in particular (both part of this week’s mandatory reading) keeping in mind that both documents were to limit the power of government so as to protect rights and not to provide them.

Thinking of protecting rights (the American model) versus providing rights (the European model), what is the difference between the two and how has each approach protected (or not protected) liberty throughout history?

Think of how rights actually are protected or not protected. What actually protects your rights?

Where do rights come from? HINT: Rights do NOT come from government.

Feel free to ask your professor questions…

WK2.O1 “Should Terrorists Have Legal Protection?” Please respond to the following:

Explain whether or not the government should extend the same civil rights to terrorism suspects that American citizens enjoy. Provide support for your argument with specific examples of civil rights and liberties.

Be sure and read Prof. Salley’s exlanations of this issue.

Remember to check the Constitution as to whether government even has a choice in this matter and explain your thoughts.

NOTE: It is very important to read the professor’s posts on this issue for a historical and legal background of the actual issue at hand.

Wk2.O2. “What are the rights of you and your employer?” Please respond to the following:

Identify at least two strategies that your current or past employer uses in order to protect the civil rights and liberties of its workers. Provide a rationale for your response.

Under what constitutional basis does is an employer required to protect your rights (again, check Article 1, Section 8 of the Constitution)? (This is a trick question…so check your Constitution for where it talks about employer responsibilities…)

What responsibilities does a worker and employer have to each other, if any? Remember to keep in mind the three rights of American government–to protect life, liberty, and property.

Wk. 3. “Is Federalism Necessary?” Please respond to the following:

Discuss at least two effects on U.S. citizens that stem from the division of power between the federal and state governments.

Keep in mind that federalism is a requirement in the Constitution, so ending or weakening federalism requires a constitutional amendment.

Be careful not to mistake federalism for nationalism…just because it is called the “Federal” government does not mean it always acts federalist. Be sure and review the examples posted in the Instructor Insights section and ask questions if it is unclear (do not worry, this part gets confusing, so please ask questions or give the professor a call).

Wk.4″The Ideologies of American Politics” Please respond to the following:

Identify at least three effects on political ideologies that arise from the existence of only two major political parties in the U.S.

How do THIRD parties affect the two major parties considering their role in the political primary process?

How do the two major political parties compare in terms of actual outcomes of their policies, NOT their stated goals or policies?

How have the two major parties changed over the course of the past several decades?

Wk.5.”The Two-Party System” Please respond to the following:

Discuss one effect that the two-party system of the U.S. has on the political interests of American citizens. Suggest one reason why the two-party system has regulated the emergence and successful contention of a major third party in presidential elections.

Do not forget to consider the political primary process and how many third parties influence the two major parties during political primaries.

Consider how the media influences political parties and voters, political bias for/against parties, and the role of ideology.

Review the first few slides of Live Lecture #2 for an examination of the political spectrum.

Wk. 6. “Voting and the Role of Interest Groups” Please respond to the following:

Determine three roles that interest groups play in American politics in terms of impacting election outcomes.

What about the largest interest group…the American voter?

What are some examples of interest groups or special interests that…well…people don’t really think of as interest groups or special interests?

Are special interest groups and lobbyists really that powerful? If so, what does that say about the voter that continues to vote for them?


What about’good’ special interests and ‘bad’ special interests?

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