The basic function of government is protection through defense and support of individuals, and raising revenue, and it influences everybody.
It is clear that not everyone has the same priorities or needs.
Government has an impact on your daily life.
You will see how people can differ on the meaning, interpretation, and implementation of the functions of government once you consider these principles.
You will see the scope of government when you look at specific examples of these functions.
Universal health care, the nature and size of our armed forces, the welfare system, Social Security and Medicare, and the extent that government should regulate our lives illustrate the expanding role of government.
If you define politics as who gets what, when, how, and why, then you have to determine the nature of the process and outcome.
Political parties will be formed by people with similar needs, values, and attitudes because politics deals with individuals and their needs, values, and attitudes.
In order for the needs, values, and attitudes to translate into policy, a political party has to be formed.
Candidates for office must have a base of electoral support, a base of political support, and a base of financial support.
The issue of incumbency comes into play as elected officials who are reelected become entrenched in the system and have an advantage over young political mavericks who want to break into the system.
Politics results in the election of officials.
The electorate's role is important in determining the means with which individuals get involved.
The voters perception of the candidate's positions on issues, the way people feel about the party, and the influence the media have on the election all play a part in the eventual success or failure of the candidate.
The campaign is trying to convince the voters that the candidate will fulfill their needs.
The emergence of the third-party candidacy of Ross Perot was an excellent example of this.
He established an independent political party, United We Stand, and tried to mold a campaign based on a populist perspective.
The voters rejected his candidacy after initially responding to him.
In the same election, Bill Clinton's use of the issue of change attracted a constituency that responded to his image and perceived a candidate who would solve the economic problems facing this country.
In 1996 Bill Clinton was the incumbent and had the advantage of an electorate that supported his positions regarding education, the environment, Medicare, and Medicaid, unlike Bob Dole who lacked focus in his campaign.
Third-party candidate Ross Perot lost a lot of support.
After the election, the issue of campaign finance reform became a scandal for both major political parties.
In 2000 the electorate couldn't decide between George W. Bush, who promised to bring honor and integrity back to the Oval Office, and Al Gore, who had to separate himself from Bill Clinton's scandals while still identifying himself with the longest.
Gore narrowly won the popular vote but lost the electoral vote in one of the closest and most disputed elections in history.
During a time of war, the voters decided not to change a commander-in-chief and gave the incumbent a majority.
John McCain chose "country first," emphasizing his military credentials.
The country elected Obama, giving him a majority of the popular vote and more than 350 electoral votes.
The U.S. political system was created from various interest groups trying to implement a policy agenda.
The U.S. political system was created from established groups who had differing attitudes toward how best to form a new government.
In 1787, James Madison wrote that no part of the power was unnecessary or improper for the Union.
The Federalists supported the vote.
The anti-federalists were against it.
The policy agenda was the adoption of a new constitution.
Two parties evolved after the Constitution was approved.
The country's upper class, headed by Alexander Hamilton, supported a strong national government and set a policy agenda that would solve the nation's economic problems.
Business interests were appealed to by the party.
It believed in a liberal interpretation of the Constitution.
It believed in a more limited role of the central government and was considered to be strict constructionist, which is a belief in a conservative interpretation of the Constitution.
The middle class of American society was its constituency.
Congress should be the main government agency because the party was afraid of a powerful president.
The Tea Party played a significant role in determining the outcome of the election.
The Boston Tea Party was organized in 1723 and the Tea Party's name is derived from it.
The Republican Party was influenced by the support it gave to candidates in the primaries and general election.
Many of the victorious candidates pledged to support the principles of the movement.
The two parties had different policy objectives.
The Democrats and Republicans prevailed.
The Federalist Party faded from the scene after failing.
A linkage institution is the means by which individuals can express preferences regarding the development of public policy.
Political parties, special interest groups and the media are examples of linkage institutions.
When political issues are resolved, preferences become the basis for policy.
The two major political parties, the Democrats and the Republicans, have national platforms that outline their position on various public issues.
Today's Democratic Party supports government programs such as Medicare, whereas the Republican Party supports less government.
Republicans have been opposed to abortion on demand, whereas Democrats favor choice.
Political parties, elections, interest groups, and the media affect public policy.
Democrats and Republicans need to be elected to public office in order to implement these policies.
The electorate must be assessed by candidates and political parties.
The media tries to influence the voters, the party, and the candidate's stand on issues.
The media has been accused of using photo opportunities and 30-second statements on the evening news shows to simplify the issues.
The formation of a policy agenda by the candidates running for elected office is a result of the interaction of linkage institutions.
The 2010 midterm elections are an example of how linkage institutions work.
The rise of the grassroots movement that called themselves "the Tea Party" resulted in a gain of 63 seats and control of the House of Representatives for the Republicans.
The policy-making function is defined by the Constitution even though each branch of government has separate powers.
The development and growth of bureaucracy becomes a fourth branch of government because it has independent regulatory power and is connected directly and indirectly to the federal government.
The major policy-making institutions created by the Constitution include the presidency, Congress, and the courts.
A budget proposal that defines the extent of government involvement in supporting legislation as well as the size of government is part of the agenda.
Legislation's fate is determined by the decision to sign or veto it.
The fate of the president's legislative agenda and the proposed budget is determined by Congress through its committee system.
Over the past 30 years, the issue of the nation's deficit has been paramount in determining the nature of legislation.
President Clinton signed a balanced budget in 1996.
The debate shifted away from deficit spending to what the budget surplus should be used for.
Tax cuts, a recession, and an expanded war on terrorism resulted in the return of large deficits.
The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 was signed by President Obama.
The law cost close to $1 trillion and included tax cuts for 95 percent of Americans.
The ailing banks, auto industry, and housing market were dealt with by Obama.
The largest deficits in American history were caused by these acts and the 2010 federal budget.
The Supreme Court has a direct impact on public policy through its interpretation of the Constitution and how it relates to specific issues brought before it.
An activist Court will forge new ground by establishing precedents that will force legislative action.
The status quo will be maintained if the court shows judicial restraint.
A more conservative Rehnquist Court in the late 1980s and 1990s made decisions that established the legitimacy of state restrictions on abortions such as parental approval and a narrower interpretation of Miranda Rights.
Since World War II, the size of the government has increased as a result of bureaucracy.
The influence of the bureaucratic agencies on public policy has been dramatic even though the size of the government workforce has decreased.
The FDA and the EPA have issued directives as a result of congressional legislation.
The Clean Air Act resulted in a number of policy statements by the EPA.
The FDA debated the advisability of approving the abortion pill and gave the go-ahead for a private group to conduct testing.
Consumers were able to purchase the drug after it was approved.
Our representative democracy has emerged as a republican form of government, thanks to the writings of Enlightenment thinkers such as Montesquieu and Locke, as well as the principles outlined in the Declaration of Independence.
Greek democracy is based on the idea that mental rule should be that of the many rather than the few.
In a direct democracy, every citizen would attend a town meeting and vote on every issue with the majority prevailing.
This is impractical because of the size of the country and only works on a limited scale such as the classic New England town meeting where a town's budget is approved.
The people should have the final say in a democracy.
Natural rights such as life, liberty, and property could not be taken away by the government.
Thomas Jefferson felt that the principles of unalienable rights should be included in the Declaration of Independence.
They were included in the constitution.
The central focus of government policy was the individual.
The driving forces of our democracy were equality, freedom, and order.
The measure of democracy became open.
In order for a democracy to work, elections had to be open to all citizens, issues and policy statements of candidates had to be available to the electorate, and citizens could form political parties to advocate policies, and elections would be determined by a majority or plurality.
Our constitutional republic did not meet the criteria in its early days.
Slaves and women did not have the right to vote.
Property requirements were part of the process of determining who would represent the states as senators.
The official outcome of a presidential election is determined by the vote of the Electoral College, rather than the direct vote of citizens.
The test to determine whether our democracy is working still depends on how the individual decides who runs the government and how policy is decided.
Individuals must have a vote to determine their elected officials through linkage institutions.
The goal of guaranteeing voting equality through "one man, one vote" representation and the recognition that the size and makeup of congressional districts should be as democratic as possible has been achieved.
The elimination of poll taxes, direct elections of senators, voting rights for freed slaves, women, and 18-year-olds, and the Voting Rights Bill have all been accomplished.
Government and politics are indicators.
An atmosphere of increased involvement by citizens is created by a free media that informs the electorate.
Our democracy today relies on the worth and dignity of the individual, respect for equality, majority rule with minority rights, compromise, and the guarantee of individual freedom.
Government needs to become responsive.
Even though the elected officials were chosen by majority rule, it must respect minority rights.
The Bill of Rights guarantees individual freedom.
The idea that the First Amendment is applicable to high school students has been reinforced by court decisions.
Government must operate on the basis of compromise and consensus.
The measure of whether government succeeds or fails will not be implemented.
The cry of "gridlock" was heard during the George Herbert Walker Bush administration because a Republican president had difficulty achieving his legislative agenda because there was a Democratic Congress.
In 1994, after the Republicans took control of Congress, a divided government again dominated American politics.
The Republicans forced a government shutdown in 1995 because of a budget stalemate.
When public opinion turned against the GOP, this backfired.
At the conclusion of the 104th Congress, both the president and Congress reached compromises regarding healthcare, minimum wage, and welfare reform.
A balanced budget agreement was reached at the start of the 105th Congress.
After the 2000 election, George W. Bush had to face a divided Congress in 2001 when one of his fellow Republicans became an independent and voted with the Democrats.
The Republicans regained control of Congress after the 2002 election.
The Democrats won back Congress in 2006 because of voter discontent with the Iraq War.
The Democrats gained control of both houses of congress in the 2008 election.
The Republicans won more than 60 seats in the House of Representatives in 2010.
The Republicans did not win a majority in the Senate.
The 112th Congress took place in January 2011.
You will be the one to get what, when, and how if you control the agenda.
The agenda is controlled in three different ways.
Different groups are vying for control of the policy agenda in the first theory of pluralism.
The groups had to compromise because no single group emerged.
A centrist position is achieved, and, although no one group is completely happy, a number of groups agree on mutually acceptable positions.
The theory of elite and class theorizes about the economy controlling the policy agenda.
The elite of society control the institutions of government.
The purest form of democracy is the Majoritarian model.
Direct democracy is its main principle.
When voters get a proposal on the ballot by the initiative process, they will vote on it using majority rule.
Each of these political theories has a component in our democracy.
No one theory is perfect.
Each has some advantages and some disadvantages.
Most political analysts agree that a democracy characterized by a pluralistic society working in harmony and achieving compromise through centrist positions has a good chance of success.
The first party to control the government was the Federalists.
Many critics of our system contend that there are too many special interest groups who are able to influence key lawmakers through their political action committees.
The officials who are able to achieve consensus seem to have the most success.
Government changes as a result of who can best serve the public.
If elected officials are achieving their goals, it will translate into public policy.
Whether or not officials are meeting the needs of the public they serve is one way of putting it.
The Congress is represented by the government.
The law created the executive department.
The outcome of the political process is called Choice D.
The legislative branch is represented by the Congress, the executive branch is represented by the president, and the judicial branch is represented by the courts.
The military and bureaucracy can make policies, but they are either responsible to a specific branch of government or not formally established in the constitution.
Even though political parties make recommendations regarding public policy, they don't have the power to make it.
The components of a political system can be found in an educational system, social system, economic system, or socioeconomic system.
Anti-Federalists believed that Congress should have more power than the president because they believed in a strict interpretation of the Constitution.
The interests of the common man were reflected by the Anti-Federalists.
Universal healthcare is not a principle of a democracy.
Special interest groups may want to consider themselves as influential as the formal institutions of government, but they are not.
The three branches of government are defined by the Constitution.
Universal speach is needed for the establishment of democratic rule.
The Constitution guarantees the right to property, but it doesn't contribute to an enlightened understanding.
The definition that the question raises is that of a pluralism.
The other groups don't fit the definition of being dominated by the elite.
You have 25 minutes to answer the question.
The question is based on your knowledge of politics and government in the U.S.
In your answer, make sure you give enough information and examples.
The theoretical and practical ideologies held by each contribute to the differences.
Conservatives and liberals are usually on opposite sides of the political spectrum.
There are some differences between liberal and conservative theory.
The first difference is the extent to which each group values freedom and order over the other.
Liberals don't want to give up personal freedom.
They don't think it's a good idea for the government to tell them how to live.
Conservative ideology states that the government's primary duty is to preserve social order even if certain personal freedoms are sacrificed.
There was a second difference in the twentieth century.
There is a balance between freedom and economic equality.
Liberals think that the government has a responsibility to promote economic and social equality.
They want to make sure that opportunity is equal on both a social and economic level.
Conservatives embrace a policy of personal freedom.
They want the individual to make a decision.
They would like the government to promote a laissez-faire approach to business.
The first example is about economic policies.
Liberals think that the government should pass laws that give economic opportunities to the lower and middle class.
Legislation such as Medicare and the Health Care Reform Act, known as The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and the extension of unemployment insurance are examples of policies that liberals favor.
Conservatives reject these policies as spending policies that will add to the nation's deficit.
Conservatives have a different economic philosophy that leads to "trickle-down" economics.
Conservatives believe in giving tax breaks to all segments of the population.
The Bush tax cuts were passed in 2001.
Conservatives and liberals have different policies in the area of social policy.
Liberals believe that affirmative action programs are the government's responsibility.
Civil rights legislation was passed during the Great Society.
Liberals favor equality for gays and women's right to choose abortion.
Conservatives are against affirmative action legislation and have promoted the passing of state proposition that ban affirmative action programs.
Conservatives believe that the government should pass laws that restrict abortion and they support the passage of a law banning late-term abortions.
One point is earned if you can identify a specific way liberals and conservatives differ.
One point is given for identifying a specific way that conservatives and liberals are different.
Two points are earned for explaining the differences.
Specific policy areas such as gun control, rights of the accused, abortion, and affirmative action will be accepted.
Specific policy areas such as tax legislation, affirmative action programs, and government spending will be accepted.
An explanation of the differences between a liberal and conservative policy area will earn two points.