American Government Essay Research Paper Politics is

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American Government Essay, Research Paper Politics is a dirty business. Whether this truly reflects reality or is a popular misconception exacerbated by Hollywood excesses, the general sentiment towards our system of governance is that of disgust, suspicions or complete ignorance. John Doe believes that the average politician is more concerned with his own self-interest than that of his constituents – the term an ‘honest politician’ is an oxymoron subjected to a great amount of ridicule. The United States has widely considered itself the ‘champion of democracy’. Heated debates, inspiring speeches and even wars have been fought to assert this fact. In a truly democratic system, rule is by the consent of the majority. Elected candidates will serve as ambassadors of

the people, who will fight tooth and nail if necessary to defend the needs of their constituents. However, when even the people themselves view their representatives with this little amount of respect, then it begs into question the legitimacy of our political system. Perhaps the major problem lies in the election process. No doubt we have taken great efforts to ensure that elections abide by the sacred hallmarks of democracy; every vote counts equally and freedoms of speech, press and assembly without fear of persecution. Sadly, it is the unmanageable factors that compromise our system. Although in theory the American system calls for one vote per person, the low rate of turnout results in the upper and middle classes ultimately choosing candidates for the entire nation. Class

bias occurs due to differing levels of income and education. Educated people tend to understand politics more, therefore are more likely to vote. Higher income and education also provide for more resources to control the candidacy, where else the poor tend to have low political efficacy. Then there are those who refuse to exercise their rights to vote. There are numerous reasons for this, ranging from the ‘legitimate’ (such as an extreme conflict of opinions) to sheer, utter laziness. Unfortunately, making no decision is a decision by itself – whether they choose to participate or not, elected candidates will ultimately create policies that will affect their lives. As such, oftentimes it is a case of 60 percent of the people controlling 100 percent of the government. The

establishment of the electoral college to elect the presidency is another focus of criticism. The “winner-take-all” approach in elections is unfair and undemocratic, as it does not necessarily present the majority view. Theoretically, a candidate that receives 40 percent of the vote can be elected as long as he gets more votes than any other candidate – even though 60 percent of the voters voted against him. As electoral seats are apportioned according to population, smaller states (with their few electoral votes) therefore have lesser influence and could be effectively ignored by a candidate. This is especially true when a state is particularly opposed to the campaign issues of a candidate. In contrast, heavily populated states such as California and Georgia are given the

most attention, although presidential decisions affect the nation as a whole. Somehow, this feels as if the candidates are more interested in getting elected than to actually represent the views of their fellow Americans. “Whose interests do the politicos serves? Firstly, their own. Secondly, not yours.” This view has more than just a ring of truth in it. With the potential authoritative privileges associated with a national office and a disfranchised citizenry, political positions have become little more than vehicles to further self-interest. The great distrust in government could be largely attributed to the fact that candidates say many things but do very little. Once elected, an official is not legally bound to fulfill his promises to the people, although it would be in