APAG Ch. 1 Assignment 3 Answers
The president has the power to suspend the writ of habeas corpus and detain non-citizens (and citizens who are declared “enemy combatants”) indefinitely, without a trial or hearing, on the attorney general’s finding of “reasonable grounds to believe the individuals are involved in terrorism.”
The president has assumed the power to wiretap citizens without a warrant from a court.
3. What did Thomas Jefferson and other framers believe was the greatest threat to the common person?
Thomas Jefferson believed that “the unbridled power wielded by the government” was the greatest threat to the common man.
4. Are our civil liberties absolute? What are the circumstances in which the government can encroach on our civil liberties?
No, our civil liberties are not absolute. According to the Supreme Court, “when clear and present danger of riot, disorder, ….or other immediate threat to public safety, peace, or other, appears, the power of the State to prevent or punish is obvious.”
5. If we are not careful, who could become a greater threat to our freedoms than Al Qaeda?
Our own government could become a threat. We have seen in our past history presidents and other leaders who have abused their power as our elected officials. We must find a healthy balance between the power of our elected officials who protect us and the need to protect our civil rights and liberties.
The majority of Americans favor equal opportunity today, but do not favor equal results. Approximately 43% of Americans do not believe it is the role of government to eliminate economic and social differences.
7. Who influenced the writing of the Declaration of Independence? How?
The English philosopher, John Locke, who wrote in his Second Treatise of Government that people’s rights were to “life, liberty, and property.” Other philosophers who influenced the Constitution were Thomas Hobbes, James Harrington, and French philosopher Jean Jacques Rousseau.
8. How stable is our political culture? How do immigrants feel about our culture?
Our political culture is very stable. Immigrants share the same values as other Americans when it comes to our political culture – life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
9. What did Samuel P. Huntington suggest would be the basis for wars in the future? Does he appear to be right?
Huntington suggested that future wars would not be fought between nations but between civilizations—there would be a clash of civilizations, based in part on different political cultures. • He appears to be right when you look at the strife between Western and Islamic cultures.
10. Describe the different political values between Saudis and Americans? Could this help explain 9/11?
Saudis and Americans share only four of their top ten values or principles—family, faith, education, and justice. Freedom ranks high as a personal value in America, but does not even make the top ten in Saudi Arabia. Obedience is in the top ten in Saudi Arabia, but not in America. Self-esteem is important to Americans while modesty is important to Saudis.
White America is declining from 79.9 % in 1980 to only 52.8% in 2050. Hispanic Americans are increasing from 6.4% to 24.5% in the same time period. Asian and Pacific Islanders are increasing from 1.6% to 8.2%. African Americans and Native Americans will remain about the same percentage from 11.5% to 13.6%.
12. What are the implications of a shrinking younger population in the U.S.? Is this unique to the U.S.?
The current retirement and pension systems, including Social Security, remain in place, a very large proportion of each worker’s wages will go to taxes to support benefits for the retire population. We will also need to open our doors to the immigrations of more young people—a political hot potato. • This is true of all developed countries.
Many of the policies that were installed to protect minority populations have been used recently to protect white Americans against discrimination where they have become the minority. This will increase in the future.
More Americans are living in urban places. Women continue to increase their participation in the educational system and labor force. More children are growing up in single family homes. One in four of these children live in poverty. Over 10% of Americans live below the poverty line and that number is increasing. One-fifth of all Americans are barely literate.
15. What is ideology? What are the two dominant political ideologies in the U.S.?
An ideology is a closely linked set of beliefs about the goal of politics and the most desirable political order. True ideologies are well-organized theories that can guide virtually every decision that an individual or society can make. • Liberalism (40%) and Conservatism (40%) are the two dominant ideologies in American political culture. About 20% of Americans are independent of the two.
Liberals believe that the government should take strong positive action to solve the nation’s economic and social problems. They believe that it is the obligation of the government to embrace opportunities for the economic and social equality of all individuals.
Liberals generally support social-welfare programs for the disadvantaged, progressive income taxes to redistribute income, and gov’t. regulation to guide the activities of business and the economy. They support women’s rights, civil rights, affirmative action, and gay/lesbian rights. The support more spending on domestic programs and less on defense.
Conservatives believe that the national gov’t. has grown to large, that state and local gov’ts. should make their own decisions, and the private sector needs less interference from the gov’t. They believe the individual is responsible for their own well-being. They oppose redistribution of income and money spent on domestic programs.
Conservatives oppose programs to help the disadvantaged. They support gov’t. control of social values and moral decisions. They have opposed women’s rights, civil rights, and gay/lesbian rights. They oppose domestic spending, but support increased defense spending.
Both are right and good for America. The pendulum swings back and forth between these two groups in a politically healthy way. As long as the pendulum doesn’t swing too far in one direction, America will continue to prosper.