Proving Exceptionalism in American Politics

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American politics has been one of the world’s ionic systems regardless of the raised questions on its failures. Various concepts within the American political system have proven that it has both shortfalls and fulfillment. The ideas are related to clarifying why the systems make American politics exceptional. These concepts include civil rights, meritocracy, the racial wealth gap, and the welfare state. Other concepts are social contrast, interest groups, socialism, filibustering, grassroots politics, and state rights. A social movement is a common umbrella under which various interrelated concepts have manifested exceptionalism evident in the American politics and government and insinuated its failures and successes.

Civil liberties are the freedom that the Constitution has guaranteed to every citizen. They have protected the people from the federal government’s power since they were founded from the Bill of Rights (Putnam 664). First, freedom of speech enables citizens to freely give their opinions and truthfully express themselves without threats or repercussions for what there are saying as long as they do not make false statements or incite violence. Through the freedom of speech, citizens agree and disagree with the government’s steps and actions. Similarly, the liberty to press enables citizens, especially journalists, to collect information, add subjective and objective views, and distribute all the facts of that information to the public without being detained or arrested. There is a guaranteed power for opposing any governmental discrimination among other civil liberties (Katznelson et al. 2). Civil liberties are clear evidence of American exceptionalism founded on the basis that citizens have the liberty to be part of their governmental legitimacy.

Social contrast plays an essential role in civil liberties by guaranteeing citizens the freedom to petition and give their opinion about the government ruling. Social contrast is the idea that people’s will is the guideline through which a state should rule the country (Putnam 665). Social contrast advocates that the citizens are the state’s source of power, so they have a voice in every government action. American politics is based on fulfilling the will of the people through agreements between itself and its citizens on how the policies and other political aspects should work and the role of each party. This agreement is evident in the United States Constitution as it indicates what the government is obligated to do and not to do (Katznelson et al. 3). Correspondingly, Americans have agreed to follow the governing of the state’s morals and obligations as indicated in the Constitution.

Meritocracy is another aspect of American politics whereby political power and economic goods are merited to individuals according to their abilities, efforts, and talents. In America, meritocracy is embraced, and nepotism is distasteful and illegal. This aspect is common in various areas within America. For example, it is considered illegitimate when individuals are selected for a job because of their race, gender, or family income (Katznelson et al. 3). On the other hand, when an individual is selected for a position in a cooperate because of their college score, that is considered meritocratic action. Even though there are exceptions for meritocratic scenarios, the discrimination should be positive to avoid the effect of unbiasedness. However, meritocracy has faced challenges in various settings as its aspirants have been outdone by the inequality perpetuated by the wealthy individuals.

Socialism is a topic in American politics that has threatened meritocracy. Some individuals have argued that socialism would promote equity in the nation, while others strongly believe that people should merit assets according to their efforts and abilities. Socialism is a political system where assets belong to the public rather than private industries and individuals (Putnam 666). This system means that regardless of the effort and talent one invests in an asset, the state or federal controls the rewards. Additionally, socialism stifles work ethics and innovation in the nation and encourages excessive dependence on the government.

Like socialism, American meritocracy has faced threats from the racial wealth gap brought about by higher social and political class people. The racial wealth gap is a disproportional division of wealth across ethnicity and races. The difference in assets owned by different races results from various factors when perceived at a more profound insight (Putnam 666). As mentioned earlier, meritocracy has been shaken. The ones already positioned at economically, politically, or socially high classes limit other individuals from fulfilling their errands regardless of their talents, abilities, and efforts (Putnam 666). The racial wealth gap is a mirror through which access to resources, opportunities, and support is limited to specific ethnic groups or races. The big question is whether these groups are less talented or putting in less effort, or it is just a matter of connections an individual has to ladder them to their success.

Even though America is struggling to awaken meritocracy and way down the racial wealth gap, the government plays an active role in the welfare state. A welfare state is one whereby the government promotes social well-being and economic growth, intending to protect its citizens (Putnam 664). It is in the government’s head to ensure that the citizens are cared for without pressure into the governmental agendas. To quite extent, the American government has acknowledged that it is challenging to run a country whose large proportion of the population strives to access healthcare services, education, food, and an easier way of handling its issues. These attempts have been seen when the national and state governments deliver free healthcare services, college education, social security, and insurance programs. Nonetheless, it is unfortunate that the government has to be the most cost-effective agent when establishing and delivering programs to promote citizens’ welfare. There has risen pressure on the federal budget due to economic and demographic changes and corruption intimidating America’s welfare state.

Due to the state or federal government’s shortfall, interest groups emerge to attempt to influence the policies for a common concern or interest. Interest groups are formal associations of people sharing a problem and trying to change the approach to work in their favor. Typically, they play an active role in ensuring that the elected officials, congress, and policymakers actively enact laws and legislations that favor their interests. They can also testify in congressional hearings, action committee hearings, campaign reforms, and associations. Likewise, they are how individuals engage in politics apart from participating in elections (Katznelson et al. 4). The interest groups are mainly corporations that have been thought to corrupt the government as they buy influence that legislative changes may favor them.

Consequently, ordinary citizens have been left victims of the influenced legislation and the racial wealth gaps. Even though every individual has the liberty to form and join an interest group, the ones with solid financial muscles are the ones who can easily influence the policymakers (Katznelson et al. 12). To prevent this victimization by corruption, minority groups tend to create filibusters. This tactic is whereby senators or individual from another interest group opposes the passage of a bill even if it already has enough supporters. The minor interest group usually takes advantage of a rule; to prevent the course of a bill, there must be 60 votes. Filibusters sometimes fail to be influential in congress meetings as mostly the opposers are more compelling due to their high population.

State rights are political obligations the state government is entitled to fulfill rather than the federal one. They are essential as they make the government efficiently govern the citizens at the state or regional level rather than at a national level (Putnam 668). Moreover, state and restricted rights make it easier for the government to efficiently address public issues such as educational, environmental, and social problems and population control that the federal would not have. One of the approaches state rights implements its obligation is grassroots politics (Katznelson et al. 14). Grassroots politics is where individuals from a community or region are given the obligation to identify and present localized problems.

Generally, the American government can be viewed as a low-trust political system and a considerably positively performing nation. It is an entirely acting nation because the government has guaranteed its citizens’ civil rights and meritocracy. Additionally, the American government has moved a markable distance in ensuring a welfare state. Moreover, the country has given the citizens the liberty to be part of the government through social contrast, the formation of interest groups, and filibustering. However, the government has manifested low-trust ratings such as racial wealth gaps and nepotism, among other failures that have caused limitations to some citizens. Therefore, there is no offense to say that American politics have done reasonably well even though there are still various areas it has been defective.

Works Cited

Katznelson, Ira, Mark Kesselman, and Alan Draper. The Politics of Power: A Critical Introduction to American Government. Norton & Company, 2014.

Putnam, Robert D. “Tuning In, Tuning Out: The Strange Disappearance of Social Capital in America.” PS: Political Science & Politics, vol, 28, no. 4, 1995, pp. 664-683.

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