Discussion Questions

Discussion 1 Options Menu: Forum
Choose ONE of the following questions to answer in the Discussion Board. Your initial post needs to be at least 150 words long. Do not copy the question. Do not restate or summarize what is in the textbook.

1. Review Figure 1.3, “Individualism as a value in the United States compared to other democracies.” Why do you believe people in America respond so differently to this question than do people in other, Western European, countries?

2. After reading the text in the box, “The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same: The Continuing Call to the Federalist Papers” in Chapter 2, do you believe the Federalist Papers are still relevant for understanding the U.S. Constitution?

3. The Bill of Rights was intended to protect certain fundamental rights for all citizens against actions of the national government. Should the U.S. Constitution provide the same protections for all citizens against actions of state governments, or should it be up to each state whether to protect fundamental rights for citizens within the state?

Discussion 2

Choose ONE of the following questions to answer in the Discussion Board. Your initial post needs to be at least 150 words long

1. Review Figure 6.1, “Confidence in Congress.” Why do you believe Congress receives such a low confidence rating?

2. Do you believe the committee system in Congress is beneficial to the law-making process? Why or why not?

3. What are your views on members “bringing home the bacon” through pork-barrel legislation? What if the funding is for a project in your hometown?

Discussion 3 Options Menu: Forum

Choose ONE of the following questions to answer in the Discussion Board. Your initial post needs to be at least 150 words long

1. In Table 7.1, the authors provide a list of the 10 greatest Presidents of all time, according to two separate polls by historians (in 2005 and 2009). What criteria, or methodology, do you feel should be used when making this type of assessment?

2. Review the text box in Chapter 7, “The More Things Change, The More They Stay The Same: Foreign Policy Successes That Boosted Young President.” Do you believe the President’s foreign policy powers should be dominant and he should have exclusive control over foreign relations, or do you believe Congress should play more of a role in these affairs?

3. Understanding the manner in which cabinet appointees are selected and the role that they serve, do you believe that they should primarily support and advocate for the policy positions of the President, or do you think that they should have more independence in expressing their opinions and making decisions regarding their department?

Discussion 4

Choose ONE of the following questions to answer in the Discussion Board. Your initial post needs to be at least 150 words long

1. If politics and legal issues are so often intertwined, should the composition of the Court include seasoned politicians as well as career jurists?

2. Do you believe a Supreme Court nominee’s political views should play a role in his/her approval by the Senate?

3. Currently, the Constitution does not contain eligibility requirements for federal judges. Do you believe this is a strength or a weakness? What eligibility requirements would you support, and what affect do you believe this would have on judicial appointments?

Be aware that Q2 is about Supreme Court nominees and Q3 is about federal judges. Do not conflate the two when answering the question of your choice. If you conflate them, you will not receive credit and will have to do the entry over.

Discussion 5

Choose ONE of the following questions to answer in the Discussion Board. Your initial post needs to be at least 150 words long

1. Have advances in modern technology expanded or contracted citizens’ conceptions of what privacy they actually enjoy? Is it still reasonable to assume that conversations on cell phones remain private? What about e-mail messages and texts? Is anything that you do or write on a social networking site such as Facebook actually private?

2. Do you think the rights of college students should be equivalent to the rights adults enjoy in the workforce, or should they be equivalent to the more limited rights of high school students?

3. What disadvantages do modern-day pioneers in battles over equality face? Is the fame they gain for being first worth the price they must pay from their opponents?

4. Do you agree that a college or university should be able to promote racial diversity through its admissions process? Why or why not?

Discussion 6

Choose ONE of the following questions to answer in the Discussion Board. Your initial post needs to be at least 150 words long

1. Analyze Figure 10.1, “Partisanship in America.” What factors do you believe had led to increase in the number of people who identify as “Independent,” as opposed to Democrat or Republican?

2. The publication of poll results in the days before an election is often criticized because some say that voters are influenced to vote for the “leader” in the poll—the so-called ‘bandwagon effect’. Do you think that there is any merit to this criticism?

3. “Revolving door” laws prohibit public officials from lobbying activities for one year after they leave office. What do you view as some potential political pros or cons of public officials making this transition?

Discussion 7

Choose ONE of the following questions to answer in the Discussion Board. Your initial post needs to be at least 150 words long

1. Review the results listed in Figure 13.7, “Voter Turnout Around the World.” Why do you believe the U.S. has such a low voter turnout, compared to the other countries listed? Do you believe the U.S. should implement any changes to its system of voting in order to expand turnout?

2. Should voting be restricted to those with a college education? Why or why not?

3. Do you think college students’ participation (the youth vote) made a difference in the election outcome in 2012? Do you believe this segment of the population will/can be influential in future elections? Explain.

Discussion 8

Choose ONE of the following questions to answer in the Discussion Board. Your initial post needs to be at least 150 words long

1. Do you believe progressive taxes, regressive taxes, or flat taxes (or a combination of all three) are most “fair.” Explain you answer.

2. Looking at the budget pie charts in Figure 15.3, what areas would you identify for increasing revenue and decreasing spending? Explain your answer.

3. Figure 16.1 shows “Failing to Win Over the Public in Afghanistan.” How important do you believe it is for public opinion to support foreign policy decisions? Explain.

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