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Government Final


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What is Power?
Complete influence in a social setting. Control; ability to make decisions; capacity; authority; influence; an advantage; responsibility; superior; fundamental idea to advance yourself.
giving them the ability to influence in a social setting
Absolute Power
does not exist because of free will. This means you are never powerless.
accepted by a social group and masks power by making in seem normal
Government- (according to Max Weber)
An organization with a monopoly over the legitimate use of violence in a territory.⬝
1. Organization
2. In a territory (controlled land)- cannot be over nothing
3. Use of violence-control land, social control, back its demands.
4. Legitimate use of violence
Institution-stable organization of people
-defines who belongs
-rules to regulate behavior
-has norms
-Institutionalists-to understand power, look at the institution
Political Parties
organization that runs candidates for elected office, but not all have the same interest.
Interest Groups
organized group with a common interest that attempts to influence government from outside. They focus on one issue and are very extreme (NRA)
believe that Americans are dumb, easily manipulated, and don’t know what they are voting for. They also feel that democracy works because of interest groups.
Problems with pluralists
money, resource of power, people, knowledge, and organization.
Elite Theory
small group of elites should be in charge, keep people in line through ideology, and public has smaller issues.
a framework based on social experience that people use to simplify and interpret the political world. Seeing things as universal good. It reflects self interest because people tend to be selfish and the surroundings usually reflect self interest.
Socialization of Conflict
bringing more people into the issue. It shifts the resource of power. It is also unpredictable. This is usually done by the losing party.
Scope of Conflict
number of people involved
the turf or the playing field
Privatization of Conflict
the scope of the conflict
Imperial Presidency
when the presidency takes over powers meant for other branches. This is often why checks and balances is starting to fall.
Traditional presidency
used up to the 1930’s and was when the president was considered weak. . Teddy Roosevelt-considered on of the weakest presidents because he didn’t do anything.
Modern Presidency
-(1932)-government took a bigger role, therefore the white house became more powerful. Ex. FDR and the New Deal.
Why the Government is more powerful:
1.Got more involved with the economy (after the depression)
Welfare State
when the government is heavily involved in the economy. The U.S. is one of the least involved in economy. The government being involved keeps the economy stable.
do what is best for you⬝
do what you are told
Collective Good
pretend it is good for everyone
Ethical Good
God said so,” “what America is all about,” “founding fathers”
a group of people who work together and promote their interest. Factions are often dangerous. They also force what they want onto others.
Tyranny of the Majority
when a majority through democratic means violates the rights of a minority. (Slavery)
Gate keeper
passes information to the president
Senate-100 members; 2 per state; elected every 6 years
Hose of Representatives-435 members; number per state depends on state’s size; elected every 2 years; spend a lot of time arguing and writing. Ran by the Speaker of the House. Then rain by the Majority Floor Leader, followed by the Minority Floor Leader.
large, specialists, one major committee, more structured, more formal, rules committee
small, generalists, several committees, less structured, more laid back, unanimous consent, all members have power.
an order to talk endlessly and is good for killing bills.
Closure rule
it requires 60 signatures to keep talking for 30 hours
Poisoned Pill
amendment to kill a bill and can be done in House but is easier in senate
Rules Committee
In the House of Reps
-decides how long debates are
-how many amendments are allowed
-rules for voting
-members decided by majority party
-Political parties give jobs to people who support it.
-corruptions because it was to pay people off.
-for civil service jobs, you have to take tests.
when members of congress being the government more money to the district or state.
Gerry Mandering
promoting a particular party or candidate. It was named after Governor Gerry. He was a founder of the constitution who tried to rig Boston to vote for his people. Then, a cartoonist drew a salamander and called it a gerrymander.
Baker vs. Carr
-population difference of 40:1
-all districts in a state have to have the same population (Supreme Court).
Critical Differences Between The U.S. and most of Europe
-the U.S. only has two parties
-party unity in the U.S. is weak
-In the U.S., the political parties are entrepreneurs
-the clarity in the U.S. is muddy which the parties on the defense will confuse the issue
Proportional Representation
no districts
-no candidate names; only party names
-divide the number of seats each party gets by the proportion of votes it gets
-usually a minimum vote to get into government is 5%
Coalition Government
when multiple parties join together to run the government
Public Representation
there are more parties
-there are more representatives
-it is less stable
The Two Schools in Voting
1. Voters are rational
2. Voters are irrational
1.voters are irrational
-most people vote the way their parents vote or voted because it is how they were raised.
-Party Identification-a long term affective attachment to a political party
-group attachment
-religion or ethnic group
-voters are fundamentally rational but lack knowledge
Situations in which voters are rational
1. a difference between easy and hard issues
-ward issues
-easy issues to understand (abortion)

2. Retrospective Voting
-see how things are going
-vote for or against the incumbent depending on how things are going. The incumbent is the person already in office who is up for reelection
2. Voters are rational
-logical, take time for decisions, not emotional, focuses on the issues, and there is some level of self-interest involved.
*If voters are not rational, it is easier for politicians to manipulate them
-by provoking fear
-Sympathy-“protect the children”
Single Member District and Plurality Voting
-majority means 50% +1
-Plurality-whoever has the most votes
1. Divided into districts
2. One elected position per district
3. Names of candidates are on the ballot
4. Whoever gets the most votes wins
-This means smaller parties disappear
-voters don’t want to waste their vote
-All resources shift to the biggest parties
Buverger’s Law
If you have single member districts with one seat available with plurality voting, you get a 2 party system.
-single member districts
-plurality votes
-Two parties
Third Parties
-minority parties
-any party besides the two biggest
How did third parties become eliminated from American politics?
-Suppression of the vote
-poll tax
-literacy test
-The main idea was to keep third parties off the ballot
-1900-states all went to Australian ballot (people had to register to vote and were put in a booth with a ballot.
-ballot access laws
-5% signature requirements
-previous votes
-steal third party issues
-William Jennings Bryan
-In 1896, he ran for president
-stole populist issues
-third party resources dry up
Voter Turnout
-Americans are far less likely to vote than other democracies
-Europe-80-90% vote
-U.S.-50% of registered voters vote
-Why don’t Americans vote?
5. Politicians try to suppress the vote
-get your supporters out to vote
-keep the others home
Example: the poll tax
-keep the poor from voting
-literacy tests
-voting registration laws
-outdated voting machines
-Felony Lists
-Alabama & Florida-30% of black males can’t vote
whipping us support” trying to make sure there’s enough support for bills. They spend most of their time counting votes.
Incumbency Effect
in the House of Representatives, 95-98% of people are reelected. In the Senate, the effect is there, but it is very weak. In the presidency, it is barely there unless things are going really well.
Party Realignment
when large numbers within a particular social group switch from one party to another. This is a sociological theory.
Congressional Committee
-Stand In Committee
permanent committee
Congressional Committee
-Ways and Means committee
oldest committee and is responsible for bringing money in (taxes).
Congressional Committee
-Appropriations Committee
spends the money
Sociological Theory
The New Deal (example)-
-Catholics went from Republican to Democrat
-black vote went from Republican to Democrat
Critical Realignment
-a sudden change
Secular Realignment
-gradual shift
-southern whites(went from Democrats to Republicans over time)
-republican party is formed(1856)
-anti-slavery party
-democrats became pro-slavery
-William Jennings Bryant
-populists-pro poor farmers
-became poor people
-pro silver standard
-workers rights
-the south(jim crow laws)
-Republicans became very pro-business
-FDR elected president
-Democrats take over
-pro union
-pro working class
-still the party of the south
-civil rights movement
-democrats against this because they did not want to lose the south
-big government means economics but also local and state issues
What do all the dates mean?
Every 36 years there is a realignment.
Liberal Bias
1. Journalists tend to be democrats
2. Impressionistic
-Political Side-undermine the legitimacy of criticism
History-Nixon administration
-became good strategy for republicans
-Reagan-loved by media
Incentives of the Media and politicians
1. Media
-need stories and sources
-need audience
2. Politicians
-need exposure
-support issues
*Politicians use the media to socialize conflicts
The Six main companies that are in charge of the Media
1. General Electric
2. Viacom
3. Disney
4. Bertelsmann
5. Time Warner
6. News Corp.-ran by Rupert Merdoch-FOX
American Idiot-Green Day
-Mass public
-anti-Bush song
-people are manipulated by the media
Courtesy of the Red, White, and Blue-Toby Keith
-live in peace
-land of the free
-under attack
-"big black eye"
-statue of liberty-shake a fist
-justice will be served
-boot in your ass the American way
Take the Power Back-Rage Against the Machine
-"the power"
-controlled by the government
-held by the people
-Pro establishment
-anti establishment
Pro establishment
-the notion of being protected
-often, there are outside enemies
-ridicules those who challenge.
-angry or sarcastic
-usually a deep bass
-challenge Legitimacy
God Save the Queen
-need the queen
-a royal symbol
-queen has no politics
God Save the Queen-The Sex Pistols
-Challenge legitimacy
-call her regine fasciest
-not a human being
I am an Anarachist-Sex Pistols
-I am the anti-christ
-intended to drive anger
Blowing in the Wind-Bob Dylan
-civil rights song
-anti-war song
-questioning legitimacy
History of Music
-folk music
-populist movement
-poor farmers from the south and the west
-very christian
-very anti government
-forerunners of christian rights
Woody Guthrie
-famous folk singer
-wrote "this land is your land"
-anti-private property song
-to take the politics out of it
Country Joe and the Phish
-circus music
-gun shots
Somebody to Love-Jefferson Airplane
-culture wars
-red state vs. blue state
-we are christian, you are not
-Don't you want somebody to have sex with?
-Throwing off the shackles of society
Rock or Rock 'n' Roll
-blues and folk
-breakdown of racial divide
-Rock 'n' Roll-reference to dancing and sex
Redistribution Policy
-take money from the rich and give it to the poor and middle class
-tax policy
-social spending
Progressive Tax
-higher income people pay more.
-Rich pay more for taxes than the poor do.
-income tax, estate tax, flat tax
Regressive Tax
-the poor pay a lot and the rich pay a little
-sales tax, social security
-government uses it to pay for other things(war)
Flat tax
everybody pays the same percent
Social Movement
a sustained, organized, non violent mass opposition
Ex. civil rights movement

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