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It May Not Work in Politics
Politics is a complex area of human relations. One of its most important tasks is the management of society, taking into account the interests of different social actors that are often mutually exclusive. Politics can be defined as the activities associated with the distribution and execution of power within the state and between states in order to achieve the security of people. This paper considers different sides of politics and its implications to display the multidimensionality of this notion.
The USA has developed a system of laws and by-laws, instructions, and regulations that govern the issues of ethical conduct of members of the Congress as well as its staff and federal employees. Not so long ago, the ethical violations have been proved in the activities of one of the Democrats – Charles Rangel (“The president, congress, and lobbyists,” 2013). His guilt was proved in the non-payment of taxes, misconduct of soliciting funds, using his official position, and others.
Rangel was censured for these violations. On the one hand, I agree with the verdict because one of the important conditions for the stability of American society is the public confidence in the authorities, and if such cases are not sanctioned, the trust of the people in authority and regulatory bodies will decrease. On the other hand, I do not agree with the degree of penalty; the proven cases are only small episodes in the career of the politician while he was accused of various frauds throughout his career (“The president, congress, and lobbyists,” 2013).
Furthermore, the rendered censure did not prevent the further political career of Rangel. In addition, if an ordinary American citizen conducted the same violation of tax statements, it can be assumed that he or she would be pursued to the fullest extent of the law, including criminal charges, while Rangel suffered from a symbolic punishment.
It should be noted that US political leaders pay much attention to the fight against the abuse of official position and various forms of corruption. The norms of political ethics governing the conduct of members of Congress, congressional staff system, and federal employees are generally reduced to the regulation of financial issues: the prevention of abuse in the use of public and state funds, proper and timely completion of financial statements, and so on (“The president, congress, and lobbyists,” 2013). Cases similar to Rangel’s undermine the authority of government officials and have a negative impact on the perception of the power structure by American society.
Third Party Candidates
Until now, no third-party candidate has won the US presidential election. It is crucial to note that if an independent candidate leads a presidential campaign, he or she takes away the voters from the Republican and Democratic parties, though having an impact on the outcome of the election. All third-party candidates are dropped out of the election since the US political system can be characterized by bipartidism, which is a monopoly of the two parties that limits the ability of small parties to participate in elections (Hill, 2012).
The latter is to register in each state, which is rather a complicated procedure. Further, third party candidates have almost no access to the media; however, the number of second party candidates is increasing.
The position of the head of the country has gone from the Republicans to the Democrats and the reverse. Candidates from other parties and those self-nominated with rare exceptions do not play a significant role in the presidential race. For instance, in the US history, one can count more than three thousand parties, but at the national level, only two of them have won, which is due to the majoritarian electoral system that operates in accordance with the principle of “winner takes it all” (Farah, 2011).
If one of the candidates gets at least one vote more than the other candidate does, he or she receives all the voices of that state. Therefore, the presence of the two-party system with a majoritarian approach to elections virtually negates the success of the third party candidate as they will fail to attract the required number of electors. For instance, in 1992, Bill Clinton and George Bush competed with Ross Perot, who was a Texas businessman that created his own party and formed his own agenda. He got nearly 20% of the votes but failed to get the electors; consequently, that 20% of the votes had been lost. In fact, he took the votes from Republican Party supporters and helped in the election of Bill Clinton (Farah, 2011).
The majority system pushes to ensure that there is a maximum of two candidates, if there will be three of them, Congress will need to decide. According to the Constitution, the House of Representatives and the Senate consider the results of the presidential elections and vote. In the XIX century, there were such cases when candidates did not receive the necessary number of electors, and the Congress elected the President of the United States.
Federal and State Authority
One of the current issues facing the United States today is the controversy related to the arms. The right of citizens to keep and carry arms is guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the Constitution. However, there is no uniformly applied law throughout the territory, while about 2.5 thousand laws and regulations of federal, state, and municipal levels control the ownership, use, and sales of weapons (Feinman, 2014). In this regard, there is a clear contradiction in regulations, and there were examples when the Constitution constrained the Federal and state responses to the issue.
Currently, US citizens have the right to possess a short and long-barreled rifled or smoothbore weapons as well as semi-automatic weapons. The US Supreme Court affirmed that the Second Amendment advocates the right of citizens to bear arms and gives them the right to use weapons for legitimate purposes such as self-defense in their home. Since 2002, the US Supreme Court decision on the scope of the Second Amendment to the US Constitution.
For instance, in 2008, in District of Columbia v. Heller Court, the Court overturned the law of Washington, DC forbidding residents to keep guns in their homes or use long arms for self-defense while being at home (Strang, 2011). The Court found that the Second Amendment advocated an individual’s right to keep and carry firearms for self-defense. In addition, it was pointed out that a revolver is preferable for self-defense, and keeping it at home was legal. Over time, the Court has repealed such laws in other cities (such as Chicago).
Despite the fact that the political debate around the limits of Constitutional guarantees is common and necessary, the discussions of the Second Amendment are conducted on a more basic level – it’s content (Strang, 2011). In this regard, there are multiple questions whether it is appropriate that the Constitution constrains the Federal and state responses to the described issue.
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In conclusion, the contradictions in political activities and perceptions appear in the form of confrontation between different political sides such as political parties, organizations, movements, and others that express different political interests of society. Political contradictions are the source of development of the totality of political and authority relations. The multidimensionality of American politics is the source of both confrontations between the parties and the development of the society, which is an essential outcome of such interaction.
Farah, G. (2011). No debate. New York, NY: Seven Stories Press.
Feinman, J. (2014). Law 101. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Hill, K. (2012). An essential guide to American politics and the American political system. Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse.
Strang, L. (2011). Federal constitutional law. New York, NY: LexisNexis.
The president, congress, and lobbyists. (2013). In J. Thurber (Ed.), Rivals for power (pp. 137-155). Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.