The United States of America is the second largest democracy after India by the size of the electorate; the state emerges as the most powerful in its political system. After independence, the American government created an entirely different political system which supported the share of power within three arms of government; the executive, legislature and the judiciary. The American society has been faced with ever changing political dynamics that have been characterized by various civil rights movements, the media and political systems. The aim of this paper is to alienate the various issues that have defined the American political system in the past and how the society has been influenced by the paradigm change.
Two civil rights event that have influenced sense of social responsibility of the American government
Birmingham and Alabama major campaign protest
The protests were a confrontation between violent police with non-violent protesters who included school children. The campaign desired to end segregation in the use of public utilities, racial discrimination in job allocation, and education for blacks. The clashes became continuous and forced the then sitting President John F Kennedy to push for civil rights legislation in 1963. The Birmingham protests attracted a large population of over 200,000 protesters in Washington and led to the passage of Civil Rights Act of 1964 which outlawed discrimination in employment, education, and segregation in public utilities (Dudziak, 2011, p 3-5).
Montgomery bus boycott
The Montgomery bus boycott was the first step of black protest movement when an African American refused to give up a seat for a white passenger and was sent to jail for defying the southern customs. It was required that black Americans give up seats for white bus riders. The act led to a community of African Americans to boycott city buses which lasted for more than a year. Their leader, Martin Luther King Jr., applied the nonviolent tactics which initiated subsequent movements that later achieved national civil rights reforms.
Two media events that have negatively influenced public’s opinion of a government agency
As the American Society delves into a century with a variety of technological and social advancements, one of the most critical issues that have revolutionized and impacted societal communication is the digital media. The major negative aspect of the media is that it controls what people perceive and hear. Most media houses exaggerate political opinions or underrate certain government policies. The media can also exaggerate a particular scene coverage that can influence the public opinion negatively towards how government agencies should act in certain situations (Biagi, 2011, p 2-4). For example, during the Somalia crisis, the pictures of starving children posted by the media fraternity led to the urgent response from President Bush to address the situation by sending American troops to Somalia. The soldiers were supposed to protect women and children but lacked prior inspection and evaluation of the situation on the ground. The troops later got killed due to their ill-informed situation. Later, the media agitated for the withdrawal of the American soldiers. The American citizens demanded the troops` return by forcing the president to withdraw the troops from Somalia which rendered the victims to be under the full control of ruthless tribal authorities.
Media misinformation can negatively impact the public’s opinion of a government agency.
During wars media coverage of the scenes can send misinformation regarding the status of the soldiers. For example, during World War II the media reported that soldiers were missing yet the military had not confirmed the same. The families of the soldiers responded and through the vocal voice of the American people pressure mounted on the president to withdraw some of the troops. Misinformation by media houses can inflict an urgent decision which in many cases can cause more harm than good. American government values its citizens` public opinion which is influenced by the media in majority of the circumstances (Morgan, 2009, p 5).
Differences between Republican and Democratic parties that have a positive ethical influence on the American people
Republicans are conservative and believe in three pillars of equality; justice, responsibility, and individual rights. Also, they are traditionalist whereby they value families and respect life (Levendusky, 2009, p 2). Republicans value a small government with freedom and believe in God as a creator of the nation. For instance, in a 2012 forum, the Republicans pushed for the replacement of religious symbols in every public place which is a positive ethical influence to American people. In contrast, Democrats are liberal in their philosophy and believe that a government with regulations will enable people to obey set rules. Equally, they believe in centralization of power in one state and prefer a socialist government. The idea of government regulation will maintain order in the community because there will be rules to guide the people and punishment will be subjected to those defying the rules. Therefore, a socially and morally responsible nation will be maintained.
The Republicans believe in equal justice under the law. For example, they believe people have the same opportunity to prosper and should be suppressed by the same law. In addition, they believe that the judges’ actions should be guided by the American constitution. Contrastingly, Democrats want judges to base cases on the popularity of a certain culture.
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