POL 443 Week 5 Individual Assignment; Pluralism vs Elitism Opinion Paper
POL 443 Week 5 Individual Assignment; Pluralism vs Elitism Opinion Paper
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Date Created: 11/06/15
Pluralism versus Elitism Opinion Paper 1 Running Head: PLURALISM VERSUS ELITISM OPINION PAPER Pluralism versus Elitism Opinion Paper Name Wealth and Power in America POL 443 Faculty Date Pluralism versus Elitism Opinion Paper 2 Express a personal judgment regarding which theory (pluralism or elitism) best describes wealth and power in the United States The theory of elitism can be used to describe wealth and power in the Unites States presently. Elites are certain groups of individuals with intellect, personal abilities, wealth and training in specialized areas. This group can also be described as having views and actions that carry much political weight. Pluralists and some elites do manage to stay focused on major issues that are affecting so many Americans. The price of gasoline, national unemployment rates and uniform health care coverage for the millions of American that are underinsured or have no insurance from medical catastrophes, our economic survival and the war in Iraq are just a few requiring our immediate attention. The elites are insulated from the lives of Mary Jones and John Smith to a large degree. The pluralists are somehow able to connect with Mary and John and offer policy positions that make sense when presented to blue collar ordinary Americans. The elitists are suffering from the general media perception that they are and remain out of touch with average Americans. To the contrary rather than describe America as having pluralism or elitism, ours is a government ruled by the wealthy. When the numbers of political appointments are viewed, private and public sector involvement in policy decisions is considerable. Money or affluence is a necessity for most if not all political policies to be passed. When economic difficulties are present, such as what our country is presently experiencing, the people then demand new leadership to stem the tides. Disclose your participation in political activities. Assess how these activities may have influenced your judgment. Pluralism versus Elitism Opinion Paper 3 Recently I had the opportunity to read any article that stated political participation is linked to personal wealth. According to Lynne Duke of the Washington Post, “the power to shape American politics is concentrated among the more affluent citizens. This group is twice as likely to participate in political protests and make significant campaign contributions.” (Duke, 1992). True enough, but it would be dependent on your financial circumstances. In my naiveté I still believe that when I contribute $25 or whatever I can afford, that it will make a difference to the candidate that I support. In looking for a candidate the search is for a resonance of truth, to understanding the issues and convincing me the problems affecting simple likeminded individuals will be fixed. In the past and quite recently, I contributed by answering answered phones at the Obama campaign headquarters where I live. This was something I have never participated in before. The results were a profound respect for individuals that choose the profession of political candidacy. In a small way, I was made to feel like a valued part of a growing change. This past election, set unheard of numbers for voter registrations and campaign rallies. Whether you voted for the other candidate or the current President, our voices were heard. The American people were witness to a communication revolution. With the political and social elevation of major media outlets to new and unproportional levels, unique and technically sophisticated methods of communication played a clever and unique role in the recent campaign and focused attention on the issues plaguing many Americans. Another consideration was that it mobilized effective reforms in our society. The act of participation allowed me to witness change from within. A heightened awareness and increased understanding of the many political issues that are currently on the front burner, now exists. As a result it has encouraged me to do more public service. My volunteer Pluralism versus Elitism Opinion Paper 4 work with Friendship Trays (our locals Meals on Wheels) has always been a humbling thing. Service to my community will continue to be a part of my core, both in deed and by act. The importance of remaining active by participating in political activities is one most people attempt to do. Our Democracy is made up of large numbers of voters. Individuals must be further encouraged to realize that of itself constitutes an electoral force, one to be recognized. Beyond your personal experience, what specific evidence supports your appraisal? When there is a wider public participation, the resulting pool of knowledge becomes expanded. The legislators then develop effective policies which have the support of the public. Participation brings about opportunities to understand how the political system in America functions. With positive participation, “the level of public understanding of political issues is raised and creates a mature dialogue between politicians and the people they serve.” (Participation Handbook, 2004) In November 2008, the world saw Democrat Barack Obama win the US Presidential on a platform of social democracy for all Americans. Based on your appraisal of elitism and pluralism, is Madison’s hope that the checks and balances in the Constitution and the existence of opposing factions working sufficiently so the general good is not being sacrificed for the good of powerful elite and special interests? Based solely on a self appraisal of elitism and pluralism, separation of powers is the guiding force of a truly Democratic state. Some individuals feel that besides executive, judicial, congressional and the people, we should also add the media to the list of checks and balances. The media outlets have considerable influence on public opinion that in turn can change the direction of an election. When the media provides necessary information about our government’s activities and policy changes that is check and balance. Checks and balances are needed to allow Pluralism versus Elitism Opinion Paper 5 for a regulatory system to limit the power of the other branches. The general good of the public, thus is not sacrificed because of the accountability factor to the people they serve. Legal constraints are in place that can constrain the power, if it is against the will of the people. In summarizing your conclusions, make specific mention of why this topic (wealth and power in America) should be of both personal and social relevance. By uniting with likeminded individuals group can increase an organization and lobby legislators that have political power, but also social influence. To become educated and informed, there must be involvement. By becoming involved the mystery of political process is unveiled. Within our society exist individuals in different groups that have different ideas about resolving the issues of the American people. The elites have wealth, prestige and affluence with our government. Pluralists can be considered conservative and try to represent the true standards of the American people. Over the years, inequality has come down to income when speaking of the various groups in our country. Those who have and those who do not, are the groups most familiar to us. Experienced and knowledgeable individuals have a partnership to form as true policy analyst practitioners’. With this in mind that the issues affecting Americans can be studied and debated. There is knowledge and power in understanding how political systems operate, especially in our society. Wealth and power are not as untenable as some would believe. Pluralism versus Elitism Opinion Paper 6 References: Duke, L. (1992) Political participation is increasingly linked to personal wealth, survey finds. The Washington Post. Retrieved on February 8, 2009 from http://www.encyclopedia.com/doc/1P2-1028800.html Participation Handbook (2004) The scottish parliament participation service. Retrieved on February 8, 2009 from www.scottish.parliament.co.uk
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