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Hostility Between Nations

Recently in class, I learned about the nuclear testing being conducted in North Korea. This immediately caught my attention, because unlike other issues that we have discussed in class, this is a problem that threatens not only the U.S., but also the entire world. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, as detailed by the Huffington Post, is “angering the United States and Japan” because he has chosen to conduct a third nuclear test “in defiance of existing U.N. resolutions.”

ImageMy opinion is that the international community needs to work together to develop a swift solution that will convince Kim Jong-un to cease this testing. The Constitutions Preamble declares that America has sworn to “provide for the common defence” (Textbook 287). Part of being a strong nation means being wholeheartedly devoted to protecting the people from danger, and a nuclear weapon is most definitely categorized as dangerous.

Focusing mainly on the role of the President, I have connected lessons and developed the beginning of how I believe this issue should be tackled by the United States. To begin, an excerpt from Federalist #10 lays the foundation for my solution: “There are two methods of curing the mischiefs of faction: the one, by removing its causes; the other, by controlling its effects” (2). In this case, the strong-willed faction is Kim Jong-un and his father, who promote the “military first” policy. Federalist #10 later goes on to say that controlling the effects is the only successful maneuver. Next, in order to help manage the effects of Kim Jong-uns current policy, the President needs to take initiative and meet with the United Nations to determine a way to reasonably convince North Korea’s leader to take his focus off of nuclear testing. Woodrow Wilson pioneered the League of Nations, which would later turn into the United Nations, on the belief that “the president should lead not only in national politics but also in international relations” (215). Finally, it is the Presidents duty to have a plan prepared in case Kim Jong-un decides to unleash one of his threatening missiles or simply continues to test these devices. According to Clinton Rossiter, the Presidents role as Commander-in-Chief of the Army and Navy of the United States makes him “accountable… for the nation’s readiness to meet an enemy assault” (Reader 201). Overall, the President is a major player in resolving this issue with North Korea, whether it be peacefully or – in a worst case scenario – through warfare.

Learning about current events at the beginning of each class has greatly increased my knowledge of national politics. It didn’t take long for me to realize that the ways in which nations operate are incredibly diverse, but I had another epiphany yesterday – one that was much more exciting – that completely changed how I understand politics. Throughout this course, we have learned about different types of government such as monarchy and democracy. The way in which most people, including our class, define each government is by explaining the role of the ruling body compared to that of the people: For example, a monarchy is “a government in which the supreme power is vested in the people.” I passed this off as unimportant until yesterday, when one news story changed my perspective.

I have this tradition of watching WFAA News 8 every morning before school. Yesterday morning, I sleepily turned the TV on and half-listened as the weather and traffic forecasts were presented. Then, the newscasters proceeded into their main story for the day. Robin Roberts, a TV personality on ABC’s Good Morning America, had just rejoined the show after battling with cancer. This sparked the focus of their story, in which Robin’s battle is connected to that of Brenda Coplin, a Dallas local. These women went on a journey to healing that was incredibly similar at times, but also unique to each individual. It seemed like your generic compare-and-contrast article, but something about this story made something click inside of my head. Robin and Brenda, despite their differences in how they fought with cancer, both began as a woman who sat down in a chair as her doctor prepared to give her the sad news. They were faced with a common problem. That’s when I finally realized something about national politics that I had never thought of before: Although our nations differ in their methods of ruling, we all began as a body of people trying to figure out how to manage themselves. It was a revolutionary concept for me, because I was so used to discussing the differences between nations – and the problems created by those differences – that I hadn’t stopped to think about what they have in common. I took this concept even further by connecting it to the way in which we describe each type of government: Every definition follows the basic structure of the connection between a ruling body and its people. By realizing that the diversity of governments today sprouted from the same seed – planted by the first government ever made – I have come to understand the true awesomeness of the blossoming of national politics. I conclude with a question: Could recognizing each other’s similarities, rather than each other’s differences, prevent hostility between nations?

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