“Off to the races we go, no time to wait…” Like the catchy saying my mom tells me every morning, this year has been off to a hectic start. With elections just around the corner, it seems as if time has flown by. Overall, this trimester has been quite chaotic with the in-class working projects and now the student campaign project we are just beginning. Throughout the course of this trimester I have learned a great deal about government that I did not know before. The most important things that I have learned about this trimester are the importance of voter participation in elections and the complexity of Presidential campaigns.
First, I have learned about the American public participating in elections. Over the course of the years, voter participation in elections has gradually been decreasing due to several factors. According to our textbook, voters are gaining more and more distrust for our government, people are busier now than ever, there have been changes to local party politics, and the role of news media have all been the causes for citizens not voting. It is interesting to learn about the participation of individual voters and makes me aware that we, as Americans need to be more active now.
In addition to voter participation in elections, I have also enjoyed learning about Presidential campaigns and elections. Working on a campaign project really caught my attention on how much candidates actually spend on campaigns. There is a tremendous amount of time, effort, and money that each candidate puts into their run for office. This trimester as a group of four, we worked as a team to help create a candidate to run in our in-class election. We first started by making a website to get our candidate known to the media, also known as our fellow A1 classmates who we would be running against. Along with the website, we had to write policy briefs, write a biography, make a campaign commercial video for our candidate if we wanted to, and we had to present all this material in an in class election for our candidate.
In conclusion, it is evident that I have learned a great deal throughout the course of this third trimester. The election process is interesting and each election and campaign is different. By understanding the election process, there is a greater chance that people will become involved in politics and how the country is run.
During the second trimester in Government, I learned a great deal about the Constitution that I did not know before. Learning about the Constitution in this class broadened my view on how it has shaped and played a very important role in society today. What helped me the most to uncover and really dig into the Constitution, was the Constitutional Research Project. In this project, we were given different hypothetical situations in which we had to use the Constitution to figure out if that situation we were dealing with was truly constitutional. Today, there are many “loopholes” in the constitution that can override many other factors and the outcome of many cases can be very unusual and unpredictable. Although things may appear to be simple, a minor detail can change the whole course of a situation.
As I was reading an article with my mom a few weeks ago about a Florida man named John Goodman, adopting his girlfriend in attempt to protect the his assets during an upcoming lawsuit surrounding a deadly car accident he was involved in, I figured I could put my newly learned knowledge of the constitution to work. The whole court case seemed unreal and bizarre; there was nothing in the Constitution that could really be used to stop the man from doing this. I soon realized after trying to find if this story was Constitutional, this story is one of the many “loopholes” that are found in society today. The Constitution did not relate to this case because it stated nothing about adoption, or laws on a man trying to adopt his girlfriend, so that she could get some of his money. It may seem unjust and unconstitutional to do this, but it was up to the court to decide if what this man was doing was right and just.
Overall, I gained so much out of this project. I realized that I could relate many different situations to the Constitution, and that not everything was in the Constitution. Things may seem unfair, but sometimes you must leave it up to the court system to be the deciding factor in a case. The Constitutional Research Project really opened a big picture for me and broadened my view of the importance that the Constitution holds in our society today even with the many changes and transformations that our society is undergoing. This project allowed me to uncover a current court case, just like the different hypotheticals, and see if what was going on was “Constitutional”. Although things might seem “easy” to decipher in ones own eyes, one must take in to account the views from all sides of the situation to truly determine the final verdict.