Should I support gay marriage or oppose it? This is a question that President Obama has had to ask himself recently in the 2012 Presidential election. President Obama has been on the fence for the past few weeks until recently claiming he supports gay marriage, but his behavior makes me question whether his personal beliefs made the decision or whether his party’s beliefs did. Vice President Joe Biden had been known for supporting gay marriage while his president was somewhat neutral about the subject. The question that keeps re-occurring to me is; why did President Obama suddenly choose a side and how did he make his decision in such a short period of time?
Our study of parties and political outlooks this unit has helped me to answer this question. I choose to be independent meaning I don’t affiliate with either party. Like President Obama, I have not taken a side to the gay marriage battle and I simply don’t care to because it isn’t as important to me and my life as other issues that are being debated. I think President Obama may share the same beliefs as I do, but running for re-election requires him to take a side. His choice to support gay marriage has been argued to have been influenced by Vice President Biden, the homosexual liberal community, etc., but I believe it was his party’s values that chose his mind for him. Learning about judicial philosophies in Government this past week has helped me understand how presidents choose sides on an issue they seem to be indifferent about. This past week, I had to read, compare, and contrast the two main competing judicial philosophies: flexible interpretation and original intent. Flexible interpretation means the members of the judicial system honor the Constitution in a more flexible way while original intent is when the member honor the Constitution word-for-word. Although his decision had no relevance to the judicial system, the democratic party has an almost entirely liberal outlook which means flexible interpretation is used more often. Conservatives argue a man marring a man or a woman marring a woman are unconstitutional, but the democrats use flexible interpretation to make what they feel is the correct choice is today’s context and community.
President Barack Obama may have chosen the way he did for publicity or for votes, but I believe he chose the way he did to honor his party’s beliefs rather than his own. I was able to come to this conclusion from our studies of the judicial branch and how they make their decisions according to their interpretation of constitution. President Obama is using his party’s method of interpretation to choose what would attract more democrats and liberals to his beliefs gaining him more support. Also by following his party’s values, he gains support from the large homosexual community in America. Because of our judicial unit, I see why President Obama has used the liberal judicial form of making choices to make his own choices in the 2012 Presidential Election.
American citizens value politics and government more than any other category of popular focus. Government and politics fill the vast majority of news Americans tune into consistently throughout the day.
Governmental references are seen in cartoons, books, movies, satires, music, and any other form of entertainment that you might be able to think of. You might hear conversations involving an election or a new policy being discussed at the table next to you when you go out to dinner. Why are Americans so into the American government?
Americans value government because their beliefs are what fuel the nation and what it chooses to do. It is clear why public education of politics and government is so crucial to the success and the strength of the nation. I believe educating students in government will help create intellectual and reasonable voters which will be the foundation for the government in the future. This is why I believe government class is the most important class I can take at Parish.
This unit, we have learned about how the American government works. We have reviewed political parties, elections, congress, and the overall foundation of the American government. I have found the elections section the most interesting because it truly seems candidates fight to beat the person running against them rather than to just win. For example, we watched campaign commercials from the Reagan, Clinton, Obama, McCain, Bush, and Nixon. I found it interesting how candidates such as Nixon and McCain only contradict their opponents beliefs without putting forward their solutions to the problem their opponents address. Watch McCain’s commercial attacking Obama here. While some choose to attack, some choose to advertise themselves rather than the faults of their opponents. I prefer these commercials because I feel the candidate is mature and is self-dependent on his own success rather than his opponent’s. I feel as if the commercials attacking the candidate’s opponent is somewhat of propaganda, which makes me dislike that person on a sense of him being immature and childish. Watch President Reagan’s commercial in which he supports himself here.
Because we reviewed these previous commercials, I can see the resemblance in the current presidential election. I remember seeing the Florida debate between Gingrich and Romney fighting over who invested their own personal money in Freddie Mac while Ron Paul finally butt in telling them to stop arguing over stupid things just to make the other candidate look bad. See the debate here. At the top of the page is a political cartoon I found amusing because it illustrates what the two republican candidates chose to argue about in front of a huge number American voters. This unit has really allowed me to see the candidates deeper than what I was able to see before. I have used what I learned in this unit to select a candidate who I believe would be the best president, which shows how this unit has helped me mature in my knowledge and judgement in politics.
We have also learned about the electorate college and the criticism it receives. After reading entries from Walter Berns and Richard J. Durbin, I have learned about the pros and cons of the electorate college. I personally don’t agree with the electorate college because I think it’s original purpose of protection from the uneducated public doesn’t apply to modern times. Reading about the costs and benefits of the electorate college, a major costs is the sub-committees which over power the individual electorate. I can understand more clearly why newly elected politicians have trouble getting what they mentioned during their elections put into action. Newly elected electorates are “shut out” by sub-committees which join together to progress their views over the ones who aren’t in their sub-committee. I’ve enjoyed reading their works and they have helped gain an understanding of our electorate college.
I believe this year’s Government class has achieved what it was designed to do. I have gained a greater knowledge and interest in how the Government functions. This unit has lead me to read the news and have a better understanding of what I’m reading. I would highly recommend this course to anyone who wants to become more involved and interested in politics, the news, or the current American community in general. Government has shaped me into a confident voter and has achieved it’s goal of interesting me in the nation.