The U.S. Constitution has many strengths such as accountability and contingency planning written throughout the various sections. It also has some weaknesses in that the constitution was written so many years ago, some of it is not pertinent to today, and it is very difficult if not impossible to redact any part of the constitution. There are also many advantages and disadvantages to federalism Federalism allows States to rule their own people in certain areas and establish their own rules and regulations on various issues In doing so, States are better enabled to address the issues of their areas. With States making their own rules, however, there is less accountability on various levels. Furthermore, the lack of uniformity in certain regulations leaves loopholes and inconsistency among the various States Each branch of Government serves a very important purpose.
Because of the various branches of Government, it is far more difficult to create a dictatorship or a tyranny. Political parties, interest groups, and elections also ensure that the United States is not ruled by one group entirely and people can voice their opinions on various issues. All the above-mentioned topics intertwine to create the American Government and Democracy as we know it. The American Government was founded on values, principles, and ideas that fit for the people at that time We have developed over time, but some of the policies and ideas that held true at the time of the birth of this great nation are not necessarily as true now. America’s Democracy All the foundations, ideas, and features that built America and the American government as we know it would be constructed differently if they were developed now rather than so many years ago.
The ideas, beliefs, and values that the founding fathers once held true are not necessarily as much of a priority today This paper will discuss the foundations of the American government and America‘s democracy. It will also discuss the strengths and shortfalls of the various government mechanisms and how these shortfalls and their associated weaknesses can be remedied Some of the mechanisms that make up the American government as well as democracy as we know it are the United States Constitution, Federalism, Branches of Government, political parties, interest groups, and elections. The Constitution When discussing the United States Constitution or the founding fathers who developed, drafted, and finalized this constitution which so many Americans hold to be true, there is automatic bias and a defensive attitude Many Americans find the Constitution to be fool proof and the highest truthr Some would even compare questioning the Constitution to being un- American.
To debate as to whether the founding fathers made the best decisions in drafting the Constitution and the contents within, many Americans will automatically have the same defensive attitude and bias “Because any portrait of the Founding and the Founders — whether cynical or heroic — affects how we imagine these great symbols of American political life, even the most objective scholar may find it difficult to avoid an appearance of bias, however slight or inadvertent”. Regardless of the attitudes or bias, the Constitution is not error free or weakness free. The Constitution has weaknesses as it also has strengths. Drafted so many years ago, the Constitution in its original entirety would not be pertinent to life as it is today. This document was written many years ago and the issues that the individuals were facing at that time are not relevant to the issues that are pressing today.
Also, because of the language used throughout the constitution there is room for interpretation and confusion. Therefore, the courts are continuously working to interpret the meanings of various articles and sections to determine the pertinence of various constitutional rights regarding various court cases and lawsuits. The strength of the constitution, however lies in the fact that the constitution was developed and drafted based on freedom. This is the underlying theme throughout the constitution and because of this, there is separation of powers, accountability, and controls within the Government In order to ensure the strength of the constitution withstands the test of time, any amendments that are proposed should not be adopted if they have anything to do with taking anyone’s freedom‘. To alleviate the weakness of being difficult to understand and interpret, as well as some parts possibly being outdated, the Constitution should be translated and amended to an easier to read more up to date document that is easier to apply to the cases and scenarios that come up in this time period.
The constitution will continuously be under scrutiny until this happens, “The true victory, most commentators and political figures agreed, was the fact that the American Constitution had come through yet another trial by fire and a peaceful transistion of power had been achieved” (Berkin 2), The Affordable Care Act is a policy implemented under the Obama Administration that has been the subject of much controversy. Although developed with the American people’s health and wellbeing in mind, there has been much scrutiny for its weaknesses “The main goals of PPACA are to minimize the number of uninsured Americans and make healthcare available to everyone at an affordable price” (Rak & Coffin 1) Under the Affordable Care Act, all Americans are forced to carry health insurance. This took power from the State governments to implement a health plan for their individual States.
It also took away the free will of the American people to choose whether they want to carry health insurance because they must pay a fine for not having it every year. The Act itself has the strength of hypothetically making healthcare affordable and accessible to all Americans. In enacting this policy however, many Americans cannot afford how high their premiums and copays have risen. The fees associated cannot be avoided because individuals must report their health insurance status when they file their taxes, and pay at the same time they pay their annual taxes In order to maintain the strength of enabling individuals to carry health insurance regardless of their income and present health conditions, this act should not be overturned altogether, it should, however, be modified so that the States have more control, as do the people. Furthermore, there should be strict implementations and regulations written into the policy that curtails the Health insurance companies’ ability to raise premiums as they have.
The policy should also ensure the insurance companies that have raised premiums be held accountable for their actions, It is important to ensure the States continue to have power over their own areas as they are best able to address the needs of the individuals in their area. Federalism was enacted for a reason, and the more policies the Federal Government implement and enforce nationally, the unhappier the various States will be. “As the ‘composition’ approaches 200 years of age, it is still not easy to render a simple, indisputable judgement of the outcome” (Derthick 66). Branches of Government The various branches of the United States government all serve a purpose. Although scrutinized as being inefficient, the legislative branch of Government’s strength is in its purpose “Its purpose is to express the will of the American people as to what US, law and policy should
be in our democratic society, both as to domestic and international matters” (Encyclopedia of Human Rights). This branch is much needed as there is an ever growing and ever changing need for law and policy making within the country. The primary weakness of the legislative branch is the inefficiency and lack of cooperation to get anything accomplished a lot of the time, Whenever asked why nothing is being approved, the members of this branch blame one another. “Representative Price rightly claims that the competitiveness between the two parties provides little reason for cooperation and giving a win to the other side” (Crespin 8: Madonna 1). When the various parties vote and work together based on who owes whom what favors and what votes, the future of the United States and the betterment of the American people is not being evaluated Personal gains and personal conflicts are taking precedent over the success of the country as well as the advancement of the wellbeing of the American people.
In order to ensure the strength is maintained, the legislative branch should continue working to develop and enhance policies, It should also, however, be held more accountable by the other branches of government as well as by the people. The legislative branch should not be able to come up with excuses as to why they base their votes on what favors they owe. They should also not be allowed to drag processes on until policies and bills die. The accountability as well as the transparency of what occurs and why within this branch should be enhanced through executive orders. “In established democracies, many political parties emerged from social movements in opposition to the political establishment, and some political parties were even formally founded by interest groups” (Allern 8), Political parties have evolved over the years.
What began as a group with similar interests and priorities, has somehow become blurred with other parties and mixed priorities. The political parties that were once unified are now segmented over differing views on various topics. Political parties have a great deal of power in government and in America in general. If a State is primarily a democratic state, they tend to make policies and programs that coincide with popular Democratic consensus If a State is predominantly Republican the same is true with Republican priorities, The power that political parties have over the entire Government and the American people is its strength. This strength could be used for the advancement of the overall wellbeing of the American people and the values for which America stands.
The weakness is the blurred lines, mixed priorities, the ”politics“ and the favors or pushed policies for one’s own benefit. In order to accentuate the positive impact of the political parties, more individuals should take part in Government relations so that there is a higher accountability. Also, more individuals should step up to take leadership positions within the various parties to ensure the political tricks and favors are not happening. “Political parties are the engine of social life, without which citizens would not be able to express political will”. The Governmental controls and features developed by our founding fathers were created for very strong reasons to avoid total control by any party, and to create transparency and accountability at various levels.
These controls and features, however have become outdated and the Government is not always running as it should. The Constitution, although created with good intention may not be a relevant as it once was in the condition it is in. Many changes and overhauls should occur not only within the constitution and amendments but also in the various branches of Government and the political parties. Many rules and powers have become blurred and responsibilities may not be taken as seriously as they should be. The American Democracy was founded on strength, freedom, and values, and America should once again revisit these priorities in reconstructing the way our Government works.