Policy restraint in the United States is both a cause and a consequence of key cultural and historic features that have made the United States one of the most politically stable nations in the world. Great foreign and domestic strife could not change the most stable features of American political life and our politi-cal institutions. James Anderson, author of Public Policymaking, states the United States has four kinds of stability: ideological stability, political stability, policy sta-bility, and stability in power.
Ideological stability refers to the fact that our political beliefs do not change rapidly. We value our idea of liberty and equality, although our definition of liber-ty and equality have changed by allowing women to vote and stopping desegregation as examples, our value of liberty and equality of individuals is still part of our foundational belief. Political stability is a key element of our overall national stability. Our constitutional structure has changed little since 1789, although practices under it have changed. Change does occur, but over decades, not years. Policy stability is established by the American government and constitutional system by being designed to be quick to respond to national needs or desires. The three branches of government were not designed to foster rapid, coordinated action among the branches; rather, they were intended to serve as checks on each other’s power. The length of service for each branch helps to maintain political stability. The Executive branch has elections every four years, the House of Representatives is every two years and the Senate has elections every six years. One would need to admit, if policy change was allowed to happen at a rapid pace, we would not have the full effect of the change before the next policy change would take place which could be catastrophic. In creating the two-house legislature system that we have in our govern-ment, there can be regulated stability. The founders sought, by providing a two-house legislature, to provide both a voice of the popular will (the House of Repre-sentatives) and a means of restraint against policy fads or impulsive social move-ments (the Senate). With this system there is a checks and balance to the policy making process, no one party has ultimate