Public Opinion

Submitted By smiley3210
Words: 1825
Pages: 8

Public Opinion Writing Assignment
The United States stands out from all the other countries. Our Nation was the first successful Democracy. Although many other countries have model their government like ours but haven’t been as successful. The Constitution of the United States, like an old wine, has rarely survived an ocean crossing. (Wilson & Dilulio 2004). In 1830s , when Americans were moving to the West , French observer of American politics, Alexis de Tocqueville , said that the one reason a democratic republic took root in the United States but not in other countries was that these was more abundant and fertile soil in which the roots could grow. He was talking about the free land the settlers would get for moving to the west. No feudal aristocracy monopolized the land, the government imposed little to no taxes, and a few legal restraints existed, no other country in the world would do this , America was the land of opportunity (Tocqueville 1835). This set political culture of America. The distinctive and patterned way of thinking about how political and economic life ought to be carried out. Americas have always though different from the rest of the world; from the time we eat dinner to how we greet each other. Americas do not judge their political and economic systems in the same way. This difference makes us unique. Many Americans think every should be equally represented politically but not economically, unlike in other countries were they want equality in both. ( Table 1.1 )

There are at least five important elements in the American view of the political system: Liberty, Equality, Democracy, Civic duty, and Individual responsibility. American believe that they have the right to do anything as long as it does not hurt anyone ( Liberty). We also believe that everybody should have equal vote and an equal chance to participate and succeed ( Equality). They believe that the government officials should be accountable to the people. This expands our belief in equality in our political system. However, we believe that it is our duty to community affairs seriously and help when they can (Civic duty). We also believe it is up to the individual person who is responsible for his or her own actions and well-being. If the person works hard then they will be successful but if the person slacks off, they will not.(Individual responsibility) This expands our belief in the economical system. We treat both separately. Political system deals with our rights as humans and citizens of this country but our economical system depends on the individual. (Table 1.2)

Why does it seem that many Americans may not follow these believes. For example, why did white Americans for so long deny that equality to African Americans? People believe in Honesty, yet they steal from their employers and sometimes underreport their taxable income. Beside values, self-interest and social circumstances also shape behavior. Race relations in this country have become the “American Dilemma”. It results from the conflict between the “ American creed”, a belief in equality of opportunity, and American behavior. (Myrdal 1944) Gunnar Myrdal referred to the relations between the blacks and the whites during these times. He wrote There is no doubt that the overwhelming majority of white Americans desire that there be as few Negroes as possible in America. If the Negroes could be eliminated from America or greatly decreased in numbers, this would meet the whites' approval—provided that it could be accomplished by means which are also approved. Correspondingly, an increase of the proportion of Negroes in the American population is commonly looked upon as undesirable. White prejudice and discrimination keep the Negro low in standards of living, health, education, manners and morals. This, in its turn, gives support to white prejudice. White prejudice and Negro standards thus mutually ‘cause’ each other. (