Final Examination


Directions: Answer all parts (letters) of  TWO of the following questions in proper essay format based upon your knowledge of Political Science and in conjunction with course readings, power point presentations, activities and discussion questions. (50 points each).  1.The debate continues in American society as to what role Supreme Court justices should take (activist or restrainist) on the bench of the highest court in the land.  Compare the terms “Activist” jurist and “Restrainist” jurist citing examples as they relate to the Constitution and/or specific SCOTUS cases. Scholars argue that a proper role for the Federal judiciary is the protection of minorities. How do courts differ from other political institutions (ex. legislature or executive) in this regard? (Do not use state/trial courts in your example) In what ways might we think of Federal courts as protecting minority factions from majority factions? (Do not use state/trial courts in your example) Discuss at least two examples where the Supreme Court of the U.S. has issued a decision that protected/not protected a minority faction and why you agree or disagree with the decision. The Right to Privacy has been debated in America since 1890. Discuss if the Right to Privacy exists in the federal Constitution?  Discuss where defenders of the Right to Privacy could use the 1st,4th, 5th, 9th and 14th Amendments to support their argument (cite at least two of the amendments) Public Opinion is the aggregation of citizens’ views and interests. Mass media and political socialization play crucial roles in how one develops a specific political ideology. Describe the basic ideologies of liberals and conservatives. Explain what specific socialization factors might explain the political ideology one forms in becoming a liberal or a conservative. Discuss at least one government policy that you determine is driven by liberal public opinion and one government policy you determine is driven by conservative public opinion. Mass media has increasingly influenced Presidential politics in the age of television and now in the age of the internet. Discuss how mass media (any type) can influence Presidential politics today citing specific examples. Explain how the type of media Americans choose to get their political information is changing today and describe the effect this may have on future politics. Describe at least one specific example of media bias in reporting a story that was presented in your media lab activity in class or viewed in a class video clip.  3. American Fiscal Policy has dramatically changed several times in the past three-quarters of a century. United States commitments to its citizens and the attitude of the American public regarding these commitments remain in flux. a. Describe societal conditions that led to fiscal policy decisions during the 1930’s under President Franklin Roosevelt and during the 1960’s under President Lyndon Johnson. What specific fiscal policy programs resulted from these conditions during these two decades and How did they alter American lives? b. Explain how the fiscal policy program changes during the 1930’s and 1960’s affect fiscal policy today using the following measurements: Mandatory spending (uncontrollables) and discretionary spending. c. Discuss how the United States overall Debt impacts American fiscal policy and budget issues and explain how the debt differs from the Deficit. d. The Welfare State (entitlements) invites both criticism and praise in the United States. Discuss the pros of providing assistance to the needy citing specific programs as evidence for your position. e. Discuss the cons of the Welfare State citing specific programs as evidence for your position. f. The future of the Social Security and Medicare programs impact United States fiscal policies. Explain whether you think Social Security and Medicare should be changed from its current system. Why/Why not 4. United States Foreign Policy has been thrust into the forefront of international relations since WWII. George Washington’s Farewell Address warned of entangled alliances. This recommendation seems difficult in today’s world. a. Discuss how American Foreign Policy changed after WWII citing specific examples. b. Describe the Goals of American Foreign Policy today and how they impact American society. c. Explain the problems related to the implementation of US foreign policy goals as they relate to policymakers, foreign nations and international organizations/NGO’s. d. Discuss the success/failure of at least TWO tools (other than military force) used in American foreign policy citing specific examples for each. e. Discuss the success or failure of American foreign policy as it relates to the War on Terror and domestic terrorism. f. Explain whether the United States should use military force as a foreign policy tool. Why/Why not?

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