IT MAY NOT WORK IN POLITICS 5
ItMay Not Work In Politics
Lawsuitsare common among the Congress Representatives, but those leading tosevere verdicts are less. Plesser (2007) argued that only fourmembers had been expelled from the Congress since the civil war.However, the conviction of the late Ohio Representative JamesTraficant Jr. made the fifth instance. The Representative wasdismissed after being found guilty of ten counts which included taxevasion, bribery, and racketeering (Plesser, 2007). Mr. James Jr., aDemocrat, was expelled from the House of Representatives in 2002 andwas sentenced to eight years in jail. The Representative tried to viefor the seat while in prison but lost to Mr. Tim Ryan, his formeraide (Plesser, 2007).
Theverdict faced by the Representative was the right call. First, hefaced many counts that had evidence and testimonies from hisconstituents, employees, and business owners. The case against himwas strong despite his argument that this was a vendetta by thegovernment prosecutors owing to his victory over them in a similarcase in 1983 (Plesser, 2007). Second, the verdict was deserved from amoral perspective. The Representative acted in ways that contradictedthe moral values of the Ohio people, the court, and the state aswell. For instance, he solicited over $2,500 from employee paychecks,false tax filings, persuading the witnesses to destroy evidence andgiving false testimonies as well as seeking staff members to work onhis farm in exchange for favors. With these actions, theRepresentative violated the morals and ethics that further compoundedhis verdict. This verdict and the whole case facing Mr. James Jr.casts an insurmountable doubt over the trust owed to these houserepresentatives (Plesser, 2007).
Froma simple viewpoint, third party candidates present voters with moreoptions to address their opinions. The candidates also exert morepressure on the major ruling parties to act in response to thecitizens not satisfied by the “Status Quo” (Green, 2010).However, the success of third parties in winning presidentialelections in the US is limited owing to the following reasons.
First,third party candidates are unable to maintain long-term politicalinfluence. Richard Hofstadter describes third parties as “bees thatdie once they sting” as noted by (Green, 2010). For instance, RossPerrot garnered more than eight million votes in 1996 running withthe Reform Party. The reason why third parties fail to maintain adegree of power is due to the two largest political parties (Grayson,2013). The Democratic and Republican parties are flexible enough toabsorb a variety of ideological groups. The two sides havehistorically changed the rhetoric and ideology of the Americanpolitics to accommodate the new groups (Green, 2010). Hence, thirdparty candidates find it hard to cope with the competition posed bythe majority parties.
Second,the structure of the voting system in the US presents anotherchallenge. The system is based on the winner takes it all structure.In this system, people only vote for one person for a particularposition or district. Since the people only vote for a singlecandidate, and there is only one winner for each post, they naturallyavoid ‘wasting their votes’ by not voting for less popularcandidates without more widespread support. For this reason, theGreen Party votes declined from 2.9 million votes in 2000 led byNader while in 2012, the party garnered only 469,000 votes with Stein(Grayson, 2013).
Thevictories of a third party candidate mean that major parties need tochange their strategy to counter attack the win. The parties alsoneed to focus on their gerrymandering strategy that prevents thirdparty candidates from getting even a Congress seat. The victorysignificantly challenges the major parties` ability to keep thepolitical power between them.
Federaland State Authority
Hughes(2015) identifies over-standardization of the education as animportant issue facing the US today. For the past 20 years, theeducation system has virtually trained students to be test takers.The focus is mainly on maximizing the test outcomes while teachersare trained to ‘teach to the scores’. Consequently, studentsgraduate knowingly little about what they learned or why they had toif all that is required is to pass an exam (Hughes, 2015).
TheFederal and state authorities are charged with various roles inaddressing this issue. The Federal authority is responsible forestablishing standards and control of academic content and standardsthrough the local and state policy makers. The Federal authority alsoevaluates each school through the administration of the Nation’sReport Card well known the National Assessment of Education Progress(Hughes, 2015). On the other hand, the State Authority is responsiblefor establishing, selecting and regulating the curriculum, methods ofteaching as well as instructional teaching materials. TheConstitution does not constrain the Federal and the state authoritiesin addressing this issue but limits the level of involvement of eachjurisdiction. While the Federal government focuses on the overallprovision of education to all, the state authorities concentrate onthe nitty-gritty of the education content and processes.
Green,D. J. (2010). Third-partymatters: Politics, presidents, and third parties in American history.Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger.
Hughes,C. (2015). Impactof diversity on organization and career development.Hershey: Business Science Reference.
Grayson,R. (2013). UnitedStates.Minneapolis, MN: ABDO Publishing Company.
Plesser,C. S. (2007). Congressof the United States: Oversight, processes and procedures.New York: Nova Science Publishers.