Being a responsible member of a democracy and having an impact on society decision making comes from exercising the Constitutional right to vote. Here are the top five reasons to vote.
1. You have the right
It's in the Constitution. This is a fundamental principle of being a citizen of the United States.
2. Help your issue and candidate
However you feel about issues and candidates, it means nothing if you don't vote. Otherwise, everybody but you will chooses who leads and what gets done.
3. You can make a difference
Talk is cheap. Voting is even cheaper, it's free. Without your vote, the other candidate may win or your issue will fail.
4. Decide how public money is distributed
Government spends a lot of money. Voting allows you to have a say in who distributes the money and who gets priority in funding.
5. Why not?
What else do you have to do on Election Day? Voting is easy and your public duty. All it takes is going to the poll. Many people don't even need to do that. They can vote absentee or by mail.
Want to know more? Go ahead: The 28th Amendment to the Constitution (we've only got 27)
Even if television entertains viewers through funny sitcoms and sappy dramas, there are shows, especially political dramas, with a serious tone. You can see some of the TV line-up at http://www.cabletelevision.net.
Political dramas gained popularity since the beginning of the 21st century. Additionally, viewers began to have strong interest in political dramas after the events of 9/11. Studios produce political dramas due to the increase in curiosity about the daily interactions in the White House and Capitol Hill. However, other countries produce political shows too. The following is a partial list.
"24" (2001-2010) did not only focus on Counter-Terrorism Unit agent Jack Bauer but also the White House. The show also focused on international relations.
"The West Wing" (1999-2006) is the most prominent political drama ever to air on television. Martin Sheen portrayed President Josiah Bartlet. This series presented a dramatic imagination of the daily activities in the White House.
"Commander in Chief" (2005-2006) presented the administration of President Mackenzie Allen portrayed by Geena Davis. This show was one of the first to depict a female president.
The Australian series "Embassy" (1990-1992) portrayed the lives of officials at an Australian embassy in a fictional Southeast Asian country.
"The Newsroom" (2012-Present) is a new show on HBO that depicts the production of a cable news show. Politics occurs in the workplace too, not limited to the running of a country. This drama depicts the dilemma of producing news shows under corporate eyes.
"The Wire" (2002-2008) portrayed the political issues faced by the city of Baltimore, Maryland.
"Blue Bloods" (2010-Present) is a fictional family cop drama. Besides the family relationships, this show portrays the political relationship between Police Commissioner Francis Reagan (played by Tom Selleck) and the current New York City mayor.
"The Agency" (2001-2003) depicted the life of fictional CIA agents and their missions.
"Scandal" (2012-Present) depicts a fictional crisis management team led by Olivia Pope that resolves scandals of political figures.
"Daemul" or "Big Thing" (2010) focused on South Korea's political system. The show portrayed the rise of a female president.
Besides entertainment, there are political news shows too.
PBS' "The McLaughlin Group"
"Fox News Sunday"
CBS' "Face the Nation"
NBC's "Meet the Press"
ABC's "This Week"
CNN's "State of the Union with Candy Crowley"
The United States, even after the end of the Cold War, continues to hold the position of the most powerful nation in the world. It comes as no surprise, then, that the U.S. can affect international politics and policies.
Power in international politics is divided into two categories: soft power and hard power. Soft power generally involves persuasion, while hard power involves coercion. Sometimes these two types of powers are called "carrots" and "sticks," referring to an analogy on how to get a horse to move.
With all of the U.S.'s military might, hard power comes naturally to the nation. The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq serve as recent examples of how the U.S. has used hard power to influence international politics.
While soft power is more difficult to measure, it's clear that the U.S. also excels at the use of soft power. Politicians' speeches promoting democracy and free elections can affect the politics of other nations, as can American pop culture and media.
It's undeniable that America holds a great deal of power over other countries. What is less obvious, however, is whether the U.S.'s influence is helpful or harmful to the world. Debate rages on regarding the proper role of the U.S. government in international politics, and only history will give us the final verdict. Keep looking, there's more: Smart power potential under Xi Jinping
Congressional district realignment is merely one facet of political gymnastics. The process of redistricting, once referred to as gerrymandering, is designed to increase a political party's power in order to gain electoral votes during presidential elections. As it stands, there are 435 congressional districts and 100 senate seats, totaling 535 electoral votes. What this essentially means is that politicians from both the democratic and republican parties seek to attain the majority, which in turn can have a tremendous impact on how much power the president actually has.
For example, President Obama is in favor of ending the Bush tax cuts on the wealthy whereas the republican controlled House of Representatives view this proposal as a blatant for of socialism. These deeply divided differences resulted in a stalemate of sorts, which is a byproduct of redistricting. The 2010 midterm elections allowed the conservative party to gain strength in numbers by occupying a majority of seats in the house, thus killing the bill on arrival.
Redistricting is the catalyst that causes continued polarization and seemingly perpetual impasses. The upcoming presidential election is no different in terms of red states versus blue states. Mitt Romney's second attempt to assume control of the oval office will likely receive support from those embrace the status quo while Barack Obama will continue to champion the middle class.
Voting, for some, is an option. "Why bother", they ask. "I'm sick of the negativity", others say. "My vote won't matter", is the excuse of another group. But I see voting as a precious privilege. An opportunity to have input in my government and a chance to be heard. Not heard like standing in front of a microphone on a speaker's platform, but heard in that big total of all those who choose to cast their one vote and collectively have a big voice. The mere thought of actually changing something thrills me. On the other side is the knowledge that many of those brave folks who came before us, those who crossed oceans in uncertanity to settle in this great land paid a dear price so that today we can have a voice and an opinion about our government. I say we have no choice in the matter, we must make our voices heard. No the president, once elected, doesn't always fulfill our image of what should be done. But that's democracy, and we have the option to make a change in four years. The election of a president matters because we matter. The preamble begins "We, the people".
As election season approaches, do you want to find out how to contact the officials who have been elected to represent your area? There are a few ways for you to get in touch with the people who need to hear your voice and opinions, and you can also find out their views on the topics in the election.
Sending a letter through the mail does not guarantee the representative will read it. Instead, you can find the email address of the representative, and send them a message online. This is the fastest way to contact officials, but be careful in opening any responses that you might receive back. When you send an email, you can type as much as you want to say and include any questions that you might have.
One of the ways that you can contact your representative and know that you talk to someone is by calling them. There is a list of phone numbers for state officials online or at your local tax office. You can call as many people as you want to talk to. If no one is available, then leave a message for them to call you back. Don't call too often because they might see it as invasive.
For over a week, the news has been filled with the career ending comments issued by Congressman Todd Aiken about "legitimate rape" and pregnancy. As people around the world sit back in disbelief that someone could be so ignorant, there is a larger problem at hand.
The vile ignorance that spilled forth from this man's mouth now has the potential to become the only topic that anyone wants to discuss as the election draws near and that is a problem. There are so many other more important issues that must be addressed by both sides, that bringing this issue to the front of the topics is a disservice to the American citizen.
Yes, everyone has their own opinion about pro-life and pro-choice. That is what is so wonderful about living in America. We all have that right to have and speak our opinion, even if it does not agree with others. With this said, it is time to face the issues that are harming our country.
Both presidential candidates and their VP picks need to concentrate on the financial crisis looming in this country. The government spends too much, the people do not spend enough, and Wall Street brokers seem to be controlling the market instead of consumer demand. Both sides of the isle need to present their opinions and their solutions to these problems, and keep their personal opinions about private matters to themselves.
It is time to ignore the ignorance and incompetence of people like Todd Aiken, and look toward solutions to make our country great for everyone, regardless of personal beliefs.
Still bored? Click to continue: If you are even a little bit pro-choice, you need to vote Democratic this year
You never know what is going to take place throughout the course of a political campaign. When so many different components going on, there is always something new, making it rather difficult to stay on top of everything occurring in the presidential election. It really is a muddy affair, with so much slinging of insults coming from both parties. This is nothing new, and it is always going to be this way. Every year, parties seem to state it is the worst year ever, but in retrospect, it really hasn't changed and is basically the same thing, every four years for election year.
With the announcement of Paul Ryan to be Mitt Romney's running mate, there has been a good amount of dirt slung as the congressman from Wisconsin, digging through his past and trying to discredit him. Of course, it seems like proponents of Mitt Romney are actually going after his running mate more so than him, which could backfire in the long run, while both Mitt and Paul are aiming at Obama, the attacks from the other side are being spread out, which might not hit home hard enough, and in a close election this might matter significantly.