Capstone Essay: This essay is a capstone question designed to use everything you have learned in the course and should be a substantial essay of 600 words or more. “Conclusion & Final Response Essay” – Note, there is not an exam in this course but there is this final essay is of about 600 words for 70 points. Using the Conclusion section of the Reader (pages 238 to 252); in about 600 words (70 points) make some overall commentary about:What major points draw your attention in the Conclusion section (pages 238 to 252) and…How do these relate to what you think you have learned this semester andHow has your thinking about politics in the 21st century changed?How might you use what you have learned to become more involved in society and governance?Then looking at all your learning in this class as a whole, write a detailed paragraph comparing the whole of your learning experience – from day one till now – answering these questions:Did you improve (yes/no)?How?What one or two things show this the best?

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Democracy in
21st Century
Government and Politics
in the United States
Robert J. Brem
College of Alameda
Politics & Psychology
CSU East Bay
Public Affairs & Political Science
Megan M. Sweeney
City College of San Francisco
Political Science
Fall 2018 (V3)
With Assistance from: Sherry
Luong, Tatiana Da Silva, and Rouel
The cause of America is in a great measure the cause of all human kind. Many
circumstances hath, and will arise, which are not local, but universal, and through
which the principles of all Lovers of human kind are affected, and in the Event of
which, their Affections are interested. The laying a Country desolate with Fire and
Sword, declaring War against the natural rights of all human kind, and extirpating
the Defenders thereof from the Face of the Earth, is the Concern of every person to
whom Nature hath given the Power of feeling; of which Class, regardless of Party
Censure, is the Author. …Who the Author of this Production is, is wholly …is the
doctrine itself (and) the influence of reason and principle. The sun never shined on a
cause of greater worth: ‘Tis not the affair of a city, a country, a province, or a
kingdom, but of a continent; of at least one eighth part of the habitable globe. ‘Tis not
the concern of a day, a year, or an age; posterity are virtually involved in the contest,
and will be more or less affected, even to the end of time.
~ Thomas Paine (Common Sense, 1776)
1 | Brem & Sweeney ~ 2018 ~ Government and Politics in the United States
Contents: Democracy in 21st Century America: Government and Politics in the United States
Focus Topic
By Way of Introduction
John Quincy Adams on Human Nature and Freedom
Foundations of Studying Government Past, Present, and Future
Critical political thinking
Words Matter: Defining our Terms
Asymptotical Socio-Political Questions & Phenomenon
Democratic social order
Tocqueville: Individualism
_______________ * _______________
Figure 1,0
Figure 1.1
Model 1.0
Image 1.1
Model 1.1
Figure 1.2
Figure 1.3
Figure 1.4
Figure 1.5
Figure 1.6
Figure 1.7
Figure 1.8
Figure 1.9
Classical World Views & Political Ideologies: The Driving Force Behind all Politics!
How World Views come together as Political Ideologies
The Idea of America

Figure 2.1
Table 2.1

Constitutional Foundations
The Declaration of Independence
Key influences on the thoughts of the framers on governance
The Preamble & Final Document
Notable Components of the Constitution
Franklin on the Constitution and doubting certainties
Iron Triangles, Interest Articulation, Picket Fence Federalism
Civil Liberties and the Bill of Rights
_______________ * _______________

Model 3.0
Chart 3.1
Figure 3.1
Figure 3.2
Figure 3.3
Figure 3.4
Figure 3.5
Figure 3.6
Figure 3.7
Figure 3.8
Figure 3.9
Figure 3.10
Interacting World Views
Classical World Views:
Answers & Responses to key questions & concepts
3D – Political Ideologies and world views
Community Types — The Patchwork Nation
World views, modern and right/left evolution
PEW – where do you fit? (2007 version)
_______________ * _______________
Hamiltonian order – Jeffersonian liberty
Compromises in the Constitution
Separation of Powers & Checks & Balances
The Constitution as THE Revolution
Broader conception of Checks & Balances
Who/What the Branches Represent
Comparing Government Types
How is Power Divided
Iron Triangles and Interest Articulation
Picket Fence Federalism
Iron Triangles and Demands
Picket Fence Federalism, Demands, and Federal Funding
_______________ * _______________
2 | Brem & Sweeney ~ 2018 ~ Government and Politics in the United States

Montgomery Van Wart: Forms of Rationality
Space-Time Sphere of Social Action
Inquiry from the Transdisciplinary perspective
Disciplines of Socio-Political studies
Maslow & Dahrendorf and the Good Society
What is a nation state
The Social Contract out of which the Social Order Emerges
Social Structures of the Social contract
Three sectors of governance & social order
Asymptotical psycho-social order curve
Interacting Social Structures and Social Order
Citizen vs Administration balance
Demands & Supports & Legitimacy
_______________ * _______________
“Equal Protection Under the Law…”
Civil Rights, Participation, and Voting
Public Opinion & Why It SHOULD matter
Political Socialization
_______________ * _______________

Figure 4.1
Political Parties, Interest Groups, & Social Movements
Political Parties
Interest Groups
Social Movements
Comparing political Movements, Interest Groups, Political Parties
Frederick Douglass ~ ‘What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July?’
_______________ * _______________
Professional opinion on anthropogenic climate change
_______________ * _______________
Figure 5.1
Figure 5.2
Chart 5.1
Figure 5.3
Figure 5.4
Congress, the Presidency, Public Administration, and The Court
The Congress
State legislatures & Municipal Government
The Presidency
The Public Administration
The Federal Court System and The Supreme Court
_______________ * _______________

Figure 6.1
Figure 6.2
Chart 6.1
Chart 6.2
Figure 6.3
Figure 6.4
Image 6.1
Figure 6.5
Figure 6.6.
Figure 6.7
Figure 6.8
Figure 6.9
Domestic Policy and Foreign Policy
Criteria of Effective Policy Evaluation & Implementation
Domestic Policy
Foreign Policy
_______________ * _______________

Congressional leadership structure
The structure of Congress
Standing committees: House of Representatives and Senate.
Differences between House and Senate
The legislative process
For comparison: How a Bill Becomes a Law in California
Municipal Local government by comparison
The Praxis Cycle
Critical infrastructure
Comparative Justice – three classical world views
Types of Justice
The American Dual Judicial System
_______________ * _______________
The Public Policy Spectrum
Hayek & Keynes Comparison
The Policy Making Cycle
Matric of Foreign Policy Attitudes
Realism, Liberalism, and Idealism
Realist & Moralist Approaches – IR Praxis
The Foreign Policy Team
_______________ * _______________
By Way of Conclusion ~ The Future and The Will to Peace
Statecraft as Soulcraft
3 | Brem & Sweeney ~ 2018 ~ Government and Politics in the United States

Relationship between Government, groups, people
The Party Platform
The 2012 Democrat & Republican Party Platforms Compared
Pluralist model of interest groups
Comparing Parties, groups, movements
_______________ * _______________
Robert J. Brem
Words matter!
If you cannot clearly say what you mean;
Then you cannot mean what you say.
If you cannot mean what you say;
Then you cannot take an effective stand.
If you cannot take an effective stand;
Then your actions will be rendered meaningless.
There are no languages to speak without words to comprise them…
There are no thoughts to think without language to form them…
There are no actions to act without thoughts to guide them…
There are no realities to emerge without actions to create them…
Reality is spoken into existence…
Guided by what you believe to be true!
What you believe to be true
Will be true for in its consequences for you and
Your actions have consequences upon the people around you and
By such actions you have an effect upon the world and
What has an effect upon the world changes the universe…
The universe as it is requires you to exist for if you did not exist
The universe as it is would be different.
So understanding this:
It is a conversational universe and
Your words create the cosmos…
Say the word!
Do you think about the things you think about?
~ Clarence Darrow
4 | Brem & Sweeney ~ 2018 ~ Government and Politics in the United States
By Way of Introduction
The study of Government, Politics, and Governance in the United States is a subdiscipline within the discipline of “political science” which itself is a sub-discipline with the
larger social & behavioral sciences. A discipline is defined by adherence to certain rules and
patterns of inquiry following standards of professional practice in ascertaining what we know
and do not know and what we accept as verified truth and what we do not. This is also
explicitly, the sub-discipline of “American Politics.” As citizens of this republic, one engages in
this study (e.g. takes a course) explicitly to empower persons in their civic education as citizens
of a larger world and life in The United States explicitly. It can be argued these are perilous
times within which we must seek to thrive (rather than merely survive).
From different points of view both the political Right and the political Left see the very
nature of what this government and social contract may be as being at stake. Is the republic at
risk? If so, how? Whose vision of America is more valid? And, how will you negotiate and
thrive in this legitimacy crisis?
This is by way of saying, the reason
why one takes a course in American
governance (or for that matter, any course
one takes, I mean… hello!) is to empower
you in becoming more effective in life as
persons, workers, and as citizens of the
world. We can assume you do not want to
be victims of events nor do you want to
define yourself as “survivors” of crisis. You
want to be able to thrive! Or more simply,
you want the means by which to live a
happy life. That’s why we are here.
The reason to study politics is So our children may have the liberty to engage in
commerce; in order to give their children a right to pursue painting, poetry, and music.
~ John Adams
The starting point of studies in political science is to define the parameters of this time in
“the human story” (i.e. history). One ongoing struggle in American governance is the
importance of the issues involved in the struggle for power between ideas in conflict. A complex
set of ideas or “narrative” which guides all social, private, and public behavior in a society is
called an “ideograph.” One major struggle between ideographs in America today is between the
notion of “The Purposive State” ideograph (the ethos that the state has a purpose in building,
maintaining, and supporting a vibrant public sphere & social contract wherein the pursuit of
happiness is through a preferential option for human rights and appeals to reality based truth as
interpreted differently by liberals, conservatives, and radicals) and “The Wilding State”
ideograph (deferring to a more “right libertarian” or Ayn Rand conservative individualistic ethos
of a concentration of individuals who purse happiness through self-interested acquisition of
5 | Brem & Sweeney ~ 2018 ~ Government and Politics in the United States
property in an “ownership society” de-emphasizing a public sphere built upon prosperity gospel
dogma and alternative to “reality based truths” or “alternative facts”).
Ayn Rand and The Wilding Ideograph
Who is Ayn Rand and why does she matter? Robert Reich (2018) argues the political
movement represented by Donald Trump can be seen as rooted in the ideas of Ayn Rand.1 Many
of the Trump power and the Republican Party of today in leadership; see themselves as followers
of Rand’s ideas (e.g. Rex Tillerson – former Secretary of State, CIA chief Mike Pompeo, a
nominee for Secretary of Labor – Andrew Posner, Republican leader of the House of
Representatives Paul Ryan – who required his staff and all interns to read her, Uber’s former
CEO Travis Kalanick described himself as a Rand follower before he was fired for behavior
rooted in the her ideas to Uber’s code of values, Grover Norquist – who has led the zero
tolerance of taxes revolt in the GOP, and Rand Paul{named after Rand} a libertarian Republican
member of the House and son and former Libertarian-Republican presidential candidate Ron
Paul). They are all attracted to Rand’s heroic ideal of rich industrialist men who make it in the
world with a disdain for any idea of community rules and or a common good driven by pure
egocentrism and selfishness.
In two popular novels: The Fountainhead (1943) and Atlas Shrugged (1957); Rand
argued there is no common good, that selfishness is a highest virtue, and altruism is an evil that
destroys nations. When Rand offered these ideas in the 1950s they seemed quaint if not farfetched.
Reich notes that anyone who had lived through the first half of the 20th century witnessed
first-hand how only our interdependence saw us all through the great depression with
Roosevelt’s “New Deal” social programs and the Second World War together. After the war and
through the 1960s with Johnson’s “Great Society” programs; we used an idea of a “purposive
state” driven by a notion of a common good to harness seeming boundless prosperity; to finance
all sorts of “public goods:” including: schools & universities, electrification, a national highway
system, addressing poverty, and health care for the Aged and poor (Medicare). We rebuilt wartorn Europe, and sought to guarantee civil rights and voting rights for African Americans and
other oppressed minorities, and open doors of opportunity to women. We reached for the stars in
the NASA space programs. It was self-evident that of course there was a common good. We
were living it!
However, Reich and others have observed, that starting in the late 1970s, Rand’s views
gained ground with the birth of the Right wing anti-government and strictly pro-business
movement (some of it funded by billionaires (e.g. the Koch brothers – one of whom ran for vicepresident as a Libertarian Party candidate and who funded think tanks and grade school and
college curriculum materials advocating Ayn Rand’s ideas). Rand’s ideas came to animate what
could be described as “Right Libertarian ideology,” and the newly emergent ideas driving the
Republican “Freedom Caucus” Tea Party factions. With organized promotion and well-funded
Rich Kacmar (March 5, 2018). Trump’s Brand is Ayn Rand, San Diego Fee Press,

Trump’s Brand is Ayn Rand | Video Worth Watching

6 | Brem & Sweeney ~ 2018 ~ Government and Politics in the United States
backing from key billionaires, Rand became the intellectual godmother of modern-day American
Reich argues the ideology of this movement is one of pure selfishness, contempt for the
public, a win at any cost mindset, and an intentional goal of defunding government (as Norquist
argues to be able to make it so small so as to be able to drown it in a bathtub), deconstructing the
administrative state, and privatizing the public sphere – setting it wild with private sector
corporate values and property rights focus replacing public sector values rooted in human rights
focus and a notion of the public good. This is called by Gregg Cawley “The Wilding
Ideograph.” As such, as it gains power in the political culture and is enacted as policy by 21st
century Republican conservatives (who reject the ideology of “Gerald Ford conservative
Republicans” of the 1970s who believed in community responsibility); this mentality is eroding
American life by degrading the public sphere and undermining any notion of an adherence to a
set of common values about what is right and wrong – replacing these with pure greed driven
selfishness and magnified by a toxic form of evangelist “prosperity gospel” religion” that argues
Jesus wants people to be rich and has ordained this world view of selfishness.
The result is we are living in a jungle where only the strongest cleverest and most
unscrupulous get ahead. Similar to Thomas Hobbes’ notion of a war of all against all where life
is nasty, short, and brutish; we are creating a political culture wherein everyone must be wary in
order to survive. This is not a society. It’s not even a civilization; because there’s no civility at its
core. It’s a disaster to the very notion of civil society.
We have to understand who Ayn Rand is so we can reject her philosophy and dedicate
ourselves to rebuilding the idea of the common good that was once widely understood and
accepted in American political culture. After all, Reich argues, the U.S. Constitution was
designed for “We the People” seeking to promote the general welfare in the public sphere not for
“me the selfish” seeking as much wealth and power as possible at the expense of “the commons”
in the name of only private & elite concerns.
Yet here we are today with evidence growing every day of the loss of civil society and
civic virtue. We see this evidence when we hear of CEOs who loot their corporations and
defraud their customers & investors. We see it when we hear of lawyers & accountants who
“look the other way” when corporate clients play fast and loose with the law and personal
integrity & ethics, and who even collude with them to skirt the law. We see it when Wall Street
bankers defraud customers and investors, and when film producers & publicists choose not to see
a powerful movie mogul (whom they depend upon financially) who sexually harasses and abuses
young women. We see politicians who take donations – really bribes – from wealthy donors and
corporations to enact laws their patrons want. And then these politicians shutdown the
government when they don’t get the partisan results they seek; completely undermining even the
illusion of a government system designed to be built upon compromise between people with
opposing world views.
And in leadership, we support a president of the United States who repeatedly lies about
important issues and uses easily identified falsehoods to support inhumane policies; all while he
refuses to put his financial holdings into a blind trust and then personally profits off his office.
7 | Brem & Sweeney ~ 2018 ~ Government and Politics in the United States
All of this is magnified by his leadership towards the promotion of racial and ethnic conflict;
with the full support of his movement and party leaders.
Reich reminds us that “the common good” consists of our shared values about what we
owe one another as citizens who are bound together in the same society with a concern for one
another in community together. As such, keeping the common good in mind is a moral attitude
and it recognizes that we’re all in it together. And Reich reminds us that if there is no common
good there is no society.
The Battle of Ideas
This struggle of ideas is occurring in the
context of globalization, destabilization of the
world economy, identity confusions, vast growing
inequality between rich & powerful and poor &
more powerless, and all this in the context of
global climate change. These can be seen as
perhaps “exciting” issues; certainly the stakes are
bigger than at any other time in the story of the
human species. Hannah Arendt notes that when
the “public sphere” is at risk, we live in “dark
times” with the undermining of public life of the
community of “polis” (Greek for “city” – a body
of citizens – dwellers in the city – as a community
wherein we live bound together by customs, laws,
and cooperation).
Looking at American governance as social scientists then, we need ask “What is
politics?” from the perspectives of both the discipline of political science and cla …
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