Having a sneak preview in the contemporary life in America reveals an element of hurriedness in almost every aspect of life. People seem to be harrying towards a “set” objective that only they can see. The observation that almost everything seems to be at an escalating speed towards an unknown goal is something that has been noted by several people in the western countries and more so the United States. This escalating velocity expressed by the pace at which things such as time and culture not forgetting the society are going is something that started being experienced in the mind eighteenth century when modernity was just picking up. To some extent, the escalating rate at which things are moving can be greatly attributed to the introduction of modernity. Modernity brought about a certain rush in the way things were being done. The political scene was no exception to theses escalating changes that were brought about by modernization. The political makeup of the western states was changed to much up with the social and cultural changes that were being experienced as a result of modernity. The essay that follows intends to show that indeed the political make up of the United States experienced change in the eighteenth century and that it has completely had a turn about in the 21st century (Arnold 1990).
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President Obama is indeed faced with a difficult obligation ahead of him given the fact that congress is portraying bouts of irresponsibility in the way that they enact their duties that they were appointed to represent in the house. The heavy responsibility that was accorded to congress members to endorse and devise efficient and reliable policies that serve the best interest of the expansive public is an issue that has always questions and debates concerning how dependent and faithful these congress members re main towards the general public. One of the observable weak points that come with a democratic system of governance is that in the pursuit of a legislator to fight for the issues relating to his constituency, they usually forget to address the national concerns because all their thoughts are centered on the interests of their individual constituency. A good example is the case of Clinton v. The City of New York (1998). Rather than combining these interests with those facing the whole state or country. Some small inconveniences that result from politics can be overlooked as long as the country is experiencing a considerable degree of prosperity. This would have been the case with the system of governance in the United States (INS v. Chadha 1983); however this is not the situation that is currently facing the country because political observers who critically analyze the performance of a country report that the current situation in the country needs to be addressed. According to the political observers the [power shifts that are being experienced in the global economy are not being addressed sufficiently by the Congressmen. It is the view of these observers that the congressmen are showing a remarkable lack of interest in the responsibility that is facing them to undertake the urgently pending economic reforms that are currently facing the state. The question that is likely to be raised from the proceedings of the congress committee is to provide reason why a countable number of legislators are the only ones trying to address the threat posed on the financial integrity of the country that is brought about by issues such as economic discrepancies, trade shortcomings and the collapsing of banks. While these trivial issues are indicators of threats facing the economic health of the state only a handful of legislators appear to be aware of it and even these few do next to nothing in trying to bring about a form of address towards the matter. It has become evident that parochial paralysis exists in congress and the public needs to be given an answer as to why such a deficit is being experienced in the government (Arnold 1990).
This calls for congressional reform. One of the things that influence the behavior of legislators is the activities that they can do that will not put a risk to their chances of reelection. There are either two variables that affect the decision made by members of congress when they have to make a decision concerning legislation agendas, the two variables are yes or no. These decisions are made by these members depending on the effects t likely to have on election. If by any chance the voters show no inclination towards a particular policy, then the members of congress usually make use of other criteria that is available.
It has become the nature of congress members to desire policies that are cost concentrated and accompanied with diffuse costs that tends to differ from what the voters want. The voters want the opposite of what the congress members want which are diffused benefits that are probably associated with concentrated costs. There are certain influences that are likely to occur and have political penalties that the members of congress must consider when making decisions on policies such as the views of the voters, and their degree of prioritization in line with the number of voters who want the policy to be implemented that is whether the number is great or not. Another issue that the members of congress should use or usually use is to have an overview or outlook of the possible decisions that the voters would possibly make if they had a chance to critically think and asses a certain issue. Legislators that have been in the field for a long time have developed intuitions on the possible decisions that the voters are likely to make so this helps them to make wise decisions about certain policies that they know will help them not to make possible threats to reelection. The legislators also make estimations on the probability of a public issue having the possibility of changing the voting behavioral pattern. President Obama therefore has to see to it that the policies that the legislators end up choosing are to the best interest of the voters which means that they will have to be concentrated benefits, which are followed up by diffuse costs (Huntington 1975, 84).
It is clear that the prevalence of costs and benefits form the basic points from which the public make their policy preferences. The public would rather have the benefits concentrated in addition to the costs diffuse, and this will clearly influence how they form opinions towards various policies and therefore make preferences considering the possible outcomes the policies are deemed to make rather than taking a critical look at the possible policies that will bring these outcomes to life. Government policies are likely to remain a puzzle to most Americans because only a few are holders of college degrees. However, this does not give the congress members the go-ahead symbol, instead they should have the best interest of all Americans who are actually responsible for the members to be in congress. Therefore, the legislators should take it into consideration to grant Americans with the best policies that bring about the desired preferences on costs and benefits that the public considers best. By doing this, president Obama will have little or no problem because congress will be giving the people what they want and the people will be satisfied with what they receive from congress and therefore everybody would be satisfied.
The voters are more likely to be in favor of those policies that do not require lengthy retrospective evaluations and prospective evaluations. They prefer to have policies that are straight to the point and this point should be in favor of the cost and benefits preferences that they have. There are certain elements that influence the probability of a citizen noticing the costs and benefits of a policy. These include the magnitude, which refers to the effects the policy is likely to make or have. The timing of a policy is also another thing that the citizens take notice of. The citizens want policies that make differences to their lives sooner rather than later even though they don not understand the possible long run effects of the policy. The legislators must not take advantage of this situation and take policies that have benefits and costs that are impressive to the citizens in the short run but in the long run they have costs and benefits that favor the congress members. These legislators musty always have the interest of the citizens who elected them to congress in the first place. Another thing that will bring the attention of the citizens to the policies is the proximity of these policies. They consider how the policy will effect the nearest geographical location next to them. Lastly, an instigator makes a policy be under scrutiny by the citizens and therefore they are able to familiarize themselves with the policy and demand what seems best according to them.
The irony of it all is that members of congress are more likely to take on policies that are not given so much attention by the citizens because they pose less threat to the possibilities of reelection. Those policies that are given much attention by the public are what the legislators would rather not have. The attentiveness of the public to a certain policy is what directs the legislators on the possible decisions that would be most favorable for them to make towards a certain policy. This becomes ironical because what the public wants the legislators do not want to give them and they are more ready to grant the public those policies that are not desired by the public (Wirls & Wirls 2004).
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There has been an overall difference in the role played by congress in legislation that has been evidenced in the twenty first century as compared to that of the 18th and 19th century. An aspect that has simultaneously increased with decrease in the legislative role of congress is the administration role. There has been a change in the administrative role played by congress, as there is increased control over the power it exercises on society and the general increase that is evidenced in its magnitude, its task and significance of its bureaucracy. What the bureaucracy need in the current state is ways to manage find other ways to prove, enhance, motivate and ameliorate it. The role of congress has been changed over the centuries from legislative to administration roles. This new role has made congressional representatives able to expose the dirty and waste, they are able to push for innovations in the policies. Other advantages that come with their change in roles are that it has enabled them to rectify injustices in addition to compelling the possible exposition and protection of bureaucratic resolutions. When congress performs these duties, it does what it is most appropriately required to do which is to address the issues that deal with particulars and not the general policies it used to deal with in the 18th and 19th centuries. The members of congress are therefore require by the public to look at the best interest of what they require because they now have a new role that carries many advantages as compared to the old role which they used to have. The role of the congressmen is most related to meeting the objectives of its constituencies more than legislation. The services offered to constituents and legislative roles are more of two sides of a coin. The two functions are best performed by congress and no other entity can perform these duties as well as congress does. What congress does is to represent the concerns of individuals who are present in these different constituencies. If congress does this whole-heartedly, then the needs of the public will be met without question (Wirls & Wirls 2000).
Shifting the role of congress from legislation has the effect of restricting its role of delaying the presidential legislative requirements. This would cause the executive leaders such as Obama to seek congressional help when making the drafts for legislation. Therefore, the president will have greater access to the congress and the issues done by the president and congress will be known to both teams that will increase the likelihood that congress would look more towards the interests and requirements of its constituents.
According to (Cooper 2005, 516) “Presidential signing statements are pronouncements issued by the president at the time a congressional enactment is signed that, in addition to providing general commentary on the bills, identify provisions of the legislation with which the president has concerns and (1) provide the president’s interpretation of the language of the law, (2) announce constitutional limits on the implementation of some of its provisions, or (3) indicate directions to executive branch officials as to how to administer the new law in an acceptable manner”. The bush administration brought about a change in the governance system as it has also brought repositioning and
The twenty first century marked a period when the American democracy was faced with a lot of changes in its political makeup. Most of these changes represent challenges to the democratic system of the United States. These challenges are common to almost all the democratic countries that are experiencing post-industrialization. The current president of the United States should ensure that congress performs their duties. In performing these duties, congress must keep in mind the interests of the people to ensure that the policies they make serve the best interest of the public.
Arnold, Douglas., 1990. The Logic of Congressional Act. New Haven: Yale University Press.
Clinton vs City of New York. 524 U.S.417 (1998).
Cooper, Phillip. 2005. George Bush, Edgar Allen Poe, and the Use and Abuse of Presidential Signing Statement. Web.
Huntington, Samuel. 1975. Congressional responses to the twentieth century. Englewoods Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Wirls, Daniel & Wirls, Stephen., 2004 The Invention of the United States Senate. New York: Taylor & Francis.