Civil Liberties; Civil Rights
Civil liberties refer to the state of being subject to the laws established for the good of the community. Civil liberty includes the liberty that secures the freedom of action and also the freedom of speech. Civil liberty is an important avenue to seek people participation in the leadership of the citizens. People participate in the government at different levels; ordinary citizens participate in the government through voting which can regulate the people seeking leadership positions. Participation of the people in the government through the electoral elections give the people the ability to stand for their rights and also speak against common injustices against the people over the years. People are denied participation in the government through the existent of policies that promote bureaucracy and also lack of the contribution of the people.
Decisive legislators can establish good policies that live up to the expectations of the people. The right to vote and choose people to present us in the government and legislature gives the power back to the people. A democratic approach to power ensure equality in the sharing of resources and also promote individual Americans to have a stake in the government. The civil rights of 1964 is an important policy whose mandate is to ensure and protect the participation of the people in governance as well as promoting equality. America being a multicultural and multiethnic community the civil rights Act of 1964 has increased the participation of the minority in the government and state affairs such as voting and also securing equal social amenities such as education, healthcare and voting rights (Ochoa-Becker & Engle, 2007).
Federalism refers to a state of governance in which there are central government and regional government system. Federalism has been a major American approach to leadership since being founded by the founders. Federalism is ideal for the United States of America due to the vast areas that require being covered by the government. The American government is made by three major levels of government that share leadership roles and functions to ensure a full functional bureaucratic community. The three main government in the United States include the federal, the state and the local governments which are made by local councils (Lader, 2010).
The Federal Government
The federal government is the highest authority in a federal system which is based on the congress, senate, and the presidency. The congress and the senate are major legislative houses in the federal government. The bipartisan system involves the selection of regional leaders who represent people in the electorate to make key leadership decisions. The presidency is the moderator of the two houses and has authority through the veto vote. The federal government provides key social services such as security, healthcare, and education amongst other services. The local governments and the state governments are also important entities of the American government and also provides key services to the people in conjunction with the federal government. The federal government and the local governments have shared jurisdictions through which they can raise capital to provide key services to the people through taxes. Whereas the federal government is left with the most important matters of the state such as security and establishment of foreign policy the local government through the municipal councils and city councils, provide key amenities such as water and electricity to the people and also coordinate the collection of local taxes.
Interest groups refer to the association of the people with a common concern and goals who attempt to influence the public policy.
The Role of Interest Groups
The interest groups can serve as a distinct form of political organization which campaign for and represent the collective views of a particular segment of the society. The representation is much bold that would most likely get the attention of the government authorities and officials. Their viewpoints and demands are more precise as compared to other social and political movements. For instance, specific citizen rights can be represented by using particular information which seeks to achieve awareness of each right. The interest groups manage the issues only when they are considered by the concerned authorities such as the government and other legal bodies. Though interest groups are not recognized officially, political analysts point out that the groups play a major role in the political frameworks of the society. The legal authorities usually consider the needs put forward by the civil rights interest groups because of their proper organization and realistic approaches used in right civil representation. The interest groups provide guidelines to the government concerning the best action plan for addressing the civil problems (Thomas, 2004).
The groups are helpful in provoking institutional reforms that would solve civil problems resulting from lack of proper policies by the particular institutions. For instance, interest groups can provoke other social groups and movement such as the media, to protest against the actions of institutions and force them to negotiate with the groups and movements. Also, the interest groups are responsible for public support and protests against legislators in the political framework of the country. They show significant participation in the political environment and indirectly affect the publics perception of the legislators.
Political Problems facings Civil Liberties
Civil rights for democracy can be weakened by the political organizations when they disregard the public opinions and expectations. The political environment can negatively affect the democracy of the public to participate in policy making and raise their concerns about the legal system. Also, civil rights are violated when the government fails to engage in advocating for civil rights in business corporations and other institutions. For instance, instances of government having limited control over powerful corporations which have exploitative practices such as environmental damage, cheap labor, and manipulative international agreements. The legislators should formulate policies that respect the civil liberties.
Racism is the belief whereby the personal abilities and characteristics are used in defining people based on their race to distinguish them as inferior or superior to other races. The racial discrimination violates the civil right of equality among people from different racial backgrounds. It encourages fear and hatred between the conflicting races. Such conflict can worsen during economic downturns and civil wars based on racial conflicts. As a result, the ethnic minorities and cultures would be treated unfairly during an economic crisis and civil conflicts (Looker, 2015).
In order to address racial discrimination, the legal authorities should collect and publish the reliable information on racism offenses and incidences, conduct investigations and prosecute the offenders. The government also has the responsibility of reviewing institutional performances including the criminal justice system to identify and take action against racial discrimination.
Since civil liberties enable one to engage in politics and social life without being discriminated, the local governments should safeguard the rights from interference or violation by the groups or people in the society. During instances of civil rights violation, it should be considered as a critical issue which needs immediate action by government and other legislators to restore civil liberty.
Lader, C. (2010). AP United States government & politics. Hauppauge, NY: Barron's Educational Series.
Looker, B. (2015). A nation of neighborhoods: Imagining cities, communities, and democracy in postwar America.
Ochoa-Becker, A. S., & Engle, S. H. (2007). Democratic education for social studies: An issues-centered decision making curriculum. Charlotte, NC: IAP-Information Age Pub
Thomas, C. S. (2004). Research guide to U.S. and international interest groups. Westport (Conn.: Praeger.
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