MODERN REPUBLICANISM AND THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEM
Embree, Timothy Sean
Kerch, Thomas M
MODERN REPUBLICANISM AND THE AMERICAN POLITICAL SYSTEMTimothy S. Embree, B.S.Mentor: Thomas M. Kerch, Ph.D.ABSTRACTThe relationship between citizens and their government must be more than simply that of an entity that provides security from dangers. While most people would likely agree security is important, the primary reason for political or government systems must be much more. A successful political system should reflect the classical republican ideals of institutions designed to allow for the betterment of the people. Unfortunately, our American federal government does not reflect the original ideas proposed at the time of the Founding and seemingly does not reflect the ideals of our ever evolving nation. Meaningful and extended political debate has been replaced with talking points and sound bites. The statesman seems to have left the stage and we must figure out how to bring him/her back. If we can’t persuade them to return to our American political system, then we must attempt to build virtue into our system.Despite our current predicament, we should take heart in the knowledge that truly innovative political thought does not emerge during times of peace and harmony. Major political theories are born of times of crisis to meet the current problems and limit similar calamities in the future. Our young country has faced crisis before. Immediately following the American Revolution, we were constrained by the ineffective Articles of Confederation. But this period of strife provided us with the U.S. Constitution which we still have today. In 1861, we were nearly torn apart by a bloody civil war. But from this terrible war, we finally began to truly address our nation’s sin of slavery.Our American political system could not exist without the ideas of Ancient Greece and Rome, or the classical republicans of the Enlightenment. This paper builds upon the foundations that the Framers used to design our great compromise. Using different republican theories of government, this proposal is designed to stimulate discussion and debate among citizens.A well designed system should consist of an engaged citizenry that questions their political leaders while simultaneously trusting the institutions. When functioning properly, it protects the liberty of its citizens as the ancients had championed, but these periods of flourishing are intrinsically tied to the engagement of the people. We are fortunate because our representative government is designed to inherently yield to us the ability to demand a just system. This paper explores embracing regional representation and strengthening our federal legislative branch with a subordinate system of regional congresses. Recognizing that structural changes alone won’t be enough, we will also examine establishing a continuing education requirement for all members of congress. The job of modern members of congress should require a great level of expertise in the art of statesmanship and as the ancient philosophers argued, our political leaders should be duty-bound, and value knowledge beyond opinion. Establishing a continuing education requirement for members of congress will improve our elected officials and those drawn to run for office. Improving the quality of congressional members should also begin to restore the citizenry’s respect for elected officials and provide a foundational level of competence that will be demanded of any elected official.
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Arrow, Kenneth; Auerbach, Alan; Bertko, John; Brownlee, Shannon; Casalino, Lawrence P.; Cooper, Jim; Crosson, Francis J.; Enthoven, Alain; Falcone, Elizabeth; Feldman, Robert C.; Fuchs, Victor R.; Garber, Alan M.; Gold, Marthe R.; Goldman, Dana; Hadfield, Gillian K.; Hall, Mark A.; Horwitz, Ralph I.; Hooven, Michael; Jacobson, Peter D.; Jost, Timothy Stoltzfus; Kotlikoff, Lawrence J.; Levin, Jonathan; Levine, Sharon; Levy, Richard; Linscott, Karen; Luft, Harold S.; Mashal, Robert; McFadden, Daniel; Mechanic, David; Meltzer, David; Newhouse, Joseph P.; Noll, Roger G.; Pietzsch, Jan B.; Pizzo, Philip; Reischauer, Robert D.; Rosenbaum, Sara; Sage, William; Schaeffer, Leonard D.; Sheen, Edward; Silber, B. Michael; Skinner, Jonathan; Shortell, Stephen M.; Thier, Samuel O.; Tunis, Sean; Wulsin, Lucien Jr.; Yock, Paul; Nun, Gabi Bin; Bryan, Stirling; Luxenburg, Osnat; van de Ven, Wynand P.M.M. (2009-04-07)