One of the best characteristics of the US political system today is this particular feature: the presence of a socio-cultural and socio-political atmosphere that encourages and promotes the right of the individual to vote and the right to suffrage. This is considered as a positive aspect of the US political system. Not all of the countries and their respective political system make room for this rather delicate matter, to which the balance of power hangs and to which the fate of the country and its socio economic and socio political stability rests.
The US political system should not change this particular aspect and on the contrary, manage to find ways on how to make this particularly enviable characteristic of the US political system develop more into something that lessens and lessens the chances and situations that limits or prohibits its citizens to vote and is not threatened by the possibilities of being corrupted by the politicians themselves.
An important part of the praise-worthy characteristic of the US political system to support the right for suffrage and encourage a population that is willing to go to voting precincts and vote and choose their own leader as part of the exercise of the democratic country they all live in is the fact that the right to vote is centered and is promoted not only among true blooded American citizens, but also to immigrants who are granted citizenship.
This is important because this goes to show that the US’ political system did not renege on its promise embedded on the towering facade of the Liberty Statue about bringing in and welcoming people from different cultures with open arms and giving them an equal treatment especially in the aspect which in other countries maybe a very delicate matter altogether – the right to vote.
In the US, protection and promotion of the right to vote has been widely supported that politicians themselves are becoming “increasingly aware of the voting-bloc power of the immigrants (Bray 19)” that they “are offering meaningful choices and reforms to immigrant voters (Bray 19)” as well. One of the positive characteristics of the US political system is the consistent inclusion of the consideration for and fighting for the exercise and preservation of the human rights.
Yes, it is true that the United States, as a country, has been the place where great battles on human rights were fought. The Klu Kux Klan reminds the world about the extent of racism in the United States. Isn’t it the same country that was divided and shed the blood of their countrymen because they do not see eye to eye with regards to the issue of liberating former African American slaves that the white people own? These are all important points that prove the problem of human rights in the US, especially during its earlier, younger years.
But more important than these historical notes is the fact that it was through these experiences that heroes, like Abraham Lincoln and other fighters for human rights, were given the time to shine their brightest and influence not just the country, but the world about important socio-cultural values and the significance of human rights. Despite the times of troubles, the political system of the country has shown through the years that it is capable of learning and integrating inside the system the wisdom and knowledge lifted from previous experiences so that the system could be better in the end.
Today, the protection of human rights in the United States is all the more highlighted and magnified, especially when news in Africa and from other countries tell the tales of individuals who died not being able to enjoy the most basic human rights, and leaving behind friends and family members who are still under the threat of having their human rights taken from them and violated in front of them.
Their own political system is not powerful enough to protect them from this kind of atrocity that is still very much alive in many parts of the world even today. It is indeed very reassuring to know that the US political system features important aspects that can guarantee the exercise and protection of human rights, not just the rights of American citizens in the US but also the human rights of other people if the US political system can extend help for this cause as they did in the past like what they did in 1973 (Liang-Fenton 151).
One of the problematic aspects of the US political system is the power of political appointments. It is considered as one of the “anxieties” haunting civil service as far back as the formative years of the National Commission on the Public Service (Bowles 239). This is something that is considered as problematic and is a characteristic that leans more on the negative side than on the positive side.
This is because of the fact that political appointments are largely based on the whim of politicians who often use political appointments, either as leverage so that the politician can manipulate the exercise and flow of power and influence, or as a way/means for the politician to return the favor he or she owes to private individuals who, in one way or another extended help or assistance to the politician and in the process someone to whom the politician is owed to. In both cases, it is reflected how the power for political appointment is becoming more and more vulnerable to being utilized as a tool for used for the wrong reasons.
An important change correcting this problematic situation is the limitation of political appointments to just a handful of aides that the politician will have to work with everyday. While it is true that the truly capable leader is capable of willing with different types of people and can function as a team player even if surrounded by team mates who the politician did not choose, there are significant benefits that comes out of letting the elected leader pick at least his core team. It follows that if the electorate trusts the leader that they voted, they will trust the people whom the elected official trusts in return.
In this line of thought, it now comes that political appointments should be limited to the immediate staff of the politician and no greater than that. Besides, the elected official was not elected to personally handpick every other civil servant. The current power for political appointments should be diminished and have the civil service system handle the filling of government positions so that the truly deserving individuals are placed in government positions without the bias from politicians who may exercise their powers incorrectly.
It is quite unclear or uncertain yet in which particular part of the history the United States and its political system has actually began to become a hegemon, although John Agnew seemed to give the readers an idea akin to the amalgamation of several different factors leading to this reality of what is now known as the US hegemony on political, as well as economic and even cultural spheres (Agnew 53).
What is now clear today is that the United States has taken the role of the global hegemon, the US politics and the US system dictating and influencing heavily the course of action that many aspects of the present day globalized world has taken collectively. While it has its perks and positive features that the country and its people can and have enjoyed, this aspect of the US political system is something that causes problems and is more of a disadvantage than advantage.
It is more of a negative characteristic than it is a positive characteristic because of what the hegemon role brings inside the country and towards it people – particularly, death by many US citizens which is often not morally or ethically justified. Take for example, the wars and armed conflict that the US has committed itself in fighting because of its self righteous role that comes out of being a hegemon.
It wants to show the world that the country will be the leader in fighting ideas like terrorism and how it physically manifests by bringing US soldiers to far off countries like Afghanistan and Iraq. These countries are turning out to be modern day version of Vietnam because of the continuous increase in casualties among US citizens who are fighting people from other culture and nation and carrying with them either very vague or very generalized ideas of the reason of war per se.
The country should instead be content in the exercise of the limitation on trying to be the leader at everything with, at times, unreasonable sense of self-righteousness that it is doing more harm than good to the people of the country for which the US political system should serve in the first place, like making the US and its citizens prime targets of hate campaigns instigated by non Americans who detest the state of US hegemony.
Works Cited Agnew, John A. Hegemony: The New Shape of Global Power. University of Chicago Press, 2005. Bowles, Nigel. The Government and Politics of the United States. Palgrave Macmillan, 1993. Bray, Ilona. Becoming a US Citizen: A Guide to Law, Exam and Interview. NOLO, 2008. Liang-Fenton, Debra. Implementing US Human Rights Policy: Agendas, Policies, and Practices. United States Institute of Peace Press (USIP), 2004.