The role of the United States in the 21st Century will more than likely remain the same role that is has been since the end of World War Two which is it retain its role of superpower and the epicenter of much of the world economy. Of course, this role could very well change or at least be altered. Case in point, when the Soviet Union detonated a successful atomic bomb and then launched Sputnik into orbit the face of American society changed and the Cold War began. Similarly, the events of Sept 11 changed much of the foreign policy (and even domestic) policies of the United States.
This, much like Sputnik, came as a surprise and without warning (granted Sputnik was not an attack, but it did increase paranoia) and it led to major changes. As such, since the future is impossible to predict it would be difficult to fully say what roles the US will play. While there will definitely be an increased an active presence of the United States in the Middle East, how this will be carried out is dependent on who will be writing the foreign policy decisions. If there was one area on contention worth examining it would be the US’ role in the world in regards to the development of China as a superpower.
China as a nuclear armed economic superpower could raise levels of nervousness in countries such as Taiwan and Japan, but what role will the USA play in Asia? Will it be active or isolationist? Again, time will tell. Regarding the difference between and old system of politics vs. a new system of politics, the political system has not changed in over two hundred years. Granted, political parties and ideologies may change the political system hasn’t. The nation still has a legislative branch, an executive branch and a supreme court.
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Additionally, there still remains a certain level of federalism in the United States so the political systems remain fairly the same decade to decade. There really is no fate to American democracy because it is highly unlikely the democracy will be replaced with another form of government considering that 99. 9% of the population seems to like the notion of a democracy. Changing the constitution is a moot point as the vast majority of the amendments to the constitution occurred within the first ten years of the nation’s birth.
In fact, there has not been an amendment to the constitution in over 30 years. Considering that the means of changing or amending the constitution requires a super majority of the Congress and the Senate as well as a 2/3 majority of the states, it is next to impossible to rally support for a single amendment much less a series of radical changes to the amendment. As such, the constitution isn’t going to change. Similarly, the need for the expansion of public welfare vs. the ability to pass legislation that would expand welfare is extremely far apart from one another. Welfare can not be expanded by fiat.
Also, if welfare expansion occurs there is the potential for a backlash from the electorate and this would make politicians very unlikely to advance such legislation when both parties are highly reliant on swing states and tight election victories. Keep in mind, Bill Clinton reluctantly signed welfare reform legislation under the notion that he would lose re-election if he did not sign it. The United States is not a socialist system and the voting public will not get behind an expansion of welfare in light of the 15 year rollback. As such, it is best to examine a cure for poverty outside of the welfare system.
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