- The five most important elements of the US political culture are liberty, democracy, equality, individual responsibility, and civic duty.
- People in the United States are generally free to do whatever they like as long as they do not hurt anyone else while doing it, and that is what the element of liberty implies.
- The element of equality presumes that everyone has the same rights and chances to succeed, which is often not the case in most societies.
The US political system is a democracy, but it differs from other democracies in many ways. The country itself is a federal constitutional republic. The President of the United States shares power with the Congress and the judiciary. These powers are reserved to the national government. The state governments are overseen by the federal government. There are five important elements of the political system in the United States. It is better to call it political culture, in this context.
Those five elements are liberty, democracy, individual responsibility, equality and civic duty. This article will continue to explore these elements further. However, let us look into the political system in general in more detail for now. The executive branch of the United States is led by the President. This branch is independent of the legislature of the country.
The legislative power is divided among the two chambers of Congress. These chambers are the Senate and the House of Representatives. The judicial branch is composed of the Supreme Court and other federal courts that fall lower on the scale. The reason why the US political system is different from other democracies is because the upper house of the legislature has more power than usual. The Supreme Court also has much more power than similar institutions in other countries. This is a complex subject that deserves a specific article, but for now let us look at the five elements of the US political system.
Liberty refers to the fact that the people living in the United States should be able to do whatever they want as long as they do not hurt others. This also includes a commitment to the free enterprise system. The United States is often described as the land of the free. This is true, to a certain extent.
People are free to do as they wish in this country, however, there are marginalized groups whose freedom is indirectly taken away from them. People living in poor neighborhoods, that are unemployed, people that face racial or sexual prejudice all have less freedom than the average citizen.
Democracy refers to the belief that the government and its officials in the United States should be accountable to the people. Everyone should have the right to vote and be a part of the political life of their community. The people pick who will represent them and whoever they do choose should be accountable to the people. The majority of societies today are democracies, however, not all of them truly live up to the name. There are many factors that play an important role there.
Equality means that everyone should have equal rights to vote and an equal opportunity to participate and succeed. However, this does not refer to economic equality, since it should be earned. This is one of the biggest problems of capitalism, and American society. While it might seem that people have equal opportunities on the surface, the reality of the situation is much different than that. It will take a lot of time in order for us to create true equality.
However, the principle itself is extremely positive and should be used to teach good things. People do deserve equal chances, equal opportunities. No one should be stripped away of their chance to succeed and achieve whatever they want. However, we often do just that. People from underprivileged families do not have the same opportunities as those that come from a rich background. This is something that should be addressed more often and changed.
2. Individual Responsibility
All individuals should be responsible for their success, actions, and well-being, except for cases of severe misfortune or disability. This element ties into the previous one nicely. Is it possible for everyone to be responsible for their own success? We previously noted how everyone is not equal in this country and it is a huge problem.
Since people do not have equal opportunities, they should not be individually responsible for their successes or failures. This will continue to be so until we manage to create equal chances for everyone and get rid of prejudice from our society. Until then, we can’t talk about true equality and individual responsibility.
1. Civic Duty
People should take their community affairs extremely seriously and participate in them whenever they can. This is an extremely important aspect of every democratic society. However, it is often ignored by many. In a democracy, people have more political power than they are aware of. However, the majority of people do not even go out to vote during election time.
This is something that needs to change. Political activity is important and it helps shape the future of the country. Every vote makes a difference, and this is why more people should be included in community affairs. Help younger people realize the importance of voting and being politically active. Democracy is the basis of our society, and we should start behaving in a way that is fit for the members of a democratic society.