OPTION A – Are political parties bad for democracy?
Read the page Are Political Parties Bad for Democracy?, which discusses some of the ways that American political parties can be seen as harmful to the legtimiacy of our democratic institutions. Address the following:
Do you agree or disagree with the critique that political parties wreck democracy and are harmful to the interests of everyday people? Can you identify ways that this is happening or has happened? Or should the party system keep functioning as it now does?
What can you see as the pros and cons of political parties?
OPTION B – React to Lakoff’s “parenting” models of explaining the divisions within US politics.
Read the page US Political Ideologies & Lakoff’s Parenting Models, which is about the ideas of cognitive linguist and philosopher George Lakoff and address the following:
What do you think of Lakoff’s idea that the so-called ‘strict father’ and ‘nurturing parent’ models are a key feature in segments of American political ideologies?
How do Lakoff’s models fit with the ideals that have been previously discussed such as natural rights, liberty, justice, democracy, etc?
Can you identify ways that these models play out in our society? Any critiques or opinions to add?
OPTION C – Are third parties a “wasted vote?”
Read the article Are Third Parties a Wasted Vote? that asks whether or not third parties represent a “spoiler” or offer a path to making our system more legitimate. Address the questions below and add any observations that come to mind.
What factors explain why third parties get such little support in the United States? What could be done to change this?
What is your response to these two competing arguments? Are third parties a “wasted vote” or do they represent a path toward a more legitimate political system?
How might crucial events such as the Black Lives Matter movement, COVID-19, or a Trump presidency affect people’s willingness to either embrace third parties or stick with the status quo?
Your initial response should be between 300 and 600 words in length, reflecting on the prompt above.
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