Discuss the following segments: (1)What does Dahl mean by “Ideal Democracy” in Part 1 of his book “On Democracy”? Define and summarize Dahl’s more significant points. (2)Using what you have learned in Part 1 of the Dahl book (through Chapter 7), discuss whether or not the founding of our United States (the Articles of Confederation, creation of the US Constitution)seems to have been “democratic”? If it was, to what extent was it democratic? How well do you think the early United States,duringour founding years,would measure up to Dahl’s framework of “ideal democracy”?
Discuss any arguable democratic deficiencies (or shortcomings) that you may perceive to have existed during those early years. Consider the creation and effects of the Constitution. Relate to Dahl. (3)In your view, how well did the United States measure up to Dahl’s “ideal democracy”after the founding(consider the 1800s, post-Civil War Amendments and their arguable impacts, etc. ) and through the more recent era of the 1950-1960’s push for civil rights? Again, discuss any democraticdeficiencies, or shortcomings (according to Dahl’s framework). Do you notice any improvements during these many years,from the founding to the 1960s?
Was there any development of our American “democracy”, any imperfections or flaws as of the 1964/1965 Civil Rights legislation that was passed? Relate to Dahl’s framework. 4) Are any of our civil rights and /or liberties at risk today? Consider Justice Scalia’s comments about voting and racial entitlements (end of February 2013). In addition, you may consider other important matters. Argue you points. Be sure to relate to Dahl’s framework. What should be done, and by who? Your letter to an official should focus on this segment of current matters, threats to our democracy.
Regarding issues and events related to civil rights and liberties, did the post-Civil War Amendments and legal decisions (you may consider this as a “first” civil rights movement) make any difference to our level or degree of “democracy”, as defined under Dahl’s framework? You may consider anypolitical-social-economic problems that led up to the more recent “civil rights movement” of the 1950s and 1960s. How close to Dahl’s “ideal democracy” did these civil rights movements bring our country?
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