American Political Landscape

Research PaperGovernment 2305 – 2306Topic selection:You are to write over the Electoral College and whether it still has a place in our democratic processes or is simply an outdated system designed to maintain the status-quo in a quickly shifting American political landscape. Obviously, I understand that politics is highly personal to some, but this issue has been thrust to the forefront of American consciousness once again as a result of the upcoming presidential election and bears our consideration. As with anything in politics, there is rarely a “right” or “wrong” answer as most issues are shades of grey and this issue is no different. I do not want anyone attempting to write a paper or take a position because they believe it is what I will most agree with. I do not give grades out based upon agreement with my own political philosophy (no professor should force students to accept their opinions as gospel truth, though this too often happens in higher education), I simply expect you to know what it is you believe in and why, and most importantly to be able to support your position with solid research and writing rather than based on pure emotion. By bringing the facts to bear, especially on an emotionally charged issue such as this, it gives credence to your position while disarming the opposition. This is not to say that you cannot speak from an emotional place either, only that you should try to minimize it as much as possible. As always, I look forward to reading your thoughts on these issues and ask you take them both seriously and with reverence to the topics.TOPIC: Electoral College – Valued Democratic System or Archaic Leftover?This election year seems poised to be one set against a backdrop of national issues that would have seemed almost unreal a year ago as a global pandemic has created pain and suffering on an unprecedented physical, social, and economic scale – all while issues of systemic racism have forced the nation to grapple with America’s original sin in a way that we haven’t seen since the Civil Rights movement during the 1960’s. It is not surprising then that many, including both presidential candidates, are labeling this an election for the soul of America (though this is a common statement from candidates in every election, though the wording may change). Due to the perceived importance of this year’s election, voting and the voting systems put into place in our nation are being hotly debated and as we approach the 2020 election for president this November, the pros and cons of a system (Electoral College) are even more front and center than they were during the 2016 presidential election. As you undoubtedly recall, nearly every “expert” predicted Clinton would defeat Trump in resounding fashion, and yet she lost her bid because of the electoral college despite gaining almost 3 million more popular votes than Trump. How can this be possible? The electoral college is system created at the birth of our nation by the Founders and depending upon where you look for the information about why they did this you will find varying degrees of reason for it. Part of your paper should focus on the how and why this system was ever created in the first place. The rest of your paper should examine the pros and cons of the electoral college system today. I want you to analyze the results of the previous presidential election and determine if you believe “the system” worked or failed. By “the system”, I mean the democratic voting system that comprises both the popular vote and the electoral college. Should the popular vote have been enough to win Clinton the White House given that she received almost 3 million more votes than Trump? Or did the electoral college work as intended, given that a look at the popular vote clearly shows that the cast majority of Clinton’s votes came from the extreme west and east coasts while largely ignoring the entire middle of the nation where Trump campaigned extremely hard because he believed he could convince the less populous areas/states of the nation to back him and therefore win the electoral votes needed to take the presidency? Essentially, should a few major urban areas like L.A., New York, etc. largely determine the outcome of a presidency since they technically have a majority of the votes, or is it essential that the presidency reflect the will of the national landscape as a whole, even if the popular votes aren’t necessarily there to win the election on their own and therefore have to rely upon the electoral college for the win. There are numerous arguments both for and against, and very few in which personal bias does not interject. Still, this is a worthwhile topic to explore as many people still question the validity of Trump’s election despite losing the popular vote with many fearing that 2020 could be a repeat on the 2016 election, but on an even larger scale as Biden is polling higher than Clinton in 2016 as some are saying that while it is unlikely, it is possible that Biden could win by more than 5 million popular votes and still lose the electoral college. By looking to both our distant and recent past, you are to explore the electoral college system. What is it and why was it created? How does it work and how is it flawed? Based upon recent history, particularly the 2016 election, does this electoral college still work or is it an outdated and archaic system to be done away with? If so, what about the popular vote could work and what is likely to be flawed, thereby leading to replacing the controversy of the electoral college with one surrounding the popular vote? Finally, given that we now have the two major party candidates for president (third party candidate rarely matter on the national stage), what is your prediction for the outcome of the election this year? For Biden to win he will need to secure the popular vote (an almost assured outcome) as well as the electoral vote, but as the included video link details, Trump could very well secure his re-election via the electoral college (an outcome he is almost certainly banking on) while still losing by 5 million votes and what, if anything, does this do for the legitimacy or his presidency in the eyes of the people? Finally, where do you think the country is politically, socially, and economically one year from election day based upon who want or predict will win? There are no right or wrong answers here for the most part, so the question is, which matters most, and why do you think it? I have included direct links to 4 separate sources (1 video, 3 aricles) which come from a variety of political persuasions/thought processes, which hopefully provide a full and balanced perspective on the issue at hand and which you can use as part of all of the required sources for your paper:How Trump could lose the popular vote by 5M and still winhttps://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/08/14/donald-trump-joe-biden-electoral-college-math-enten-analysis-vpx.cnnDebating the Electoral Collegehttps://www.ncsl.org/research/elections-and-campaigns/debating-the-electoral-college.aspxWhat the Electoral College Saves Us Fromhttps://www.nationalreview.com/2019/04/what-the-electoral-college-saves-us-from/Five Common Misconceptions About the Electoral Collegehttps://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2019/11/five-common-misconceptions-about-electoral-college/602596/Other Excellent Searchable Databases for Source Material:Heritage Foundationhttps://www.heritage.org/Cato Institutehttps://www.cato.org/Paper Criteria• Title Page: Please includea title page for your research paper. Include:o Your nameo The title of your papero The course you are in (ex. GOVT 2306)• Content: Using at least 4 sources (Internet, and/or library resources), with a minimum of 1 source being an academic journal/article relating to the topic, address the various sides (or positions) of your issue, come up with your own personal conclusions based on your analysis of the issue, and demonstrate an understanding of its complexities. Wikipedia and other online encyclopedias are NOT valid sources!! Sources must be verifiable and journalistically/academically sound. Excellent databases where you can find a wealth of information on the subject matter include https://www.cato.org/ and https://www.heritage.org/. Both websites are clearinghouses containing keyword searchable databases and should be able to provide you with all of the scholarly articles you will need to craft an excellent paper.o Include a brief history of your issue.o Compare and contrast at least (2) different political perspectives (viewpoints)o Identify the strengths and weaknesses of each position you include o Present an informed evaluation of the evidence and different viewpoint surrounding the topico What do you conclude? Which position do you agree with most and why?• Paper length: In a Word document, write a research paper with a minimum (no maximum) of 1,500 words on the topic of choice, (not counting headings), double-spaced with 12-point font. The paper should be created in Word, typewritten and double-spaced, and based on information from a minimum of five (4) primary sources (no maximum). Your title and works cited pages DO NOT count towards the 1,500-word minimum.The 1500 word minimum is non-negotiable and is a basic expectation/requirement, not merely a suggestion. When a minimum word limit is set, it MUST be met fully and completely. Failure to meet the minimum requirements for word count will result in 10 points being deducted automatically for each 100 words that the paper is short of the minimum requirement by.• Writing Style: APA format. DO NOT include an abstract in your paper. You may include one if you wish, but it will not count towards your requirements. Proofread your paper to eliminate spelling and grammatical errors. Please use spell check and grammar check. Use proper paragraphing and improve your writing style by revising the paper as many times as necessary. You may also take your paper to the writing center for additional assistance!• Citations: Any time you borrow someone’s ideas, paraphrase or quote them, (see plagiarism section in syllabus) cite all sources using the APA citation style. Be sure to cite specific information you found in your research to support your claims. Use the same citation format throughout your paper. Analyze and question your sources assumptions. Remember to use at least 4 sources and that Wikipedia and other online encyclopedias are not valid sources!• A bibliography or “work cited” page also using your above citation style.

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