Tuesday, September 23, 2008

American Politics is able to keep me awake at 8am

I like being in college, taking classes, and learning. We had a really interesting Am Politics class this morning, talking about the context in which our politics take place. We first analyzed a list of things that influenced "our parents' generation" and debated whether they were still relevent

Political events which have influenced our political culture:

1. Founding experience (revolutionary war, constitutional convention) yes
2. Lots of cheap land no
3. the Frontier Experience (Davy Crocket, etc) no
4. Immigrant Experience yes
5. Depression/WWII sometimes

political culture ebbs and flows... because it changes, we came up with a list of more contemporary issues that influence the current generation:

1. 9/11 (increased fear, sense of vulnerability)
2. Current economic crisis
3. Racial/Ethnic divisions
4. Technological boom
5. Media (the feedback loop, and more is allowable as opposed to 60 yrs ago)

I don't usually ask people to comment, but I think this is kind of fascinating to me, so does anyone have any contemporary issues to add or opinions on the list?

7 comments:

Hombreverde said...

I think you missed a big one for our generation: global warming issues.

Also, I'm not sure if the depression or WWII had a direct influence on our parents' generation since most of them were born quite a few years after 1945. I would say that the great depression and the great war influenced my grandparent's generation while the Vietnam war influenced my parents.

indiana.amy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
indiana.amy said...

I actually had the environment/New Wave Green Revolution on my personal list and I almost included it here, but we didn't technically talk about it in class so I wanted to see if anyone would mention it.

The real deal with the Depression, was FDR's New Deal plan. It made the Federal government larger than it had ever been, and started a tradition that continues to this day.

Vietnam is also a good point to mention. How do you think that affects our foreign policy today?

indiana.amy said...

WWII took the US father away from its isolationist stance than anything before. How did the US's role in WWII affect how Americans see their place in the world today?

Hombreverde said...

If you want to look at it that way...then I would say that Magna Carta (1215) should be included in the list for all generations...

Vietnam: there is something called the Vietnam syndrome which caused the United States to be a lot more cautious then they previously were when dealing militarily. I would say that more time should have been taken when dealing with Iraq ...but I was only a Sophomore in high school and no one took me too seriously. ;) If anything, the States wasn't used to losing, so Vietnam made them a bit weary. I can give you a list of examples if you want...

indiana.amy said...

Wait, clarification, if you're saying Vietnam made us more war weary and cautious, how does that equal rushing into Iraq?

I think WWII created a "savior complex" for Americans, which wasn't completely squelched despite losses in Vietnam.

Hombreverde said...

Because I'm talking about my parent's generation and the confrontations that came right after Vietman (right after being 20 - 30 years). Plus...humans are stupid and don't learn from history.

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