American Political Culture

Behind the American government is its political culture. It is the backbone that defines every core values and ideals beneficial for the American people. Not all may agree, but the vast majority believes in these following principles.

1. Liberty

By common knowledge, liberty is described as the right of every person to be free. One can be free as long as it doesn’t hurt the rights of others. This is the reason why American government has laws in order for its citizen to exercise freedom but harmonious to their fellow citizens. While the citizens are subject to the country’s laws, the government is subject to the constitution. It defines the extent of the government’s exercise of power and at the same time protects the basic rights of the people.

2. Equality

With liberty comes equality. It means every citizen has equal opportunities with regards to exercising their rights in every aspect of their lives. Regardless of their status, rich or poor, male or female, young or old, every citizen should have the same level of treatment from the government. In short, this is just giving everyone equal chances to succeed.

This doesn’t mean of course that demonstrating equality will make every citizen achieve an equal result. A person’s individuality, like belief and attitude, is playing a major role resulting in a different outcome. While the government sees to it that every citizen has equal access to public education, a person’s preference on what field of study results to different career prospects and thus different income opportunities.

3. Democracy

This is the type of government where the sovereignty is in the people. It is a government by the people and for the people. Since the authority emanates from them, America like any other democratic country allows the election to give its citizens the venue of exercising their power.

4. Rule of the Majority

One important aspect of democracy is the belief that the government should reflect the will of the majority. It is a belief that the government is supposed to hear the voice of the people and make it the baseline for its function. Say, for example, the political candidate that has the majority of the vote wins and seats in the office. In the same manner, a bill supported by the majority of the congressional members is the one that passes.

5. Rights of the Minority

Although the rule of the majority is the key to a functioning democracy, it has its limitations. The rights of the minority are also to be protected. The minority has all the right to disagree or speak against the rule of the majority without being sanctioned. This is just for the check and balance of the government. When the rights of the minority are not being considered, the government is in danger of ruling in tyranny.

6. Individualism

By the fundamental concept of individualism, an individual is subject to no one but of that individual. The American government values this principle to the extent that laws have been added to accommodate certain rights that have been deemed necessary to the evolving civil society. A common example is the law that protects the rights of the LGBT community.        

 

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