Complete 5 short American Government Discussion Posts

DISCUSSION 1:

On Day 1, I Will …

Please respond to EACH of the following discussion topics and submit them to the discussion forum as a single post. Your initial post should be 75-150 words in length. Then, make at least two thoughtful responses to your fellow students’ posts. If you haven’t recently, please review the Rules of Discussion.

When candidates for president are out on the campaign trail it is not uncommon to hear them state, “When I am elected President, on day one I will do … .” The candidate then gives a list of one or two executive orders that they will make on their first day in office. In other words, they will make a policy that falls within the vagueness of Article II of the U.S. Constitution or a change of how current laws are executed and thus not needing Congressional approval for such a change.

For your initial post this week, imagine you are a candidate for the White House and present to the class at least one executive action you would take on your first day serving as president. (Please Note: it is not acceptable to state that you think no action should be taken.)

Go beyond just stating what the executive order you would make is. Make an argument supporting your action. Is it a legal action? Does the president have the power to take this action without Congress? Is this really a state issue and not a federal issue? Is this executive action, in your opinion, a good idea, why or why not? Would the public be in favor of such an executive action?

For your follow up posts challenge one of your peer’s proposed executive actions. Is it a legal action? Does the president have the power to take this action without Congress? Is this really a state issue and not a federal issue? Is this executive action, in your opinion, a good idea, why or why not? Would the public be in favor of such an executive action?

DISCUSSION 2:

May It Please the Court …

Please respond to EACH of the following discussion topics and submit them to the discussion forum as a single post. Your initial post should be 75-150 words in length. Then, make at least two thoughtful responses to your fellow students’ posts. If you haven’t recently, please review the Rules of Discussion.

For your initial post this week imagine that you are a lawyer arguing a case concerning federalism before the Supreme Court of the United States of America. This case has to do whether the power to create policy on a particular issue should be in the hands of the Federal Government, left to the States, or left in the hands of individual citizens.

Then, you must support your argument to the Supreme Court by finding and using an applicable part of the United States Constitution.

Select one of the following starters to start your argument (only do one):

  • May it please the court, the federal government, not the states has the power to legalize marijuana because …
  • May it please the court, the states, not the federal government, has the power to legalize marijuana because …
  • May it please the court, neither the states nor federal government has the power to legalize marijuana because …
  • May it please the court, the federal government, not the states, has the power to pass gun control because …
  • May it please the court, the states, not the federal government, has the power to pass gun control because …
  • May it please the court, neither the states nor federal government has the power to pass gun control because …
  • May it please the court, the federal government, not the states, has the power to pass education policy because …
  • May it please the court, the states, not the federal government, has the power to pass education policy because …
  • May it please the court, neither the states nor federal government has the power to pass education policy because …
  • May it please the court, the federal government, not the states, has the power to recognize or even restrict same sex marriages because …
  • May it please the court, the states, not the federal government, has the power to recognize or even restrict same sex marriages because …
  • May it please the court, neither the states nor federal government has the power to recognize or even restrict same sex marriages because …

DISCUSSION 3:

Propose a Change

Please respond to EACH of the following discussion topics and submit them to the discussion forum as a single post. Your initial post should be 75-150 words in length. Then, make at least two thoughtful responses to your fellow students’ posts. If you haven’t recently, please review the Rules of Discussion.

In your initial discussion post this week present an argument that proposes one change to our electoral system. (Please note, it will not be acceptable to say you do not think any change should be made.)

Several possible changes to could be:

  • Eliminating the Electoral College
  • Instituting required Voter ID
  • Mandatory voting.
  • Instituting an Election Day Holiday in which all Americans do not have to vote.
  • You may also get creative and come up with your own original change!

Just be sure to go beyond just stating what change you want to make, but present an argument for why we should make that change and how that change would improve our electoral system.

In your argument, do not use words like “fair” or “good” or “better” or “equal” – how do you measure what is or is not “fair”? What if you and I have different definitions of what is or is not fair (these are not universal terms)?

DISCUSSION 4:

The Newsroom

Please respond to EACH of the following discussion topics and submit them to the discussion forum as a single post. Your initial post should be 75-150 words in length. Then, make at least two thoughtful responses to your fellow students’ posts. If you haven’t recently, please review the Rules of Discussion.

In your discussion this week you have to write a short newscast. Select three (and only three) current news stories. Select the three stories that you think are the most important to our nation and society.

  • Write an original headline for each story.
  • Write no more than three sentences summarizing each story.
  • Include the full html web address for each story.

*It is very important to only write on three stories and keep your summaries under three sentences as this simulates how challenging it is to explain very complicated new stories in very restricted time and keeping the attention of viewers.

Your initial post will look something like this:

Catchy Headline #1

Summary sentence 1. This is the second sentence. And finally a third sentence.

http://www.not_a_real_website.com/page/super_cool_…

Catchy Headline #2

Summary sentence 1. This is the second sentence. And finally a third sentence.

http://www.not_a_real_website.com/page/super_cool_…

Catchy Headline #3

Summary sentence 1. This is the second sentence. And finally a third sentence.

http://www.not_a_real_website.com/page/super_cool_…

For your follow up posts, question your peer’s newscasts. Why did they select the stories they did? Were there other current events that they seemed to miss? Was there any bias in how the stories were presented? Was there any bias in how those stories were summarized? Why did they include certain news stories? Why did they ignore others?

DISCUSSION 5:

Write a Letter to Your Representative

Please respond to EACH of the following discussion topics and submit them to the discussion forum as a single post. Your initial post should be 75-150 words in length. Then, make at least two thoughtful responses to your fellow students’ posts. If you haven’t recently, please review the Rules of Discussion.

Using what you have learned this week and in the course so far, write a letter to either your Representative, Senator, or one of your State Legislators concerning a specific public policy.

State your issue position clearly in this letter and then present an argument for why that elected official should support your position on that issue.

Post your letter and who you would send it to in the discussion board.

For your follow up posts, critique the arguments of your peers’ letters. How might they strengthen their argument?

Though not required, feel free to actually send these letters to your representatives and share what that experience was like. Did you get any response? What was that response? Was it only a form letter?

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