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Government 2306 Discussion board. Essay One: Individualism in Texas (Other (Not Listed) Sample)


This is a discussion board, Your contribution to the topic should be clear, complete, and accurate. The essays/responses should also reflect college level writing (minimal grammatical errors) and refrain from use of slang or other non-academic language. Discussion essays should be approx. 1 page double-spaced and typed in 12-point Times New Roman font and should include at least 1 outside source other than the lecture materials which you must cite in APA formatting at the end of your post. All posts should be typed in a Word document and attached to the discussion board for submission.


Government 2306 Discussion board
1. Discuss the concept of Texas “individualism” as referenced within the lecture materials for the section.  Individualism places a heavy emphasis upon the citizen to “take care of business” on their own.  This mentality still heavily influences our state politics and policies by reducing the role that the state government plays in the lives of the citizenry.
Example: Texas consistently ranks near bottom of 50 states in terms of money spent “helping” citizens via entitlement programs (aka “welfare” programs, etc.) in order to keep government expenditures and taxes lower than many other states.  This has been cited as one of the reasons that the Texas economy has flourished and been able to weather the economic storms and downturns of previous decades. 
Does this concept of “individualism” or self-reliance work in today’s society?  Does Texas overlook the needs of many of the poorest citizens, or does it push them to “pull themselves up by their bootstraps” and become self-reliant as opposed to government dependent?  Create your discussion based on information found within your lecture, as well as one outside source to support your claim;  Make sure that you cite your source within your post if you quote directly, as well as at the end of your post so that I can see that you used a source and verify its’ authenticity.
2 . Guns are as much a part of Texas culture as cowboys, pickup trucks, and longhorn cattle, but they are always controversial.  The nation has been reeling from several major mass shootings in the past several years(Sandy Hook, Pulse, Las Vegas, Sutherland Springs and Santa Fe, TX, and Parkland, FL to name some of the more notorious).  Obviously both all are terribly tragic due to the number of innocent people who lost their lives, but they  have stirred the national debate on guns and how to prevent mass shootings once again.  I want you to explore these shootings and determine what, if anything, can realistically be done to prevent such shootings in the future?  Some politicians (including many presidential hopefuls) have renewed calls for extended gun control measures such as universal background checks, closing the gun show loophole, bans on "assault" style weapons and in some cases, outright bans on all guns in general.  Others have pointed out that no amount of additional background checks would have prevents either shooting given that the Vegas shooter had no issues in his past to prevent him from owning guns, and that shooter in Sutherland Springs or Parkland for example had extensive legal/mental issues that should have prevented him from owning a gun, but the laws that are already on the books did not work because they were not enforced properly to begin with.  Also, don't forget about the 2nd Amendment in general (what does it say and are there any restrictions that can be assumed from reading it), and don't forget that in the case of the Sutherland Springs shooting, it was only a "good guy" with a gun who prevented the massacre from becoming even worse when he used his own "assault" rifle to engage and shoot the murderer.  What about politicians stating they would use executive orders as president in order to bypass Congress?  Would doing so violate the Constitution, both the 2nd Amendment in general or the separation of powers enshrined within the document?  Finally, what do we do about the mental illness aspect of most mass shootings?  If the mental illness issue is not addressed, then can any amount of gun control prevent sick individuals from harming innocent people?  Please think deeply on this question and answer accordingly as these tragedies could have easily occurred at a time and place where you have all been.  I look forward to reading your responses to this question.3. The US is nation guided by the Constitution, the supreme law of the land which guarantees the rights and liberties of everyone in the nation and yet what are we to do when those perceived rights clash with the rights or liberties of others?  A recent news story comes to mind for you to consider on this topic and which deals with the 1st Amendment's guarantee of freedom of speech.  Given that the Founders wrote and placed the 1st Amendment at the very beginning of the Bill of Rights, it goes without saying that they considered it amongst the most important of rights to enshrine.  
We all know that the 1st Amendment guarantees the freedom of speech, a right which most of us take for granted but for which we are amazingly fortunate to have given how people in other nations are often treated when they speak up or out.  Recently I came across a story about a young man and woman who were involved in a relationship with each other and which ended with the man committing suicide.  What makes this case significant for this course is the questions which have been raised regarding the 1st Amendment, how far those rights extend, and at what point is someone not responsible for their own actions?  In this case, the woman appears to have incessantly encouraged her boyfriend to end his own life, which he did by jumping off of the roof of a parking garage.  She has now been criminally charged for her role, but this begs the question - what about her 1st Amendment right to freedom of speech?  Don;t we, as Americans, have the right to be as offensive or despicable as we want?  Aren't people ultimately responsible for their own actions?  In this case, can/should she be held criminally liable for the singular actions of her boyfriend to commit suicide?  While it's clear she said horrible things, are we prepared to criminalize the words of individuals and if so, how does that square with the 1st Amendment?  While it is true that her boyfriend had a history of mental illness, is she now somehow responsible for his mental health issues? 
Do not allow your feelings regarding her morality creep into your analysis.  You might find her actions/words personally disgusting, but the law and the Constitution do not care about your personal morality, and keep in mind that this story is different than one in which a teenager is bullied by classmate's because that bullying is generally unwanted and non consensual, while this story represent a consensual relationship between two consenting adults.  If you feel she should be charged and the 1st Amendment doesn't protect her then that's fine, especially given that prosecutors seem to agree with that same assessment, but be prepared to make the case for why you think this and the same for if you believe she shouldn't be charged with manslaughter in her boyfriend's suicide.
4. In an era where issues of race seem to permeate almost every aspect of politics, it should come as no surprise that many of our discussions and the topics given for your research paper has racial under/overtones.  Our politicians are certainly aware of the tensions which exist along these lines and are often all too willing to exploit those tensions & differences for their own personal gain.  For your final discussion board, you are to read an article (which is linked below) which tackles the often controversial matter of affirmative action. 
Affirmative action is a practice which has long been in place in order to help balance the playing field, whether for jobs or for admission into universities, as a result of decades of racial disparity and unequal treatment.  It goes without saying that this issue remains controversial and have has often been viewed through the lens of white vs. African American & Hispanic/Latino, but recently a fascinating case made its way through the lower federal courts which threatened to undo all that affirmative action is and has done as for the first time ever, it was not white vs. other minorities, but one minority group vs. others minorities.  
In the case which you will read about, lawyers representing Asian-American students who applied to Harvard sued based upon racial discrimination by maintaining the admissions factors focusing on race played a significant role in who was admitted or not, particularly in regards to Asian-Americans as they received much lower "likability" scores compared to all others.  Ultimately the judge hearing the case felt Harvard had not effectively discriminated against Asian students, though many found the reasoning behind the judges decision to be questionable and flawed.  The attorneys representing Asian students have of course stated they will appeal all the way to the US Supreme Court if necessary where, if it were to make it there, could become very interesting given the newly established conservative leaning of the court.  
I want you to read this article and provide your own thoughts on this issue.  What do we do when we policy meant to protect and balance the field for minorities is turned upside down and begins to potentially discriminate against one minority group in favor of boosting the percentages of others?  Is affirmative action then inherently flawed?  How are schools supposed to create diverse student bodies without being able to consider non-academic factors such as race or other experiences?  Harvard attempts to justify their policy by correctly stating that the majority of their applicants are all tremendous students and would likely be admitted into almost any other non-Ivy League school which they apply to and that previous court decisions have allowed for college to use race as one of the deciding factors, but not THE deciding factor.  However, in a world where all applicants are exceptional academically and otherwise, then is it possible that race in fact becomes THE sole differentiating factor when looking for the smallest details by which to separate candidates?  What do you feel the Supreme Court should decide to do here?  Should they agree with the lower court's decision or take up the case and risk throwing out decades of precedent on affirmative action by reversing course?  I look forward to your thoughts on this final board as always. 
Your contribution to the topic should be clear, complete, and accurate. The essays/responses should also reflect college level writing (minimal grammatical errors) and refrain from use of slang or other non-academic language. Discussion essays should be approx. 1 page double-spaced and typed in 12-point Times New Roman font and should include at least 1 outside source other than the lecture materials which you must cite in APA formatting at the end of your post.  All posts should be typed in a Word document and attached to the discussion board for submission


Response to Discussion Board
Author’s Name
Institutional Affiliation
Response to Discussion Board
Essay One: Individualism in Texas
Texas is among a few countries that pursue strictest versions of 'individualism'. The motivation behind promoting individualism is to allow individuals learning how to build themselves and find a place in society unassisted (Lecture Material, n.d.). Here, it is worth mentioning that individualism as a concept is surrounded by controversies for the reason of its being opposite of sociopathic values. It has both its merits and demerits where its alignment with contemporary context is of much importance besides government's efforts to promote values removed from the concept of a welfare society.
As for the question relating to contemporariness, the individualistic approach of the government is well placed. All countries around the world are faced with intense competition in terms of skill development in today's integrated globalized society (Sepashvili, 2016). A pro-individualism approach shown by the government will create an environment that fosters learning and growth with individuals being an active part of the competition. A constant fear of being left behind which may put the survival of people into question will force them to stay into the race for competitiveness.

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