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What is Politics?

Comment from a student: Professor Easton defines politics as 'allocating resources within a society.'
Comment from a student: Professor Lasswell calls politics 'who gets what, when and how.'
Two students studying.

Both are good definitions. Politics, naturally, occurs when two or more live together, and, our coming together is mainly for reasons of some sort of security. So, it pervades human existence! Can we free ourselves from it? Only if we live like hermits.

American politics is not all negative and not all positive. After all, humans run the show. We make mistakes. But, politics is certainly a major part of REALITY. It can help, hurt, bite at our pocket books, uproot us, and even put us in harm's way.

How does politics work and how should it work?

Political Science 1101, American Politics, discusses this question and introduces a number of relevant, timely and sometimes harsh topics found in American politics. For instance:

  How disputed presidential elections are decided, peacefully, as the past 2000 election was, ultimately, resolved by the court system.
  Do you know what your rights are if you were stopped by the police and put in jail?
  How do the elderly or retirees subsist on welfare or small retirement income? And, to whom do they turn?
  Consider the difficulty in keeping peace in our family or among next door neighbors, and even in the community. Now, multiply 3 by 100,000,000 or 300 million people. Surely, the challenge to policy makers is awesome, isn't it?
  Take the young pyromaniac, or school terrorists caught setting fires or killing students. How do we put a stop to this violence? Where do we turn? Some say "kill 'em;" others, "lock 'em up", still others, "counsel 'em." Where do you stand?

These are just some of the issues this course addresses. Is the course relevant? Does it strike home? Indeed, it does. And, it is buttressed by an understandable text with numerous and timely Internet links. This course, undoubtedly, will brighten your journey into a continually tested and evolving American political system. After all, it is many ancient political philosopher's theories put into practice.

This is a three credit hour course.

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