Politics:Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Politics:Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
Politicianssupport different views on various matters of national interest.Members of the public develop their opinions about politicians andpolitical parties on the basis of the ideologies that they support.This paper will focus on three issues that reflect the view of theAmerican politicians and public perception. These issues include theright to legal counsel, Operation Fast Furious, and the minimum wage.
TheRight to Legal Counsel
Theright of all suspects to have an access to legal counsel was providedin the decision made by the Supreme Court in the case of Mirandav. Arizona.The objective of providing this right was to protect suspects who areapprehended by the law enforcers from self-incrimination by failingto comprehend legal jargons or being forced to accept falseallegations (Ley & Verhovek, 2012). Miranda warnings have fourelements, including the right to remain silent anything that thesuspects say can be used against them in the court the unconditionalright to have an attorney and an attorney should be provided free ofcharge to those who cannot afford. The Supreme Court ordered that thelaw enforcement agents should cease any form of interrogation oncethe suspect requests to have an attorney.
TheMiranda ruling has enhanced the sense of social responsibility intoday’s government by forcing the law enforcement agencies to treatthe suspects fairly and ensuring that they have access to legalrepresentation. For example, the case of Dicksonv. the United Statesresulted in a ruling indicating that the warnings had beenincorporated into the national culture (University Law, 2016). Inthis case, the Congress had tried to overturn Miranda warningsthrough § 3501, but the court held that they did not violate theU.S. constitution. Today, all levels of government (including thenation, local, and the state) understand that it is their socialresponsibility to enhance the administration of justice by allowingsuspects to provide statements in the presence of their legalrepresentatives. Currently, the issue of considering all people(including the perpetrators of heinous crimes) as innocent untilproven otherwise by the competent courts of law is out of thequestion.
OperationFast and Furious
Thisoperation was initiated with the objective of helping the U.S. lawenforcers apprehend the key drug dealers who sold illegal substancesacross the U.S.-Mexico border. The operation was accomplished throughthe partnership between licensed gun sellers and the Bureau ofAlcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosive (AFT). This resulted in thesale of about 2,000 guns to Mexican drug traffickers, but only 700 ofthem were recovered and their holders apprehended (Fisher, 2013). In2010, it was reported that the U.S. security agents had managed todismantle a network of drug traffickers that held about 336 guns(Krantz, 2013). However, it was later discovered that the operationhad resulted in the murder of about 13 law enforcers and hundreds ofcivilians who were killed by the drug traffickers. Therefore, theidea of selling guns helped in the destruction of some drugtrafficking networks, but firearms that could not be recoveredincrease crime rate in the U.S. and Mexico.
Thepurpose as well as the outcome of the operation affected the publicperception in two different ways. First, the news indicating that thegovernment had managed to identify and destroy drug traffickinggroups by the year 2012 resulted in a positive public perception(Krantz, 2013). This is because these reports created a perceptionthat the government was concerned about the menace of drugtrafficking that had affected the lives of many American youths andescalated insecurity in the states that share the border the Mexico.However, the spread of the news about cases of murder of policeofficers and civilians in the U.S. as a result of the increase in theproliferation of small arms in Mexico led to a negative publicperception (Fisher, 2013). These reports indicated that thegovernment had the right motive, but used the wrong strategy toprotect its citizens. This is because hundreds of guns that could notbe recovered from drug traffickers were used to accomplish differenttypes of crimes that endangered the lives of Americans as well asinnocent Mexicans.
Democraticand Republican parties differ in many ways. However, their differentviews about the minimum wage have a direct impact on the lives of themajority of Americans. The Democratic Party holds that the minimumwage should be increased in order to enhance the buying power of theworking Americans (Gitterman, 2012). The idea of the Democrats isfounded on the assumption that people in the working class,especially those who are semi-skilled or unskilled required thegovernment interventions in order to protect them from irresponsibleemployers who pay them very little for their hard work. TheRepublicans, on the other hand, hold that the market forces of demandand supply should be allowed to determine the level of wages for eachcategory of employment. According to Republicans, it would be morebeneficial to keep the minimum wage low in order to help Americancompanies sell goods to Americans at lower prices (Gitterman, 2012).
Theideals and the goals that each of the parties intend to achieve arereasonable. However, the Democrats focus on protection of employeeswhile Republicans are interested in the needs of the Americanconsumers. The moral judgment of the two perspectives can be based onthe utilitarian theory that is founded on the notion that an actionshould be considered as ethical if it maximizes the happiness of thelarge number of the affected people (Gitterman, 2012). It isestimated that about 155 million Americans earn their living throughformal employment, but all citizens (318 million) are part of theconsumer population (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2015). Based on theutilitarian perspective, the view of the Republican Party is moralcompared to the opinion of the Democrats because it seeks to maximizethe net happiness of the majority of the Americans. The idea ofincreasing the minimum wage will result in a rise in the cost ofgoods, which will affect all Americans while enhancing the well-beingon about 155 million employees only. Therefore, Republicans have abetter policy regarding the issues of minimum wage and the cost ofliving for Americans than the Democrats.
Theright to have a legal counsel has become part of the culture of theAmerican judicial system. Politicians understand that all levels ofthe government have the responsibility of ensuring that all suspectscan access legal representatives. Operation Fast Furious resulted inmixed reactions where some people believed that the government aimedat increase security, but the subsequent cases of death created anegative public perception. The Republican’s view that the minimumwage should be determined by the market forces will benefit morepeople than the Democrats’ idea that the wages should be increased.
Bureauof Labor Statistics (2015). Theemployment situation: July 2016.Washington, DC: BLS.
CornellUniversity Law (2016). Supreme Court of the United States: Dixon v.United States. CornellUniversity Law.Retrieved August 10, 2016, fromhttps://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/05-7053.ZS.html
Fisher,L. (2013). Obama’s executive privilege and holder’s contempt:Operation fast and furious. PresidentialStudies Quarterly,43 (1), 167-185.
Gitterman,P. (2012). Making the new deal stick? The minimum wage and Americanpolitical history. TheJournal of the Historical Society,12 (1), 47-78.
Krantz,M. (2013). Walking firearms to gunrunners: ATF’s flawed operationin a flawed system.Journal of Criminal Laws and Criminology,103 (2), 585-624.
Ley,J. & Verhovek, G. (2012). The political foundations f Miranda v.Arizona and the Quarles public safety exemptions. BerkeleyJournal of Criminal Law,19 (2), 206-251.