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Section 1: The Presidency

Presidents have expressed, delegated, and inherent sources of power.

  1. Describe the three different sources.
  2. Which of these sources do you think most account for the power of the presidency?
  3. Explain the reasons for that option in detail with relevant examples.

(We The People chapter 10).

An Introduction to American Politics

We the People

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An Introduction to American Politics

We the People


121212 edition


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W. W. Norton & Company has been independent since its founding in 1923, when William Warder Norton and Mary D. Herter Norton first published lectures delivered at the People’s Institute, the adult education division of New York City’s Cooper Union. The firm soon expanded its program beyond the Institute, publishing books by celebrated academics from America and abroad. By mid-century, the two major pillars of Norton’s publishing program—trade books and college texts—were firmly established. In the 1950s, the Norton family transferred control of the company to its employees, and today—with a staff of four hundred and a com- parable number of trade, college, and professional titles published each year—W. W. Norton & Company stands as the largest and oldest publishing house owned wholly by its employees.

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Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data Names: Ginsberg, Benjamin, author. Title: We the people : an introduction to American politics / Benjamin Ginsberg, The Johns Hopkins University, Theodore J. Lowi, Cornell University, Margaret Weir, Brown University, Caroline J. Tolbert, University of Iowa, Andrea L. Campbell, Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Description: Twelfth Edition. | New York : W.W. Norton & Company, [2018] | Includes bibliographical references and index. Identifiers: LCCN 2018046033 | ISBN 9780393644326 (hardcover) Subjects: LCSH: United States–Politics and government–Textbooks. Classification: LCC JK276 .G55 2018 | DDC 320.473–dc23 L C r ecord av ailable at https://lccn.loc. gov/2018046033

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To: Teresa Spitzer Sandy, Cindy, and Alex Ginsberg David, Jackie, Eveline, and Ed Dowling Dave, Marcella, Logan, and Kennah Campbell

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Preface xxi Acknowledgments xxiii


1 ★ Introduction: The Citizen and Government 2

Government 5 Different Forms of Government Are Defined by Power

and Freedom 5 Limits on Governments Encouraged Freedom 6 Expansion of Participation in America Changed the

Political Balance 7 The Goal of Politics Is Having a Say in What Happens 7

Citizenship Is Based on Political Knowledge and Participation 8

Political Efficacy Means People Can Make a Difference 9

The Identity of Americans Has Changed over Time 10 Immigration and Increasing Ethnic Diversity Have

Long Caused Intense Debate 10 Who Are Americans Today? 12

America Is Built on the Ideas of Liberty, Equality, and Democracy 16 Liberty Means Freedom 16

AMERICA SIDE BY SIDE Global Diversity 17

Equality Means Treating People Fairly 18 Democracy Means That What the People Want Matters 19

Government Affects Our Lives Every Day 20 Trust in Government Has Declined 21

American Political Culture: What Do We Want? 23 WHO PARTICIPATES? Who Voted in 2016? 25

Key Terms 28 For Further Reading 29


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2 ★ The Founding and the Constitution 30

The First Founding: Ideals, Interests, and Conflicts 33 Narrow Interests and Political Conflicts Shaped the First

Founding 34 British Taxes Hurt Colonial Economic Interests 34 Political Strife Radicalized the Colonists 35 The Declaration of Independence Explained Why the Colonists

Wanted to Break with Great Britain 36 The Articles of Confederation Created America’s First National

Government 37

The Failure of the Articles of Confederation Made the “Second Founding” Necessary 38

The Annapolis Convention Was Key to Calling a National Convention 39

Shays’s Rebellion Showed How Weak the Government Was 39 The Constitutional Convention Didn’t Start Out to Write

a New Constitution 40

The Constitution Created Both Bold Powers and Sharp Limits on Power 43

The Legislative Branch Was Designed to Be the Most Powerful 44 The Executive Branch Created a Brand New Office 46 The Judicial Branch Was a Check on Too Much Democracy 47 National Unity and Power Set the New Constitution Apart

from the Old Articles 48 The Constitution Establishes the Process for Amendment 48 The Constitution Sets Forth Rules for Its Own Ratification 48 The Constitution Limits the National Government’s Power 48

Ratification of the Constitution Was Difficult 51 Federalists and Antifederalists Fought Bitterly over the Wisdom

of the New Constitution 52

AMERICA SIDE BY SIDE Comparing Systems of Government 55

Both Federalists and Antifederalists Contributed to the Success of the New System 56

Changing the Constitution 56 Amendments: Many Are Called; Few Are Chosen 56 The Amendment Process Reflects “Higher Law” 57

The Constitution: What Do We Want? 60 WHO PARTICIPATES? Who Gained the Right to Vote through

Amendments? 61

Key Terms 64 For Further Reading 65


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3 ★ Federalism 66

Federalism Shapes American Politics 69 Federalism Comes from the Constitution 69

The Definition of Federalism Has Changed Radically over Time 73

Federalism under the “Traditional System” Gave Most Powers to the States 73

The Supreme Court Paved the Way for the End of the Early Federal System 75

FDR’s New Deal Remade the Government 77 Changing Court Interpretations of Federalism Helped the

New Deal While Preserving States’ Rights 78 Cooperative Federalism Pushes States to Achieve

National Goals 80 National Standards Have Been Advanced through

Federal Programs 81

AMERICA SIDE BY SIDE Cooperative Federalism: Competition or a Check on Power? 83

New Federalism Means More State Control 85 There Is No Simple Answer to Finding the Right National–State Balance 86

Federalism: What Do We Want? 90 WHO PARTICIPATES? Who Participates in State and Local Politics? 91

Key Terms 94 For Further Reading 95

4 ★ Civil Liberties and Civil Rights 96

The Origin of the Bill of Rights Lies in Those Who Opposed the Constitution 99

The Fourteenth Amendment Nationalized the Bill of Rights through Incorporation 101

The First Amendment Guarantees Freedom of Religion, Speech, and the Press 103

Freedom of Religion 103 The First Amendment and Freedom of Speech and of the

Press Ensure the Free Exchange of Ideas 105 Political Speech Is Consistently Protected 106 Symbolic Speech, Speech Plus, Assembly, and Petition Are Highly Protected 106 Freedom of the Press Is Broad 108 Some Speech Has Only Limited Protection 109

The Second Amendment Now Protects an Individual’s Right to Own a Gun 112

Rights of the Criminally Accused Are Based on Due Process of Law 113 The Fourth Amendment Protects against Unlawful Searches and Seizures 114 The Fifth Amendment Covers Court-Related Rights 115


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The Sixth Amendment’s Right to Counsel Is Crucial for a Fair Trial 117

The Eighth Amendment Bars Cruel and Unusual Punishment 118

The Right to Privacy Means the Right to Be Left Alone 119

Civil Rights Are Protections by the Government 120 Plessy v. Ferguson Established “Separate but Equal” 121 Lawsuits to Fight for Equality Came after World War II 122 The Civil Rights Struggle Escalated after Brown v. Board

of Education 123 The Civil Rights Acts Made Equal Protection a Reality 125 Affirmative Action Attempts to Right Past Wrongs 128

The Civil Rights Struggle Was Extended to Other Disadvantaged Groups 130

Americans Have Fought Gender Discrimination 130 Latinos and Asian Americans Fight for Rights 132 Native Americans Have Sovereignty but Still Lack Rights 134

AMERICA SIDE BY SIDE Civil Liberties around the World 135

Disabled Americans Won a Great Victory in 1990 136 LGBTQ Americans 136

Civil Liberties and Civil Rights: What Do We Want? 137 WHO PARTICIPATES? Religious Affiliation and Freedom of Religion 139

Key Terms 142 For Further Reading 143


5 ★ Public Opinion 144

Public Opinion Represents Attitudes about Politics 147 Americans Share Common Political Values 148 America’s Dominant Political Ideologies Are Liberalism

and Conservatism 149 Americans Exhibit Low Trust in Government 152

Political Socialization Shapes Public Opinion 152

Political Knowledge Is Important in Shaping Public Opinion 157

The Media and Government Mold Opinion 160 The Government Leads Public Opinion 160 Private Groups Also Shape Public Opinion 161 The News Media’s Message Affects Public Opinion 161 Government Policies Also Respond to Public Opinion 162


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Measuring Public Opinion Is Crucial to Understanding What It Is 163 Public-Opinion Surveys Are Accurate If Done Properly 163

AMERICA SIDE BY SIDE Confidence in Democratic Institutions 164

Why Are Some Polls Wrong? 166

Public Opinion: What Do We Want? 169 WHO PARTICIPATES? Who Expresses Their Political Opinions? 171

Key Terms 174 For Further Reading 175

6 ★ The Media 176

Media Have Always Mattered in a Democracy 179 Journalists Are News-Gathering Professionals 179 The Profit Motive Drives the News Business 180 More Media Outlets Are Owned by Fewer

Companies 180

The Media Today 182 Newspapers Still Set the Standard for News

Reporting 183 Broadcast Media Are Still Popular 184 Radio Has Adapted to Modern Habits 185 Digital Media Have Transformed Media Habits 186 Citizen Journalism Gives People News Power 189 Concerns about Online News 190

The Media Affect Power Relations in American Politics 191 The Media Influence Public Opinion through Agenda-Setting,

Framing, and Priming 191 Leaked Information Can Come from Government Officials

or Independent Sources 193 Adversarial Journalism Has Risen in Recent Years 194 Broadcast Media Are Regulated but Not Print Media 194

AMERICA SIDE BY SIDE The Internet and Global Democracy 196

The Media: What Do We Want? 197 WHO PARTICIPATES? Civic Engagement in the Digital Age 199

Key Terms 202 For Further Reading 203


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7 ★ Political Parties, Participation, and Elections 204

Parties and Elections Have Been Vital to American Politics and Government 207

Political Parties Arose from the Electoral Process 207 Parties Recruit Candidates 208 Parties Organize Nominations 208 Parties Help Get Out the Vote 209 Parties Organize Power in Congress 210

America Is One of the Few Nations with a Two-Party System 210 Parties Have Internal Disagreements 217 Electoral Realignments Define Party Systems in American

History 217 American Third Parties Sometimes Change the Major Parties

and Election Outcomes 218 Group Affiliations Are Based on Voters’ Psychological Ties

to One of the Parties 220

Political Participation Takes Both Traditional and Digital Forms 220

Voting Is the Most Important Form of Traditional Participation 220 Digital Political Participation Is Surging 221 Voter Turnout in America Is Low 223 Why Do People Vote? 224

AMERICA SIDE BY SIDE Voter Turnout in Comparison 226

Voters Decide Based on Party, Issues, and Candidate 227 Party Loyalty Is Important 227 Issues Can Shape an Election 228 Candidate Characteristics Are More Important in the Media

Age 229

The Electoral Process Has Many Levels and Rules 229 The Electoral College Still Organizes Presidential Elections 231

The 2016 and 2018 Elections 232 The 2016 Elections 232 Understanding the 2016 Results 233 The 2018 Election: A Blue Wave Meets a Red Wall 235 The 2018 Election and America’s Future 236

Money Is Critical to Campaigns 237 Campaign Funds Come from Direct Appeals, the Rich, PACs, and

Parties 237

Political Parties, Elections, and Participation: What Do We Want? 240

WHO PARTICIPATES? Who Participated in the 2016 Presidential Election? 241

Key Terms 244 For Further Reading 245


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8 ★ Interest Groups 246

Interest Groups Form to Advocate for Different Interests 249

What Interests Are Represented? 250

AMERICA SIDE BY SIDE Civil Society around the World 252

Some Interests Are Not Represented 253 Group Membership Has an Upper-Class Bias 253

The Organizational Components of Groups Include Money, Offices, and Members 254

The Internet Has Changed the Way Interest Groups Foster Participation 257

The Number of Groups Has Increased in Recent Decades 258 The Expansion of Government Has Spurred the Growth of Groups 259 Public Interest Groups Grew in the 1960s and ’70s 259

Interest Groups Use Different Strategies to Gain Influence 259 Direct Lobbying Combines Education, Persuasion, and Pressure 261 Cultivating Access Means Getting the Attention of Decision Makers 262 Using the Courts (Litigation) Can Be Highly Effective 263 Mobilizing Public Opinion Brings Wider Attention to an Issue 264 Groups Often Use Electoral Politics 266

Groups and Interests: What Do We Want? 267 WHO PARTICIPATES? How Much Do Major Groups Spend? 269

Key Terms 272 For Further Reading 273


9 ★ Congress 274

Congress Represents the American People 277 The House and Senate Offer Differences

in Representation 277 Representation Can Be Sociological or Agency 278 The Electoral Connection Hinges on Incumbency 281 Direct Patronage Means Bringing Home the Bacon 286

The Organization of Congress Is Shaped by Party 288 Party Leadership in the House and the Senate Organizes Power 289 The Committee System Is the Core of Congress 289 The Staff System Is the Power behind the Power 291


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AMERICA SIDE BY SIDE Women’s Parliamentary Representation Worldwide 292

Rules of Lawmaking Explain How a Bill Becomes a Law 293 The First Step Is Committee Deliberation 293 Debate Is Less Restricted in the Senate Than in the House 295 Conference Committees Reconcile House and Senate Versions

of Legislation 296 The President’s Veto Controls the Flow of Legislation 297

Several Factors Influence How Congress Decides 297 Constituents Matter 297 Interest Groups Influence Constituents and Congress 298 Party Leaders Rely on Party Discipline 299 Partisanship Has Thwarted the Ability of Congress to Decide 303

Much Congressional Energy Goes to Tasks Other Than Lawmaking 303

Congress Oversees How Legislation Is Implemented 304 Special Senate Powers Include Advice and Consent 305 Impeachment Is the Power to Remove Top Officials 305

Congress: What Do We Want? 306 WHO PARTICIPATES? Who Elects Congress? 307

Key Terms 310 For Further Reading 313

10 ★ The Presidency 314

Presidential Power Is Rooted in the Constitution 317 Expressed Powers Come Directly from the Words

of the Constitution 318 Implied Powers Derive from Expressed Powers 323 Delegated Powers Come from Congress 324 Modern Presidents Have Claimed Inherent Powers 324

AMERICA SIDE BY SIDE Executive Branches in Comparison 325

Institutional Resources of Presidential Power Are Numerous 327

The Cabinet Is Often Distant from the President 327 The White House Staff Constitutes the President’s Eyes and

Ears 327 The Executive Office of the President Is a Visible Sign of the

Modern Strong Presidency 328 The Vice Presidency Has Become More Important since the

1970s 329 The First Spouse Has Become Important to Policy 330


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Party, Popular Mobilization, and Administration Make Presidents Stronger 331

Going Public Means Trying to Whip Up the People 332 The Administrative Strategy Increases Presidential Control 334 Presidential Power Has Limits 339

The Presidency: What Do We Want? 340 WHO PARTICIPATES? Who Voted for Donald Trump in 2016? 341

Key Terms 344 For Further Reading 345

11 ★ Bureaucracy 346

Bureaucracy Exists to Improve Efficiency 349 Bureaucrats Fulfill Important Roles 349 The Size of the Federal Service Has Actually

Declined 352 The Executive Branch Is Organized Hierarchically 352

Federal Bureaucracies Promote Welfare and Security 355

Federal Bureaucracies Promote Public Well-Being 356

AMERICA SIDE BY SIDE Bureaucracy in Comparison 357

Federal Agencies Provide for National Security 358 Federal Bureaucracies Help to Maintain a Strong National Economy 362

Several Forces Control Bureaucracy 363 The President as Chief Executive Can Direct Agencies 363 Congress Promotes Responsible Bureaucracy 365 Can the Bureaucracy Be Reformed? 366

Bureaucracy and Democracy: What Do We Want? 367 WHO PARTICIPATES? Waiting for a Veterans Affairs Health Care Appointment 369

Key Terms 372 For Further Reading 373

12 ★ The Federal Courts 374

The Legal System Settles Disputes 377 Court Cases Proceed under Criminal and Civil Law 377 Types of Courts Include Trial, Appellate, and Supreme 378

The Federal Courts Hear a Small Percentage of All Cases 381

The Lower Federal Courts Handle Most Cases 381 The Appellate Courts Hear 20 Percent of Lower-Court Cases 382 The Supreme Court Is the Court of Final Appeal 383 Judges Are Appointed by the President and Approved by the Senate 384


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The Power of the Supreme Court Is Judicial Review 385 Judicial Review Covers Acts of Congress 386

AMERICA SIDE BY SIDE Term Limits for High Court Justices 387

Judicial Review Applies to Presidential Actions 388 Judicial Review Also Applies to State Actions 389

Most Cases Reach the Supreme Court by Appeal 390 The Solicitor General, Law Clerks, and Interest Groups Also

Influence the Flow of Cases 392 The Supreme Court’s Procedures Mean Cases May Take

Months or Years 394

Supreme Court Decisions Are Influenced by Activism and Ideology 397

The Federal Courts: What Do We Want? 400 WHO PARTICIPATES? Influencing the Supreme Court? 401

Key Terms 404 For Further Reading 405


13 ★ Domestic Policy 406

The Tools for Making Policy Are Techniques of Control 409 Promotional Policies Get People to Do Things by Giving

Them Rewards 409 Regulatory Policies Are Rules Backed by Penalties 411 Redistributive Policies Affect Broad Classes of People 413 Should the Government Intervene in the Economy? 415

Social Policy and the Welfare System Buttress Equality 416 The History of the Government Welfare System Dates Only

to the 1930s 416 The Modern Welfare System Has Three Parts 417 Welfare Reform Has Dominated the Welfare Agenda in

Recent Years 421

The Cycle of Poverty Can Be Broken by Education, Health, and Housing Policies 423

Education Policies Provide Life Tools 423 Health Policies Mean Fewer Sick Days 425

AMERICA SIDE BY SIDE U.S. Healthcare: High Cost, Poor Outcomes 427

Housing Policies Provide Residential Stability 431

Social Policy Spending Benefits the Middle Class More Than the Poor 432

Senior Citizens Receive over a Third of All Federal Dollars 433 The Middle and Upper Classes Benefit from Social Policies 434


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The Working Poor Receive Fewer Benefits 434 Spending for the Nonworking Poor Is Declining 435 Minorities, Women, and Children Are Most Likely to Face Poverty 435

Domestic Policy: What Do We Want? 437 WHO PARTICIPATES? Growing Student Debt Burden 439

Key Terms 442 For Further Reading 443

14 ★ Foreign Policy 444

Foreign Policy Goals Are Related 447 Security Is Based on Military Strength 447 Economic Prosperity Helps All Nations 451 America Seeks a More Humane World 451

AMERICA SIDE BY SIDE Building Influence through International Connections 452

American Foreign Policy Is Shaped by Government and Nongovernment Actors 453

The President Leads Foreign Policy 454 The Bureaucracy Implements and Informs Policy Decisions 455 Congress’s Legal Authority Can Be Decisive 456 Interest Groups Pressure Foreign Policy Decision Makers 457

Tools of American Foreign Policy Include Diplomacy, Force, and Money 458 Diplomacy 459 The United Nations Is the World’s Congress 459 The International Monetary Structure Helps Provide Economic Stability 460 Economic Aid Has Two Sides 460 Collective Security Is Designed to Deter War 461 Military Force Is “Politics by Other Means” 462 Soft Power Uses Persuasion 463 Arbitration Resolves Disputes 463

Current Foreign Policy Issues Facing the United States 464 A Powerful China and a Resurgent Russia 464 Nuclear Proliferation in Iran and North Korea 466 Trade Policy 467 Global Environmental Policy 467

Foreign Policy and Democracy: What Do We Want? 468 WHO PARTICIPATES? Public Opinion on Security Issues 469

Key Terms 472 For Further Reading 473


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The Declaration of Independence A1

The Articles of Confederation A5

The Constitution of the United States of America A11

Amendments to the Constitution A21

The Federalist Papers A30

The Anti-Federalist Papers A38

Presidents and Vice Presidents A45

Endnotes A49 Answer Key A81 Credits A83 Glossary/Index A85


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This book has been and continues to be dedicated to dev eloping a satisfactor y response to the question more and more Americans are asking: Why should we be engaged with go vernment and politics? Through the first 11 editions, we sought to answ er this question b y making the text dir ectly relevant to the liv es of the students who would be r eading it. As a r esult, we tried to make politics inter est- ing by demonstrating that students ’ interests are at stake and that they ther efore need to take a personal, ev en selfish, interest in the outcomes of go vernment. At the same time, we realized that students needed guidance in how to become politically engaged. Beyond providing students with a core of political knowledge, we needed to show them how they could apply that knowledge as participants in the political process. The “Who Participates?” and “What You Can Do” sections in each chapter help achieve that goal.

As events from the last several years have reminded us, “what government does” inevitably raises questions about political par ticipation and political equality . The size and composition of the electorate, for example, affect who is elected to public office and what policy dir ections the go vernment will pursue. H ence, the issue of v oter ID laws became impor tant in the 2016 election, with some arguing that these laws r e- duce voter fraud and others contending that they decr ease par ticipation by poor and minority voters. Charges of Russian meddling in the 2016 election have raised questions about the integrity of the voting process. Fierce debates about the policies of the Trump administration have heightened students’ interest in politics. O ther recent events have underscored how Americans from different backgrounds experience politics. Arguments about immigration became contentious during the 2016 election as the nation once again debated the question of who is entitled to be an American a nd have a voice in determin- ing what the government does. And charges that the police often use ex cessive violence against members of minority gr oups have raised questions about whether the go vern- ment treats all Americans equally. Reflecting all of these trends, this new Twelfth Edition shows more than any other book on the market (1) how students are connected to gov- ernment, (2) why students should think critically about go vernment and politics, and (3) how Americans from different backgrounds experience and shape politics. To help us explore these themes, P rofessor Andrea Campbell has joined us as the most r ecent in a group of distinguished coauthors. P rofessor Campbell’s scholarly work focuses on the ways in which government and politics affect the lives of ordinary citizens. Among her contributions are new chapter introductions that focus on stories of individuals and how government has affected them. Many Americans, particularly the young, can have difficulty seeing the role of go vernment in their ev eryday lives. Indeed, that ’s a chief explanation of low voter participation among younger citizens. The new chapter openers profile various individuals and illustrate their interactions with government, from a rock


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band that gets its controversial name approved by the Supreme Court (Chapter 4), to a young mother who realizes the tap water in her Flint, Michigan, home is poisoning her children after local officials switched the source (Chapter 11), to teenagers pr otesting the end of net neutrality and the internet as they hav e known it (Chapter 6). The goal of these stories is to show students in a vivid way how government and politics mean something to their daily lives.