gov research paper
· Topic selection: You will either write over the issue of reparations raised by many of the Democratic presidential candidate; or the issue of immigration as it relates to our state/nation. Obviously, I understand that these issues will be highly personal to some, but both issues have been thrust to the forefront of American consciousness as a result of the upcoming presidential election and bears our consideration. As with anything in politics, there is rarely a “right” or “wrong” answer as most issues are shades of grey and this issue is no different. I do not want anyone attempting to write a paper or take a position because they believe it is what I will most agree with. I do not give grades out based upon agreement with my own political philosophy (no professor should force students to accept their opinions as gospel truth, though this too often happens in higher education), I simply expect you to know what it is you believe in and why, and most importantly to be able to support your position with solid research and writing rather than based on pure emotion. By bringing the facts to bear, especially on an emotionally charged issue such as this, it gives credence to your position while disarming the opposition. This is not to say that you cannot speak from an emotional place either, only that you should try to minimize it as much as possible. As always, I look forward to reading your thoughts on these issues and ask you take them both seriously and with reverence to the topics.
TOPIC I: Reparations – Payment for America’s Original Sin?
The 2020 presidential campaign is officially underway as we have now had the very first Democratic debate. While it seems that Pres. Trump will receive the Republican nomination as the incumbent, it remains to be seen who will eventually receive the Democratic nomination out of a very crowded field of candidates. What is known is that many of the candidates have embraced a far more progressive platform on a variety of issues such as healthcare, education, and reparations in a way that the nation has never witnessed before. Given that many of these ideas are ill-defined, will cost a tremendous amount of money, and are highly contentious with the risk of further dividing an already divided nation, it makes sense to explore these issues further in order to determine their feasibility. While all of these issues are monumental and worthy of your exploration, I have chosen the one which is likely to be the most inflammatory – reparations – for you to write over.
The modern progressive thought on reparations has been largely credited to a paper written by Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic in 2014 and was most recently invited to testify before a Congress on this very issue. Mr. Coates’s article is long but well-written and it gives a full accounting of his thoughts on why reparations should be paid. Given that it is often cited as the cornerstone for the current Democratic candidates I have included a link for you to review the paper, as well as another link for a counterargument written as to why reparations should not be paid out. I feel both articles provide solid arguments for both sides on the issue and it is your assignment to conduct an article review of both by reading them and providing your thoughts on this highly contentious issue. The expectation for the research paper is to utilize a minimum of four sources and the two I have provided for you here do count towards that requirement. You are to read both articles, as well as conduct your own research and find two more articles/papers on this topic in order to help guide you in your understanding and support/opposition of this potential policy. If you support the policy of reparations, then explain who pays who and how – something that the presidential candidates have failed to do thus far, and if you are against them then explain why you feel a debt is not owed for America’s original sin.
TOPIC II: Immigration – Who is Worthy?
Immigration is always a hot topic and Pres. Trump has been very outspoken regarding his stance on immigration, including allegedly using the term “shithole” recently to describe many poorer nations around the world during a closed door meeting with legislators, as well as instituting a “zero tolerance” policy which targets anyone crossing the illegally for detainment and deportation as opposed to focusing only on more “serious” threats as previous administrations have, which has drawn criticism from many who claim such ideas are contrary to the very values of America. We find ourselves in a unique position as a nation and as a state, especially given our history as a nation of immigrants, but the open door policies and ideals may no longer apply to a nation which finds itself intrinsically connected to the rest of the world (a world far more dangerous and frightening that it was early in our history), and we must decide how to proceed. Do we continue to advocate for immigration and hold the U.S. up as the paragon for a “better life” as we have historically? Don’t forget that the Statue of Liberty, the very symbol of freedom to so many throughout the years, bears a plaque at her feet which directs the nations of the world as follows:
“Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame, With conquering limbs astride from land to land; Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame. “Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”
And yet, how can we expect to protect our borders and citizens in today’s uncertain world if we hold the above ideal literally? It is the most basic of all governmental responsibilities to provide the people with security, but as we have seen in recent months in Europe, an open door immigration policy can endanger the citizenry in a very real and painful way. Shou0ld we have entrance exams as Trump has suggested, designed to determine where your loyalties lie? Should we build a huge wall which stretches across our entire southern border? For those who say such a wall can’t work, I would point to the success that Israel has had with their wall. Also, support of a border wall is not merely a Trump idea as many politicians (including Pres. Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Nancy Pelosi) have suggested/voted for a wall at various points in their careers. What about the recent use of troops at the border to prevent the migrant caravans from entering the US? Should we utilize force (ex. Tear gas as we recently saw under the Trump administration and have seen in the past with other administrations such as Pres. Obama’s) when those groups refuse to follow the immigration laws of the US? At the same time, is that what we want as a nation? Should we only accept immigrants from specific nations such as Norway, a nation Pres. Trump specifically mentioned by name during the same conversation that he allegedly made the “shithole” comment about other nations. Should the plaque at the feet of the Statue of Liberty therefore be amended to state immigrants are only welcome if they come from more prosperous, homogeneous European nations because some people assume that those people will not be reliant upon government handouts or a potential security threat to the nation and is that really the message we want to send to the rest of the world? Undoubtedly those who come to this country by escaping almost unfathomable circumstances in their home nations may need help or assistance as compared to those coming here from wealthier nations, but that does not mean that they do not or will not contribute to the betterment of the nation and create their own unique American success story by rising above their current status, and yet, how can we justify welcoming others into the nation when so many of our current citizens are struggling and in need of help. These are problems which some of the brightest political philosophers and the Founding Fathers have all wrestled with.
As with the first topic, there is no right or wrong answer here, as there are defensible arguments which can be made for either side. I’ve given you a long prompt with a lot of background on the issue and questions to answer, so consider your choice carefully and attempt to draw your own conclusion which is supported by the evidence found through your research.
· Title Page: Please include a title page for your research paper. Include:
· Your name
· The title of your paper
· The course you are in (ex. GOVT 2306)
· Content: Using at least 4 sources (Internet, and/or library resources), with a minimum of 1 source being an academic journal/article relating to the topic, address the various sides (or positions) of your issue, come up with your own personal conclusions based on your analysis of the issue, and demonstrate an understanding of its complexities. Wikipedia and other online encyclopedias are NOT valid sources!! Sources must be verifiable and journalistically/academically sound.
· Include a brief history of your issue.
· Compare and contrast at least (2) different political perspectives (viewpoints)
· Identify the strengths and weaknesses of each position you include
· Present an informed evaluation of the evidence and different viewpoint surrounding the topic
· What do you conclude? Which position do you agree with most and why?
· Paper length: In a Word document, write a research paper with a minimum (no maximum) of 1,500 words on the topic of choice, (not counting headings), double-spaced with 12-point font. The paper should be created in Word, typewritten and double-spaced, and based on information from a minimum of five (4) primary sources (no maximum). Your title and works cited pages DO NOT count towards the 1,500-word minimum.
· Writing Style: APA format. DO NOT include an abstract in your paper. You may include one if you wish, but it will not count towards your requirements. Proofread your paper to eliminate spelling and grammatical errors. Please use spell check and grammar check. Use proper paragraphing and improve your writing style by revising the paper as many times as necessary. You may also take your paper to the writing center for additional assistance!
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