Week Four Discussion 1   Moses Salem Explain the main approaches to U.S. foreign Relations.   I

Week Four Discussion 1

 


Moses Salem

Explain the main approaches to U.S. foreign Relations.

 

I will break down three main approaches to U.S. foreign relations: Idealism, realism, and isolationism. Shubert (2015) describes Idealism as “the belief that the United States has a moral obligation to spread classical liberal values such as individual rights and freedoms to other parts of the world” (p.344). Idealism means that freedom is not negotiable, but it is the fundamental right every human should have, no matter the country in which they live. Pretty much idealists say that humans have rights because they are human and not because the government grants them their rights. Shubert (2015) states that realism is “the belief that national power should be used only to promote the national interest” (p.344). From our readings, Hans Morgenthau states that realists believe that the main thing to pay attention to is the competition for power. They think that international politics is all about different powerful groups fighting for control. Lastly, isolationism is the belief that the U.S. focus should mainly, if not only, be on internal affairs and not foreign. This does not sound like America at all; staying out of foreign affairs and focusing on internal affairs would be beautiful for us to become more developed and for the people. However, sadly, America does not acknowledge this practice; we stick our noses in everyone’s business, Ukraine, the Middle East, pretty much anywhere and everywhere when our primary focus should be here at home in the U.S. This creates frustration within the masses and a declining economy if we were to encourage the belief of isolationism further we as a nation would prosper.

 

Reference:

 

Schubert, L., Dye, T. R., & Zeigler, H. (2015). 
The Irony of Democracy: An Uncommon Introduction to American Politics (17th ed.). Cengage Learning U.S. 


Week 4 Discussion 1

 


Brandon McQueen

Compare and contrast judicial activism and judicial self-restraint. What are the strengths and weaknesses of each theory?

The Supreme Court and judicial system has become one of the most important and most misunderstood branch of our government. The argument between judicial activism and self restraint of the court is a good reason why. We have forgotten that judges are to be impartial and hold the Constitution for what it is.

Judicial activism’s goal is to shape the Constitution based on the current needs and wants of society instead of shaping the law of the land based upon the Constitution. Chief Justice Earl Warren unfortunately advocated for this viewpoint. “The Warren Court believed it should shape constitutional meaning to fit its estimate of the needs of contemporary society” (Dye, 2016, pg. 250). In judicial self-restraint, the goal is for the justices to individually and as a whole restrain themselves from acting beyond their job’s purpose. “Justice Felix Frankfurter wrote, “The only check upon our own exercise of power is our own sense of self-restraint. For the removal of unwise laws from the statute books, appeal lies not to the courts but to the ballot and to the processes of democratic government” (Dye, 2016, pg. 250). The supreme court was never meant to act as politicians and create their own narrative but to hold the President and Congress in check by the authority of the Constitution. 

In my opinion, the strength solely lies in judicial restraint and are far worse off when Supreme Court justices start trying to be political figures. In order to judicial activism to work, they have to read into the Constitution from the lens of society’s morals at that time. When you read anything out of context, you miss the purpose and intent of the text and the same goes for the Constitution. 

Dye, T. R., Zeigler, L. H., & Schubert, L. (2016). 
The irony of democracy: An uncommon introduction to American politics. Australia: Cengage Learning.

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