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The Presidential Elections Process of the USA
The USA presidential elections occur every four years. The Election Day is assigned to the first Tuesday of November. The election of 2016 will be held on the 8th of November. The process of election of the president has a typical cycle, which begins with the caucuses and nomination of candidates within the party. The electoral process in the future involves a nationwide campaign to explain to potential voters their views and plans and enlist their support, as well as take part in a debate with the candidates put forward by other parties. The candidates with the highest number of votes of the party’s delegates win the nomination. After a long and substantially busy electoral process, which consists of the US law procedures cycle and appointed inauguration day, namely the 20th of January in a year following the election campaign (Presidential Election Process, 2016).
The History and Achievements of the United States Democratic Party
The Democratic Party is one of the two major political parties that exist now in the USA. It has a history with deep roots, starting in the late 18th century. The party has gone through a number of deep ideological changes and name changes. Today, the Democrats can trace their descent from Thomas Jefferson and the date when it occurred on the 31st of December, 1793. Jefferson’s party advocated for the benefit of the common people over the prosperous ones, rural interests over those of the city, the development of the agrarian sector over the production. Jefferson’s party often referred to as the Republican and Democratic Republican. Starting from 1820, the party of Jefferson had received a distinct advantage over the federal one. However, a visible unity inside of the party was an illusion, and after 1830, the party split into two factions: the faction led by Andrew Jackson took the name of the Democratic Party and the faction under the command of Henry Clay and Adams described as the national Republican and acted in opposition to the Democratic Party.
Despite tracing its roots back to Thomas Jefferson, who advocated a decentralized federal government, the modern Democratic Party supports a strong federal government with a mandate to resolve the business and industry in the public interest, federally funded social services and benefits for the poor, unemployed, elderly and other groups, as well as the protection of civil rights. The Democrats also oppose the government regulation of private, non-economic lives of citizens.
Various achievements in the sphere of social policy marked the overall process of governing of the Democratic Party, particularly at the national level. The President Franklin D. Roosevelt (1932-1944) is known for being not only the Democrat, but also an effective governor, whereas he was the only candidate elected three times consecutively. The reason for such a successful political career lies in the developments of the radical social program of the New Deal that provided social guarantees and the minimum wage established by the federal law. During the presidency of Harry Truman (1945-1953) and in accordance with accepted single Department of Defense, established the National Security Council and The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was created in 1947, during the presidency of Harry Truman (1945-1953). Furthermore, it was made in accordance with the Department of Defense and the National Security Council, consequently supported by the National Security Law. In 1949, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) emerged as a result of the Agreement signed in Washington.
The domestic policy of Truman was aimed at mitigating the socio-economic and racial contradictions in the US society. During the presidency of Truman, the Employment Act was adopted in 1946. It placed the responsibility for the full employment on the Government. His social policy laid the foundations for the social programs of democratic administrations of the 1960s. The Democratic Party defended the civil rights and racial segregation during the reign of Truman, Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson (1963-1969), consequently leading to the enactment of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Voting Rights Act of 1965.
The President John F. Kennedy (1961-1963) held a number of socio-economic reforms in the field of taxation and civil rights in spite of a fierce resistance. His reign was marked by the famous phrase, uttered at the inauguration: “Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.” During his presidency, the Democrat Bill Clinton (1993-2001) was characterized by the increased attention to health issues, education, consumer rights and the environment. During the second term of Clinton, the country experienced a period of prosperity, which happened for the first time since 1920.Thus, the country’s budget executed with a surplus for the first time in the last three decades. The President Barack Obama (2009 – present) is the first African-American president, who has priorities in education and health care reform, reducing the tax burden for the middle class. Moreover, he participated in the development of the law against the death penalty, providing an alternative punishment and rehabilitation of the convicted.
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In the sphere of the foreign policy, internationalism and multilateralism are given substantially more preference by the Democrats, rather than isolationism or unilateralism. Thus, in 1945, there was the Conference on education held by the United Nations in San Francisco. It was convened due to the efforts of Harry Truman, who managed to hold it despite certainobstacles. During his presidency, he also contributed vastly towards developing and implementation of the program known as “Truman Doctrine.” In this document, crucial aspects of the foreign policy of the US government were outlined, namely in relation to the developing countries. In this regard, it is essential to note that there was a considerable threat of the Communist takeover.
During the democratic rule of Truman (1949-1952), the Marshall Plan was developed and implemented, through which the Western European countries received the assistance in the amount of more than 13 billion USD. It was aimed at improving of the welfare of those countries’ populations and the restoration of their economies. A substantial contribution of the President Kennedy was the creation of “Peace Corps” in 1961, which included the American volunteers, who provided a free assistance to people in developing countries. The President Jimmy Carter spoke in defense of human rights and was awarded for his services with the Nobel Peace Prize in 2002. The President Clinton continued the line of previous presidents on strengthening the role of the US as the global arbiter in dealing with international conflicts. With the assistance of the United States, a series of peace agreements were signed, namely: in 1993, between Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization; in 1994, between Israel and Jordan (Democratic Party, 2016).
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One of the foreign policy milestones of the President Barack Obama was his visit to Cuba. It took place after 50 years of the Cold War, whereas previously, Cuba demonstrated substantial levels of mistrust and hostility towards the USA. For the first time in the last 88 years, there was a visit of the American president that aimed at helping to improve the overall living conditions for the people of Cuba as well as contributing to the multilateral development of the island (Smith, 2016).
The Uniqueness of the Presidential Election in 2016
The presidential elections of 2016 have the unique characteristic that “defies common wisdom of political practice” in America in the 21st century. They reflect the reorientation of the US policy from its history. The Democratic Party took the rise of the social-democratic movement, which reflects the horizontal and vertical cracks in the ethno-class structure of the United States (Petras, 2016).
There has been a reduction of the ruling elite control due to ethnic grievances, reduced mobility of the local entrepreneurs who went bankrupt because of the globalization process; public grievances arising from the expanding power of finance capital and banks. This generated anger can be dissipated, but it sowed the seeds of a nascent democratic transformation. Common problems in these sectors have found their expression in the “revolt of the middle class” and the voters’ uprising that led to the temporary displacement of the center of political debate within the Democratic Party to the left. A representative of this direction was Bernie Sanders, a senator from the state of Vermont who stands in an apparent opposition to Clinton. However, his victory can jeopardize the entire Democratic Party as “Sanders –self-taught” is a representative of the democrat socialist direction with extremely leftist ideas that can create problems for him in front of voters in the general election. Bernie Sanders openly calls himself a “socialist” in the least socialist country in the world (Clench, 2016). The United States have become politically polarized to an extraordinary degree. The danger is that the voters comprising of the youth and other sectors of the population that support Sanders look for an alternative way to the dominance of the Wall Street. Nonetheless, Sanders is not a solution as in fact he does not have a considerably distinct political program.
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The collapse of the overall political culture of the USA can be also illustrated by the campaign of Trump, who is a representative of the Republicans. The abovementioned collapse has a substantial and even critical impact on various spheres, including the political and capitalist parties, corporate institutions and media (Martin, 2016).
Nowadays, it is an exciting time to be a democrat in politics. In 2008, the Democrats were able to bypass the entire political spectrum, winning the Republican George W. Bush, who was one of the least popular presidents in the United States. The Democrats have gained a substantial dominance in politics, government and diplomacy in the Congress. The result was the election of the first African-American US President Barack Obama, who convincingly won the re-election in 2012. Despite some disappointing aspects of the reign of Barack Obama, the Democratic Party in the 2016 presidential election is an “expensive baby party” and revolves around the “super-star caliber” Hillary Clinton who is a lawyer, a former First Lady of Arkansas (1983-1992), a former First Lady of the United States (1992-2001 ), the US Senator (2001-2009), the Secretary of State (2009-2013). She has the support of almost all the major Democrats in the Congress and has the opportunity to become the first woman – president (Democratic Presidential Candidates, 2016).
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After counting the votes on the 29th of March, 2016, it is evident that Clinton has a strong advantage over Sanders among superdeligates: Clinton – 1712, Sanders – 1004, according to the AP (Gass, 2016). Clinton’s allies in the Congress are calling Sanders to de-escalate his campaign or stop the direct attack on the former Secretary of State (Gass, 2016).
Another uniqueness of the presidential election in 2016 is that the next president will have a once in a lifetime opportunity to remake the precariously balanced US Supreme Court in its sole discretion. (Longley, 2016) For now, there is a situation, which may contribute to the destruction of the spirit of the two-party system in the United States. The newly elected 45th United States President will be potentially able to select up to 4 new judges of the Supreme Court to replace the recently deceased Antonio Scalia, aging Ruth Bader Ginsburg (82), Anthony Kennedy (79), Stephen Breyer (77 ) – half of the 9 people of the US Supreme Court. Such a process will be for the first time since 1860. Due to the historical tenure in the service up to 25 years, these appointments can directly determine the ideological, political and socio-economic direction of the country in the next three decades, hence indirectly influencing the subsequent periods.
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The race for the President’s position takes place at a time of the global instability growth. The United States is faced with a complex set of internal and external challenges that need to be addressed by the candidate, who will win the presidential election of 2016. Clinton entered the race in 2016 as the clear leader among the Democrats, and her basic idea was a promise to fight for the Americans. In her pre-election speech, she said: “Every day, Americans need a champion, and I want to be a champion” (Lindsay, 2015). Her election campaign is monitored by both politicians and ordinary Americans. According to her words that she said during one of her many interviews, a great nation needs organizational principles, but the principle of “do not do stupid things” is not organizational. It demonstrates a clear focus on the path to the presidential nomination of the Democratic party.
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