1. It has now been almost 2 years since President Obama took office. Write an essay assessing his presidency during his first two years. What were the principal promises he made during his campaign? How successful has he been in keeping those promises? How do you explain his successes and failures to date?
2. At the 1992 Republic National Convention Patrick Buchanan gave a speech arguing that, “there is a religious war going on in the United States, a cultural war . . . for the soul of America.” The ‘culture war’ presumably has been reflected in the partisan division between ‘blue states’ and ‘red states in recent presidential elections. And it centers on issues such as abortion, school prayer, and gay rights. Other disagree and argue that most Americans are pretty much middle-of-the-road on most issues with only small differences between Democrats and Republicans. What do you think? How polarized is the American public today on hot-button moral, religious and cultural issues? Write an essay in which you review and evaluate the evidence on American public opinion today. 3. The civil rights movement in American has made big strides in closing the gaps between whites and blacks, between Anglos and Latinos, and between men and women in American. Some think, however, that we still have a ways to go to achieve true equality in America. What do you think. Write an essay reviewing the evidence on the nature and extent of sexual, racial, and/or ethnic equality or inequality in American. How wide is the gap and what if anything can be done to close it completely? 4. The United States has only two major political parties, the Democrats and Republicans. While there are a number of smaller parties, only the Democrats and Republicans elect substantial members to public office. Why is this the case? And is this good or bad for American? Write an essay in which you assess the causes of the two party system and its strengths and weaknesses in the United States.
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