The rhetorical context of this article is the existence of federalism. Several people including James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay had proposed a new constitution though their proposal did not go through. According them, the central government would not infringe on democracy. However, it turns out that federalism never lived up to its mandate. The founding father of the America did so with hope that it would be a democratic republic in a progressive era. The nation however lacks the will to adopt progress in economic and social sectors leading to a conclusion that America was founded to frustrate democratic reform. Therefore, even as Diamond supports change of federalism, it is hard to achieve given that many scholars had tried to speak about the issue but it did not push through.
The author’s background and how that background affects your respect for or trusts the accuracy of his arguments.
Diamond attended college briefly before being readmitted for undergraduate studies after serving in the World War II. He graduated with a political science degree from the University of Chicago. In 1952, he graduated with a master’s degree from the same university before pursing his doctoral studies of which he graduated in 1956. Diamond has also held teaching positions at various universities, colleges and institutes.
It can be seen that Diamond was a highly educated man. His education enabled him have prestigious teaching positions that are not available to many. That simply tells readers that Diamond was not an ordinary man. He was a good thinker and thus the reason for his arguments. I therefore trust in the accuracy of his arguments.
The article was published in 1973 many years after the American system of governance was put in place. This makes it hard for readers to identify with the topic. To readers, the current system of government seems perfect without any fault. For instance, by the time the essay was written, I was not born and thus I find the system of governance fine.
This article is an article written not for a specific audience but published in the popular press for everyone interested. The main theme of this article is politically motivated but with the intention of effecting change for proper governance for the benefit of all citizens. It is thus written to enlighten the common man about the governance issues that arise with the current system of federalism as well as some of its benefits.
The author appeals that federalism does not sustain a decent and a democratic regime. Men do not also see the union of private and public interest as having a patriotic effect among the citizens. At the same time, the idea of rights is disintegrating and is no longer valid idea in the current times.
The article is biased towards the end of federalism. The author looks at the point forwarded by Tocqueville in support of federalism and tries to tear and discredit the arguments. As such, the author focuses on advancing his point of view on federalism even though people are entitled to diverse views about issues. Diamond gives a counter argument to discredit Tocqueville’s points. That way the article comes out as biased.
Diamond gives a point that the central government deals with member governments instead of individual citizens. The central government only operates by “voluntary consent of the member states . . .” The central government does not make decision for states and individual citizens. It is a fact that state government is more involved in governing individual citizens unlike the central government. However, the state government plays a vital role in the citizen’s welfare. For instance, there are some projects that require funding or enactment from the central government such as universal health care for all. Such projects cannot be effective if taken by states since states would not cover all individuals in the country.
The evidence that the idea of rights is no longer valid is the most convincing. It is a fact that things have changed so much over time, and even continue to change with time. For instance, the idea of morality is no longer there. People have become immoral engaging in all forms of immorality today. Even religion is disintegrating. True religion is rare to find nowadays. In the same respect, the idea of rights are withheld with federalism is old and invalid.
The evidence Tocqueville gives that confusion and multiplication of policies is an administrative cost is weak. Tocqueville wants to assume that every mistake and inefficiency caused by federalism is an inevitable cost which people have to bear with in a federal system. By that he wants to sanitize the shortcomings of federalism while in reality, such mistakes and errors should be dealt with. Overlapping, confusions and multiplication of duties should not be excuse.
The article changes my thinking about the topic in that it opens my mind so some inefficiencies and mistakes caused by federalism. Federalism weakens states autonomy giving the central government more emphasis. At the same time, the central government is less involved at an individual’s welfare unlike state governments.
Having read the article, I realize that state governments play an enormous role in the lives of citizens compared to central governments. I therefore think that though the central government requires attention, state government require more attention since they contribute more to citizen’s welfare. I also know that federalism is not effective due to its wastage of resources and inefficiencies.
The article is equally informative on the topic just like other material I have read on the same. The materials not only shed light on federalism, but also explain some of the issue that revolves around it. However, I found the article complicated and hard to comprehend due to the authors’ use of complicated English. It requires one to read more than once to grasp the ideas and point in the article. Going forward however, I think there is opportunity for research in how both forms of government can work together in harmony without inefficiencies but in harmony.
I think that federalism is negative in regards to the American political system. First, the system splits states into political zones. Therefore, a candidate can tell which part of voted overwhelmingly for him or her and which part did not. Such a phenomenon is bad since it creates discord in the society as people politicians have strong holds of supporters and often tend to repay political support with favors. Also, states tend to depict a group of people, which also perpetuates isolation and segregation.
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