It May Not Work In Politics
In November 2010, Representative Charles Rangel was found guilty by the Congressional committee on ethics of 11 ethics violations. The violations were related to his fundraising efforts for a college in New York and his personal finances (Kane, 2010). In one of the 11 violations, he is said to have improperly used his congressional staff and official letterhead to raise money from corporate chief executives and charities for a wing in his honor in a New York College (Newman, 2010).
Moreover, he is said not to have paid taxes in a villa that he owns that is located in the Dominican Republic. Also, Charles refused to disclose hundreds of thousands of dollars in personal financial assets. Personally, I do agree with the verdict because as a lawmaker, Charles’s conduct should be above board and some of the dealings that he has involved in taint the image of the Congress. In particular, it reduces the trust and faith that the citizens have on Congress if a lawmaker can himself not respect the laws just like Maxine Waters was accused of doing in the same year.
Secondly, I agree with the verdict because some of his dealings are just outright criminal in nature. Failure to pay taxes on property is a criminal offense because it is a form of public theft. While the majority of Americans, even the poor ones are able to pay taxes, a man of his stature and wealth should not be involved in stealing from the public. This verdict in a way lowers the trust that I have on the members of Congress because I felt betrayed that he used his position to violate the laws that I obey as a citizen and laws that Congress legislates.
A third-party candidate has never been successful in winning the presidential election because from the onset, at the time of framing the constitution, the founding of the nation itself is based on two ideologies: federalism and anti-federalism. The beliefs of this historical sentiment- power to the states or power to the federal government have fallen along the lines of the two major political parties in America. This ideology deeply rooted in the founding of the nation itself has been too strong for anyone or any generation to break away from. For example, in 2010, Sara Palin preferred to use a sub-party within a bigger party because they understood that the nation is deeply rooted in its history (Malice, 2016).
Secondly, almost all the political power has already been shared by the two prominent powers and with that power comes the ability to control the media. Controlling the media is a powerful political tool because, in the end, the public ends up voting only for the parties that they only know. Having the ability to control the masses through the media is a powerful political tool. If a third party was successful, the two major parties would experience reduced power because suddenly, there would be a new outlet for citizens to contact the government.
Federal and State Authority
One current issue facing the US today is one regarding gun control. The role of both the federal and state authorities is to regulate who should and who should not be able to purchase and carry and gun. For example, both prohibit certain individuals from owning guns such as drug addicts, convicts, veterans discharged with dishonorable discharge among others. The federal authority requires dealers to run background checks through the FBI database (Harwood, 2002). However, states have their own regulations and may be more stringent or more relaxed.
The constitution does not limit either federal or state action towards gun control. As a result, both authorities have the parallel power to regulate guns. It’s due to this fact that some states have more relaxed background checks before selling one can sell a weapon while others have stringent regulations. For example, New Jersey, California, Hawaii, and New York have the most stringent regulations than the federal ones while others like Texas have relaxed laws especially on carrying weapons. In the end, the rules governing ownership and carrying a gun vary from one state to another.
Harwood, W. (2002). Gun Control: State Versus Federal Regulation of Firearms. Maine Policy Review, 11(1), 58-73.
Kane, P. (2010, November 16). Rep. Charlie Rangel found guilty of 11 ethics violations. Washington Post.
Malice, M. (2016, December 7). Why Third-Party Candidates Can’t Win. Observer.
Newman, A. (2010, November 16). Rangel’s Ethics Violations. City Room.