USA Report Card
Is our nation fulfilling the purposes of government?
Form a More Perfect Union
The first purpose of government (as laid out in the Preamble) is to form a more perfect union. Or in other words, to unite and connect the states with common characteristics to form one nation, rather than a group of small nations under the Articles of Confederation.
"Where this Highway Ends"
This political cartoon is an example of the USA not fulfilling the purposes of government. It was created during the government shutdown of 2013, due to the shutdown the money from taxes was not supplied to the U.S. Highway Trust Fund, and therefore the highways were unable to be serviced and maintained in order to form a more perfect union of states and make it easy to move between states. The branch of government involved in this is the executive branch, because this branch is in control of the trust fund.
This image above shows the U.S. senators working together to vote on or pass laws. This is an example of the United States fulfilling the goal "to form a more perfect union" because it shows the states, represented by two senators each, working together to create laws that would benefit every state, and every citizen. This article refers to the legislative branch because the U.S. Senates is part of the legislative branch where laws are created, just like in the image.
The second goal of the U.S. Government according to the constitution is to "establish justice". This means that a fair system should be maintained to make sure everyone and every group acts lawfully and constitutionally. Our system being the court system.
Underfunded School Districts
This is an example of the U.S. completing their goal of establishing justice. It shows the court system ruling something illegal/wrong as illegal therefore fulfilling its purpose. This is an example of the judicial system interpreting the law, looking over the case and the laws making sure that it was unconstitutional and unlawful.
State of Florida v.s. George Zimmerman
This is another example of the United States successfully establishing justice. Above is a photo of George Zimmerman, accused of the second-degree murder of Trayvon Martin. The court system followed legal rules and the jury determined him innocent, lacking evidence to prove the murder was not an act of self defense. The court conducted its affairs legally and came out with a verdict, establishing justice. This involves the judicial system because it revolves around a court case, and courts are part of the judicial system.
Insure Domestic Tranquility
The third goal of the United States' government is to insure domestic tranquility. This means to maintain peace and safety among the citizens within the United States.
Police Officer Causes Domestic Upset
This is an example of the United States government not insuring domestic tranquility. Rather than insuring domestic tranquility by stopping the boyfriend from assaulting the woman and leaving, he also raped the victim, causing domestic distress/crime among the citizens within the United States. This involves the executive branch of government, Jeh Johnson the secretary of homeland security manages the police and safety of U.S. citizens, and he is a member of the cabinet which is part of the executive branch that enforces the laws.
Police In Search Of Man Responsible for Three Attacks
This article is an example of the executive branch successfully insuring domestic tranquility. The D.C.P.D. is working to find someone that conducted attacks on three people, the fact that they are offering a thousand dollar reward to anyone with information on this case shows their dedication and how they are truly trying to insure domestic tranquility. They also wouldn't have gotten this far if they have not been trying to insure domestic tranquility and coming up with information/clues.
Provide For the Common Defense
The next goal is to provide for the common defense. This means the government will protect its citizens from outside forces through military, treaties, etc.
Obama Cuts Military Budget
This political cartoon is in response to Obama cutting the U.S. Military's budget. This is an example of the executive branch not providing for the common defense. Since Obama cut the military budget it would be harder for the military to defend the U.S. citizens from outside forces due to lack of equipment or funding for training. This involves the executive branch because the U.S military budget is allocated by the department of defense within the cabinet, within the executive branch.
Congress Attempts to Further Cut Military Spending
This is another example of the U.S. Government failing to provide for the common defense. This time the legislative branch is involved, as congress is attempting to cut the military spending.
Promote the General Welfare
The next goal of promoting the general welfare means the government will maintain the happiness, health, and over all well being of the nation's citizens to the best of its ability. This includes public services and facilities such as PSA's, education, and public restrooms.
This article succeeds in promoting the general welfare of U.S. citizens because it alerts the public to the findings that hospitals are contributing to the spread of diseases so if at all possible it is best to stay away from them. The article is meant to inform the public and promote their well being. This involves the executive branch because the CDC is part of the Health Department in the cabinet within the executive branch.
Public education is a good example of the U.S. government promoting the general welfare. It insures that the every citizen of the United States is well educated and able to obtain a decent job therefore promoting the peoples general welfare/well being (by supporting themselves), and that they contribute to society when they grow older. It also makes sure that we are a well educated nation/people that represent ourselves in a good light towards other nations and people. This involves the executive branch of government as it contains the US Department of Education.
Secure The Blessings of Liberty
The final goal of the constitution is to secure the blessings of liberty. This means to make sure the government and its laws are fair to all people and everyone is able to maintain certain freedoms/liberties.
Judge Denies Gay Marriage Ban
This article is an example of the U.S. fulfilling the goal of securing the blessings of liberty to its people. The fact that this judge would "strike down" a gay marriage ban deeming it unconstitutional shows they are fulfilling this goal. The goal is to obtain the same freedoms for everyone, heterosexual, or homosexual. The branch involved in this article is the judicial branch because it was a U.S. judge that interpreted this law and deemed it unconstitutional.
Retrial of three Officers on Civil Rights Claims
This article shows how the judicial branch is securing the blessings of liberty for the people. A black student (Jordan Miles) claims that he was "maliciously persecuted" by three police officers in 2012 and he asked for a retrial on account of civil rights claims. He claims that the three men excessively beat him and wrongfully arrested him intentionally due to his skin color.
The United States' Final Grade
When researching articles for this project I found mixed results as to whether our government was fulfilling its duties, sometimes it was very successful and persistent in fulfilling these duties, while others it just seemed to disregard. Overall the grade I would give the U.S. for achieving the goals described in the preamble for our government is a C.
The success rate of the first three goals were quite high from what I found, there were only two cases where they did not reach the goals. The government was not able to support the forming of a more perfect union as shown in the highway political cartoon due to lack of funding to the U.S. Highway Trust Fund, but our states can be seen united working together in congress, one example being senate where they all work together to create laws. Our government succeeded at establishing justice both times, in the case where the poorer schools were not well funded and in the Zimmerman trial, both were lawful processions that came out with a reasonable verdict, establishing justice to the disputes, the goal of a court. The government (represented by the police officer) was not successful in insuring domestic tranquility as he caused domestic distress when raping an innocent citizen, but domestic tranquility was insured, or at least is being attempted to be insured by the police officers looking for the attacker of three Washington D.C. citizens.
The final three goals have the same success rate. Both artifacts, the political cartoon and the article about providing for the common defense showed how the government was not doing this by cutting military spending, possibly making it more difficult to defend the people. The government successfully promoted the general welfare in both instances by alerting the public via PSA about how hospitals are helping spread "superbugs" and by educating the public through public schooling. The government was also successful in securing the blessings of liberty both times by revisiting a possible civil rights crime and by striking down a gay marriage ban that would limit freedoms of a sub set of american citizens.
In conclusion, out of the twelve random artifacts I found, eight of them support that the U.S. Government is fulfilling the purposes of government while four of them say that the U.S. Government is not fulfilling a purpose. This means that it fulfills the purposes two thirds of the time or seventy-five percent of the time, which equates to a grade of C.