Free Essay On Citizen Participation In Federal Policies

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Government, Policy, United States, Politics, America, Elections, Citizen, Citizenship

Pages: 1

Words: 275

Published: 2021/01/03

The drafters of the USA constitution had a major idea on how the citizen could participate in policy making of the federal government. Fundamentally, the Founding Fathers wanted the people to exercise directly the power and govern themselves as they wanted (“Government of the People: The Role of Citizens,” n.d). Some people argue that the average citizen has very little or no influence on the federal policy making process. However, that is not true. The citizen activities can influence policy making in various ways.
According to Beame and Anderson (1979), one way the citizens change the federal policy is participating in the elections right from the county to the national level (p.1). The connecting between policies and election are direct. To elect an individual candidate for a particular position, one must consider among other things the ideologies such a candidate offers. For example, at any given time, the Democrats and the Republican hold divergent opinion on some of the pertinent aspects in the nation. Choosing one side from the Republicans, independent candidates, or the Democrats is in itself choosing the type of policies one wants. As it is today, the ruling Democrats have lenient laws towards immigrants while the Republicans have stiffer opinions that the Democrats on the same. The citizens through elections allowed the Democrats to make liberal policies on immigrants, foreign policy among others. But is voting alone enough?
Voting cannot be enough as in some instances the elected candidate may have self-interests that may not favor the citizens. Every American citizen has the right to assemble and picket either the county government or the national government. Demonstration or protest world over have some immediate impacts on the policies the nations make. It is evident since the early revolutions movements that demonstrations played a critical role in changing the policies on various aspects. For example, the States Rights Movements of 2008 to present where some states are challenging the affordable care act. The labor movement of 1930 aimed at creating fair work environments and practices. The 1955 to 1968 civil right movements with a mission for equal rights for the Black American and minorities in America. One of the significant changes in the policy is the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as a response to the March on Washington (The National Museums of American History, n.d).
There are other specific ways that one can influence the federal policy. In many occasions, when the national or the country government pass laws that one is not comfortable with, a citizen can write a letter directly to one of the representatives of the government or to the concerned parties to register displeasure on such matters. For example, Martin Luther Junior wrote a letter while in the Birmingham Jail. A Muslim student wrote a letter to protest the showing of The Screening of the Sniper in universities as that would make her feel unsafe (Jennifer Kabbany, March 16, 2015). One can also sue to challenge the decisions and policies made. Citizens are at liberty to seek a declaration from the courts that particular acts are not in favor of their belief or are harmful to the society. Such is done either individually or through community organizations. One significant controversy issues in the America that has seen many lawsuits challenging it is the legalization of marijuana.

Work cited

The national Museums of American History. Legacy and impacts of the March to Washington. Web. Accessed on 28 March 2015 from <>
Government of the People: The role of Citizens. Web. Accessed on 28 March 2015 from <>
Beame and Anderson. Citizen Participation in the American Federal System . 1979. PDF. Accessed on 28 March 2015 from <>
Jennifer Kabbany. Muslim student leader protests campus screening of ‘American Sniper.’ The College Fix March 16, 2015. Web. Accessed from <>

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"Free Essay On Citizen Participation In Federal Policies," Free Essay Examples -, 03-Jan-2021. [Online]. Available: [Accessed: 16-May-2022].
Free Essay On Citizen Participation In Federal Policies. Free Essay Examples - Published Jan 03, 2021. Accessed May 16, 2022.

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