Essay #1: What’s Good?

A presidential election is accompanied by an election of the complete House of Representatives and about 1/3 of the Senate–that’s at the federal level. At the state level, many governorships may be up for grabs.  This creates an environment wherein critical analysis and responsible debate are needed. In this election year, much of the current debate has focused on the role of government, specifically how much involvement it should have in society.  Taxes and finance lie at the center of this shouting match, with various ideas of “equality” and “freedom” tossed about in feckless fashion.  Your goal in this paper is to tackle this subject in an enlightened and academic manner, one that is sorely missing from so many sources giving out information.

Here is your prompt:  What should the role of our federal government be, and how should it be implemented? You do not have to rewrite the Constitution. Focus on one particular issue or aspect.

There are some basic requirements:

  • In Chapter 3, there are quite a lot of essays about “affirmative action” and the university riff on the policy, which is called “diversity.” Use one essay to deal with an issue of law and equality. Set it up and quote it appropriately.
  • Plato also makes an appearance with his dialog “Crito.” Use this work to deal with either the larger concept of government or the more specific concept of the qualities necessary in either a citizen or elected official. Work with at least one substantive quote.
  • Use a current editorial (commentary) about a national issue addressed by the presidential or legislative candidates (and their subordinates).
  • Use one fact-based source for raw data.
  • Standard MLA format.
  • 5 full pages.


  • You can write about taxation.  There are tons of articles about this issue.
  • Regulation is another general category.  If you choose this, narrow the scope to banking, environment, safety, or another controversial area.
  • The military could prove to be an interesting topic.

Feel free to consult me about other ideas.  The new due date will be 10/04.

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