Re: Bamboozled by US politics.
Here are a few things that a "foreigner" has difficulty comprehending:
Ok, Here goes my best attempt...
How come religion plays such a huge role in the politics of a secular country?
Most of the original colonists of this country were people who had left their home country seeking religious freedoms that were not available in their home country. There were very specific provisions in the Constitution to ensure that no one's religious rights were ever, in any way, restricted. America was founded (as much as some people try to deny it) by some very religious people and it has been that way ever since.
How come the word "liberal" is often perceived as an insult, suggesting that a politician might be suspect in some way?
The word 'liberal' is usually considered a derogatory word by those of a conservative bent, just as the word 'conservative' is usually considered a derogatory word by those of a liberal bent
How could the infidelity of a president (& his lies to cover it up) be seriously considered as an impeachable offence?
The impeachable offense was NOT the infidelity, the impeachable offense of President Clinton was that he had LIED
to Congress when asked about it.
How come movie "stars" like Ronald Reagan & Arnold S (sorry, not sure of the spelling of the top of my head) can be voted into such high office?
The great thing about America is that anyone can grow up to be anything they set their minds to achieve. Just because R.R. had been an actor in his youth did not restrict him from getting more and more involved in politics. As to Arnold... he is the living embodiment of the 'American Dream' in action:
A penniless Austrian bodybuilder comes to America. He works hard, becomes a successful actor, makes millions of dollars, becomes a Republican, marries into one of the most famous Democrat families (Kennedys) and goes on to become the governor of the richest and most populous state in the Union. God Bless America.
How come there isn't some uniform system of voting in federal elections in all states? Why the local variations?
America was established as an association of States. The Constitution was written to give a framework to a group of states, each of with had their own views on what was best for themselves. The Constitution spells out that any powers NOT defined in that document, will fall to the states to handle 'as they see fit'. Since the exact form of primaries are not spelled out in said document, it falls upon each state to decide how it is to be handled locally.
Well thats the best I can do for now msolga... thanks for dragging all the history and civics that I learned in high school and college out of my brain so early in the morning.
Any other questions class?