1. Which political party do you more closely associate with and why?  Can’t say you don’t care anymore – time to tell me which way you lean.  Your choices include Republican, Democrat, Green Party, Libertarian, Communist – you don’t even have to stick with these if there is another one out there you identify with – just tell me why.  For the purposes of this assignment you can’t just say moderate or independent.  Take the quiz at http://www.isidewith.com/political-quiz.  Even if you are pretty sure of who you side with, it is fun (and required) to take because it will give you percentages of how much you agree with each party on certain issues and tell you which candidate is your best match.  No one is 100% anything.  Include your results in your paper. 

2. Who or what influenced that decision (examples may be a parent, teacher, friend, event).  Do you have friends or family that hold the opposite beliefs from you?  If not, why not?  Do you have debates with this person or do you only talk to people who agree with you?  If so, why?

3. If you could run for office, what would you run for – Judge, Congress/Legislature or President/Governor – and why?  Read the explanations of all three below to help you answer this:

What office you might want to run for says something about your personality: 

Judge – You are comfortable making decisions that may make some people unhappy, but you try to settle disputes by finding middle ground – all while remaining in the confines of the law.  You understand that your decisions may not change the world, but they are important to the people and the case in front of you.  You right wrongs and mete out appropriate justice – and you can only do so because you follow the rules yourself.

Legislator/Congress – You like to represent people and fight passionately for their issues.  Making laws is ugly work, but you will fight in the trenches for what you believe in and make only the concessions necessary to create a bill that will help your constituents and your ideology win the day.  You realize you don’t need to make everyone happy – just the people in your district and your party.  The executives (governor/president) talk a lot, but you actually get to the details and get stuff done.

Governor/President – You are the big picture person.  You announce broad initiatives and let congress or the legislature figure out how to pull it off.  You need to have a thick skin because just under half of your constituents resent the fact you got elected. You have little to no say in the details of how your vision is pulled off – you just provide leadership and motivation.  You get the credit when it works, but you get the blame when it doesn’t – you probably deserve neither the blame nor the credit.  People look for you to lead them in both good times and bad.

The rules:  Remember, this needs to be at least one and a half full pages of solid, thoughtful material in order to even be considered for full credit.   Students receiving full credit usually turn in papers of at least 2 pages.  Have some fun with it, but remember this is an academic paper.  No cussing or slang, use proper grammar and proof-read before sending, use the spell-checker, do not end a sentence with a question mark (you are supposed to answer questions, not ask them), et cetera.

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