RCL wk7

For my paradigm shift, I chose to do the increase of democratization and voter power in the United States over the last century. There have been several examples, most at the first half of the 20th century, of when the power of a voter has expanded. I said that the expansion of voter power reflects that our society is one that places a lot of importance on individualism and self expression. For the Ted talk I figure there are many examples I can talk about in this shift:

1. Women and minority right to vote. Both the 15th and 19th amendment allow women and non-whites (respectively) the right to vote. Before these amendments, only white males were allowed to vote. Allowing universal suffrage to everyone in the United States shows that we have placed emphasis on our ability to express our own opinions and make our own decisions.

2. The direct election of senators and primary elections. Before the 17th amendment, all members of the U.S. senate were appointed by state legislatures. This was an attempt to remove the people from the policymaking process and improve government efficiency. However, it was less democratic and didn’t give people the chance to vote. The shift in allowing people to vote for senators shows that we believe in democratic principles and self-expression. Before the early 20th century, potential candidates for office were selected by political party leaders instead of primary elections. By the mid 20th century, most state party organizations adopted the direct primary that let the people decide who their nominee would be instead of a few influential people. This is yet another example of how society believes it is important for everyone to be able to express themselves if they so please.

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