Final Exam

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The three concepts I know will dominate the political arena in this country for the next few decades are terrorism, nationalism, and citizenship. Two of the three are discussed regularly on Capitol Hill, talk radio, and political television shows. Terrorism has been and will continue to be a hot topic for not only Americans but the international community as well. Citizenship is in the spotlight now as the idea of Immigration reform is debated in the U.S. Congress. The third and perhaps most important topic is also the least talked about, the idea of nationalism. These three topics will dominate political life well beyond my graduation years and perhaps into the graduation years of my grandchildren. One of my earliest political memories was the Iran hostage crisis from 1979-1981. Since that time there have been plane multiple hijackings, the bombing of a Marine Barracks in Beirut, Embassy bombings, suicide bombers, the first attack on the World Trade Centers, the Oklahoma City Bombing, The Atlanta Olympic Park Bombing, Chechen rebels taking over a Movie theatre, untold school shootings, and of course the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. The threat of terrorism is everywhere. From Ireland to Jerusalem, Baghdad, Russia, Japan, and the United States, acts of terrorism are seen as means to gain political power. As long as a determined minority believe they have no voice or their people face oppresion terrorism will be employed. How to handle terrorism is a problem almost every nation in the world is dealing with. As discussed on page 248 of the class text, since the end of World War II terrorism has been used more and more as an act of war. Nations are struggling to combat it because the actors are usually not state militaries bu... ... middle of paper ... ...ed to leave? This is the danger of not encouraging nationalism. Just because it happened somewhere else does not mean it cannot happen here. It the United States does not make an effort to “Americanize” all of its citizens either though a common language or a common set of core values the nation will eventually tear itself apart. By maintaining differences we maintain separation. That fosters mistrust and hate which can lead to violence and perhaps terrorism. This is the single biggest issue facing America today. As more and more people migrate here in search of the promise of America staying united will be our biggest challenge. We need to respect diversity but expect assimilation. Promoting nationalism is how we ensure our survival. America can remain the world’s greatest hope for freedom or it can become just another history lesson on why democracy failed again.

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