Legislation, Presidential & Congressional Politics/Questions on the US government

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Question
Why do you believe state and local governments canít take actions that go against the laws and authority of the national government?

What are key similarities and differences between Democratic and Authoritarian systems of gov't?

I need some help with these two questions. The others I could find but I'm having some trouble with these. Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks.

Answer
Hello,

For government to work, there needs to be one final authority.  If not, an two authorities give conflicting laws, the people are put in the difficult position of violating one authority in order to obey the other.  For that reason, when there is a conflict, one has to have the final say.  In the US, the Constitution gives that final say to the federal government.

The primary defining principle of a democratic government is that the laws and policies it implements are accepted by a majority of the people.  Generally this means that the leaders are elected by the people as well.  An authoritarian government rules by force, without necessarily have the approval or support of the majority.

That is not to say there can't be some similarities.  Both government rule by force.  Even in a democracy, if you refuse to follow the law, you can be compelled to obey by armed police who have the right to use force if you resist.  You can be imprisoned for violating the laws.  Both types of governments typically try to control the people within certain limits and to keep opposition as small and as powerless as possible, although the methods used to achieve this often differ.

I hope this helps!
- Mike

Legislation, Presidential & Congressional Politics

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Michael Troy

Expertise

I can answer just about any question about U.S. Political history, Constitutional law, the legislative process, elections, etc. I enjoy Presidential and Congressional historical trivia, but can answer more substantive questions too.

Experience

Former Staff member for a Congressman and Senator. I also worked on about 10 Congressional and Presidential campaigns (only one that won). For a short time, I worked in the legal department of the Federal Election Commission.††† I have a B.A. in Political Science.

Organizations
Former LBJ Fellow (paid fellowship for Congressional Staff).
Pi Sigma Alpha (Political Science Honorary Society).

Publications
Washington Post
Washington Times

Education/Credentials
J.D. University of Michigan
B.A. George Washington University (Poli. Sci. major).

Awards and Honors
LBJ Fellow
Truman Scholar

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