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Opponents of Federalism

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Discuss the following statement: "opponents of federalism argue that it allows special interests to protect positions of privilege and obstructs progress towards national goals"? Provide examples.

Define the term "glass ceiling." Provide a brief overview and discussion of the public policy framework aimed at improving gender equity.

What was the initial goal of the development of the civil rights policy, and what was the focus that brought about the civil rights movement? What are some of the provisions and prohibitions enacted by the civil rights movement?

Discuss the case Brown vs. Topeka, its importance in the civil rights movement, and the causes of mass resistance in desegregation.

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Solution Summary

The word "federalism" is often made very ambiguous. Here, I clarify its meaning with particular reference to issues of social change and the ways in which opponents and proponents both develop arguments.

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Thank you so much for your question. I will answer these separately as you have presented them, and provide sources that may supplement my explanations.

Question 1:
"opponents of federalism argue that it allows special interests to protect positions of privilege and obstructs progress towards national goals"? Provide examples.

In somewhat less complex terms, this means: Many who believe that the national agenda should take precedence over individual state agendas (opponents of federalism) argue that giving more power, influence, or deference to state agendas (federalism) may at times create situations in which marginalized groups, such as ethnic minorities and the poor, must remain marginalized within their local communities, even though the nationwide government is working to combat that.

In order to better understand this statement, it is important to understand the concept of federalism. Federalism is a system of government in which power is divided (as determined by the Constitution) and given to two entities: 1) The central national/Federal government and 2) The state government.

The idea of Federalism has evolved in its meaning throughout American History. However, the most common usage of the term in modern discourse, as well as in the statement about which you are inquiring, is in reference to "New Federalism". New Federalism suggests that states should have the power to determine what occurs within its state as long as it is not in direct conflict with existing federal (national) laws or policies. Often, that line of conflict is extraordinarily blurry, leaving federalism up for debate

This statement suggests that those who oppose new federalism are those who prefer a centralized government,
and thus prefer that the US national government be able to dictate most issues for every state. Those who hold this ideology believe that giving states this much power is harmful. It is especially easy to see this conflict when local popular opinion is in conflict with national policy or nation-wide popular opinion. "Positions of privilege" is referencing those who are not members of marginalized groups. In this statement, this group is particularly those who hold the majority of population and/or of political power.


National Goal: End discrimination of ethnic minorities

National Policy: Documented and legally ...

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