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American Politics

American Politics

Date: Jan 17 2006

Intro

1. Learn Vocabulary - Learn some new vocabulary before you start the lesson.

2. Read and Prepare - Read the introduction and prepare to hear the audio.

One basic rule of casual conversations in America is never talk about politics or religion. People have very strong opinions and beliefs about these topics. When people start talking about politics or religion, the conversation often turns into a heated argument.

Listen to the following conversation between Taylor and I. Can you hear the rising tension in the conversation?

Dialog

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2. Study - Read the dialog again to see how the vocab words are used.

Dave

Dave

Taylor

Taylor

Dave:  So, how do you think Bush is doing in his presidency?

Taylor:  F!

Dave:  F? He gets an F, huh?

Taylor:  F!

Dave:  Hm. Why?

Taylor:  Um, well, a lot of it is more a feelings thing, you know. He has this sneer. He’s got an attitude that I don’t like.

Dave:  So, but what you’ve listed now are, like, character traits. What about things he’s done in his administration, you know, tax cuts?

Taylor:  I don’t approve blanketly with almost every decision he has made.

Dave:  Really? So, what about his foreign policy?

Taylor:  Well, you know, when bad people do bad things, I do believe that the good people should go and fix the bad people.

Dave:  Okay.

Taylor:  Now that’s…however, the way you go about, you know, you have an entire world stage. And the entire world stage is collectively making decisions that affect one another. There’s butterfly effects everywhere. And I don’t think Bush likes to think about the butterfly effect.

Dave:  What’s really troubling for me is that the defense industry is at like $600 billion a year.

Taylor:  Oh yes.

Dave:  And I don’t, I don’t see why we need to spend that much money on defense. I think we can cut that number in half and send some of that money to education or social services.

Taylor:  Another, another pet peeve of mine with the Bush administration is defense. Ah, I personally don’t believe that it’s my nation’s duty to protect me from anything outside the borders of the country. I think the first priority is to protect me from my neighbors, my immediate neighbors.

Dave:  So, you’d rather have a stronger police force than a stronger military.

Taylor:  Not necessarily. A stronger social system in place to dissuade people from being bad.

Dave:  So, you’d be talking about a cultural revolution.

Taylor:  Cultural revolution! I believe that we should have good schools, and that that should be the number one priority. And if somebody wants to drop a nuclear bomb on our country, then that’s it. I don’t care. Don’t stop it. Allow it to happen if it needs to happen.

Dave:  Wow! That’s a bold statement. Gosh, I don’t even know how to respond to that.

 

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Discussion

The American political scene is dominated by two major groups: the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. There are other political groups, such as the Libertarian Party, the Socialist Party, and the Green Party, though they are much smaller and have much less influence.

The U.S. Democratic Party is one of the longest-standing political parties in the world. It is often symbolized by a donkey and the color blue. Very generally, the Democratic Party supports the idea of big government and strong social systems to care for the people.

The U.S. Republican Party (also known as the Grand Old Party, or GOP) is often symbolized by an elephant and the color red. Typically, the Republican Party is associated with small government and the idea that individuals must work hard for the things that they want, and that individuals – instead of the government – should be able to take care of themselves.

If you want to know more about politics in the U.S.A., check out these sites:

U.S. Democratic Party.

U.S. Republican Party.

 

Comments

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Amedmoh

Amedmoh

Mauritania

Politics is an incarnation of betrayal, despotism, tyranny, injustice…etc. It is a melting pot of all kinds of evil.

10:54 AM Jul 20 2013 |

reelex

Canada

terrific~ love it..

04:29 PM Jan 18 2006 |

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