The Thirteen American Arguments is a book designed to explain and explore the idea of argument all throughout the world. How the government is ran, and how every past argument this country has had has been a similar one to the one presented beforehand. This process is a never ending argument and debate. The freedom of debate keeps us inspired and free; that this shows strength and not weakness. Not only has the 13 arguments been crafted into something different every generation, they have been shaping this country into the country it is meant to be.
The author of this book is Howard Fineman, one of the most trusted political journalists that discusses the American debate of the 13 arguments. One question Howard proposes to the reader would be, who is a person? Still till this day, us Americans are still trying to determine the answer to that. Every generation is evolving into something greater than it was before. According to the Declaration of Independence, it believes that a person is ‘everyone’, but that it took some time to figure this all out through many Civil Right Acts and other movements. The purpose for Howard to write this story was to ‘cut through’ the chaos during each day. The themes within this book go along with the everyday debates; whether through the various types of newspaper arguments such as the Daily Kos of even the Drudge Report.
The position that Howard is trying to portray to his audience is that as a journalist, he is displaying the inside scoop of the behind the scenes government. Informing all the people that debate and argument is actually okay. If no one was able to debate or argue, then the world would be boring. It keeps the people on their toes and interested with what is about to be said next. From earlier, debating gives freedom of speech for all, and will continue to give freedom of speech for the years to come. With this, I agree because argument can be good, and can give great insight on what others are thinking.
Looking into The Thirteen American Arguments, each is listed and gives meaning as to why these are the arguments define us as people. Looking into the first argument, it asks, what is a person? This is showing and talking about the unborn and whether or not the human rights are the ones that define us as people. The second asks, what is an American? This talks about the different generations that come together and how racial discrimination came about. The third is, The role of faith, and this shows if the religious views that one has are the right views, and what makes an American’s view the right way to look at things. The fourth says what can we know and say? This begins to work into the roles of Freedom of Speech and whether or not an American or person should know everything about the government. The fifth states The limits of Individualism.
Digging into this chapter, it talks about the liberals and conservatives. The sixth explains who judges the law? This chapter talks about whether the people or the government can dictate what happens. The seventh chapter is Debt and Dollar, this talks about the economy and how much in debt we are in. Eighth chapter discusses the Locals vs. National Authority. Having the locals want something like in Hurricane Katrina and spending more money on the levies compared to what the government was willing to spend. The ninth chapter is Presidential Power, the tenth chapter is Terms vs. Trade, the eleventh is War and Diplomacy, the twelfth is Environmental Issues, and the thirteenth is Creating a far more perfect union.
Listed above are the Thirteen American Arguments, and with these they begin to depict each part little by little, explaining the deeper, in-depth reasons as to why our economy is the way it is. Arguing is essential for any democracy because it not only gives freedom of speech, but it shows strength and freedom with what one truly believes in. It keeps the world moving and keeps things interesting. Moreover, argument can be expanded into whatever direction it wants. Anyone can make an argument out of anything, and then from there, it can be branched off into many different categories. Having each democracy debate helps the Americans before voting because it displays each side of the candidates thoughts and feelings towards a certain subject. It gives us a chance to really look into what is actually going on with the world and what people are thinking
One statement that is found interesting is when Gary Bauer argued about personhood, and about ‘prolife’ towards abortion. He then proceeded to use Civil Rights, and Individual Rights in order to defend the unborn baby’s fate. With this, it only made things harder for women because it gave them less of a say with what they actually wanted. No one is able to socially, economically, and financially state a person’s situation without fully understanding the background of the life someone lives. This began to show how Women’s rights were not fully accepted by the community and or government.
One quote that is heavily looked into would be, are “unlawful enemy combatants”, stateless, shadowy figures who perpetrated the crimes, “persons” in the eyes of American law and society? One again, Americans felt an instinct to say no, this time not because of the Market told us so, or because of Faith tradition did, but because our State and Tribal instincts did.” This quote right here is stating that when the terrorists attacked on September 11th, 2001, they only put more of a target on their backs. Not only was their attack on us cruel, but it also showed us the power that some people have within them to commit such crimes.
Throughout the whole book of The Thirteen American Arguments, it just states that argument and debate is not a bad thing. That it is presented in everyday situations, and that it can help solve situations and get more of an insight on where us Americans are coming from. Different views only help build upon each-other and make things more interesting to debate about. Howard Fineman not only displays the thirteen arguments, but he explains the difference between each in order to inform the people about deeper insight on the American Government .