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Elitism and Institutional Power

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Uses Dye's 10 key variables to discuss President George W. Bush and elitism and institutional power.... More...
5 Pages / 1125 Words
3 sources, 11 Citations, APA Format
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Paper Abstract:
Uses Thomas Dye's 10 key variables to discuss President George W. Bush and elitism and institutional power. Bush's great wealth and access to the highest circles of political and government power.

Paper Introduction:
Elitism and Institutional Power George W Bush Thomas R Dye argued that in even the most democraticcountries including the United States elitism is a major force shapingall sectors within society Further Dye identified specificpower sectors in which there are elites These include peers family religion economics government the military charity education and themedia Dye might suggest for example that a figure such asMichael Jordan is definitively an elite individual in the leisure sectorwhereas the Reverend Billy Graham might be regarded as a

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As Dye (1983) hascommented, the paths to elite status are varied, but being born into su8cha status is the only certain way of achieving it. On the other hand, like many of my generation, I havedeeply conflicted emotions about the war in Iraq and the potential long-term effects of the Bush free trade and globalization agenda. Inessence, "George W. Political families of this sort have the ability ifnot always the motivation to ensure that successive generations of aspiringpoliticians enjoy advantages that the vast majority of Americans do nothave. Bush is, therefore, inno way an example of social mobility. George W. Dye (1983) argued that in even the most democraticcountries, including the United States, elitism is a major force shapingall sectors within society. (2 6). Thefamily wealth made it possible for Bush to easily receive a Bachelor'sdegree in history from Yale University and a Master of BusinessAdministration from Harvard Business School. Notonly is George W. Great wealth, being born into a prominentpolitical family, and having virtually life-long access to the highestcircles of political and governmental power clearly established the youngGeorge W. 1)." There are any number of examples which speak to the question of howthis individual has influenced public policy. Who's Running America? Bush Thomas R. Further, Dye (1983) identified 1 specificpower sectors in which there are elites. Bush positively or negatively represents this writer's interestsis somewhat difficult to answer. Bush began networking as a student at Yale University,continued during his stint as an F-1 2 fighter pilot in the Texas AirNational Guard, and made new connections during his involvement in theenergy business and his father's successful 1988 presidential campaign. Bush, 2 6). In the case of George W. While in Texas as governor,he created an agenda that was focused on issues such as education andjuvenile justice. These include peers, family,religion, economics, government, the military, charity, education, and themedia. He has always known wealth and affluence. First, the basis of George W. Byattending universities that serve elites, he made more connections thatwould over time serve him well in both the business and political arenas.Most significantly, however, George W. The Reagan Years. Bush's power derives from multiplesources. Bush as a member of ahereditary elite group. The question of whether or not the power that is wielded by PresidentGeorge W. had been immersed in politics since childhood (GeorgeWalker Bush, 2 6, p. Bush was born into a wealthy family and to a man whose ownpolitical career included service in Congress, at the Central IntelligenceAgency, and as Vice President and later as President of the United States(George Walker Bush, 2 6). As Dye (1983) commented, members ofelite groups enjoy distinct advantages that are far less accessible to mostpeople - including those that are ambitious and possessed of the skills andabilities needed for success in their chosen fields. He hasencountered obstacles in the form of the Democratic Party's objections tohis first highly contested presidential election, his Supreme Courtappointments, and his strategies in the War on Terror and in the case ofIraq (George Walker Bush, 2 6). Bush,according to the official White House biography (Biography of President...,2 6), George W. Bush's success in politics is theprevious success of his own father. Bush qualifies as one of the former groups. (1983). Bush the son of a president, his grandfather, PrescottBush was a U.S. This circle includes, in additionto his own father, Vice President Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and many,many other influential Beltway actors. Bush has encountered few obstacles in his career despite an earlydefeat in 1977 when he unsuccessfully ran for the U.S. As even the most casual observer ofAmerican politics knows, President Bush's younger brother, Jeb Bush is thegovernor of Florida. Overall,however, based on the results of President Bush's second campaign for thepresidency, one would need to conclude that the majority of American votersfeel that President Bush better represented their interests than hisDemocratic opponent, Senator John Kerry. On the one hand, President Bush doesrepresent my interests with his call for fiscal accountability on the partof the government. In this report, President George WalkerBush, who is definitively a member of the political elite, will beevaluated against a series of important questions emerging from the ideasadvanced by Dye (1983). ReferencesBiography of President George W. The second question focuses on the kinds of strategy that George W.Bush uses to maintain status and influence. He took a strong neoconservative line as Texas governorand continued to use neoconservative political ideology in his presidentialelection campaigns. Dye (1983) might suggest, for example, that a figure such asMichael Jordan is definitively an elite individual in the leisure sectorwhereas the Reverend Billy Graham might be regarded as a member of thereligious establishment's elite. He favors small government, tax cuts, a strongmilitary, and economic development based on free trade (George Walker Bush,2 6). Congress. The fourth issue speaks to the question of how an elite figurebecomes a member of an elite. Due (1983) furtherasserts that in any number of cases, such as government, elite status thatis inherited is of enormous value in advancing the careers of sucecssi8vegenerations. Dye (1983) points out that some individualsare born into elite power circles while others are genuinely self-madeindividuals. He hasalways had access to the inner circles of political and business power. Elitism and Institutional Power: George W. Bush has the support of an extensivecircle of power brokers who have long been familiar with the behind thescenes workings of American government. Dye (1983) suggests thatpolitical and governmental elites use networks to establish supportiveconnections with other influential figures and political campaigns to winthe support of the ordinary voter. Additionally, familyconnections and money helped him to establish a career in the energybusiness and to assemble the group of partners who purchased the TexasRangers major league baseball franchise in 1989 (Biography of President...,2 6). Senator from Connecticut (George W. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice Hall.George Walker Bush. (2 6). One is reminded of other elite political "families" in theUnited States, such as the Kennedys, the Daleys of Chicago, the Lodges, theTafts, and the Romneys. Available at www.infoplease.com /ipa/a 878291.html. Bush. Bush as a member of an elite. Available at www.whitehouse.gov/president/gwbbio.html.Dye, T.R. As such, he has enjoyed access tohighly placed policymakers and, as Governor of Texas and President of theUnited States, is himself a policymaker of the highest order. The next significant question addressed herein is whether or not theactions of Bush support the explanation offered by theorists as to howelites acquire and employ wealth and power in America. This discussion provides ample evidence of the factthat a major explanation of George W. In essence, it is possible to regard George W.

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