November 30, 2009;
This month's discussion revolved around a few large questions about government. The big topics of the night were about how large a government should be and how much it should be involved in our lives. There was a debate right off the bat about the definition of government size, whether a large government meant one with a large amount of people participating, which multiple separate branches, or one that had a lot of regulation over the people in the area it controlled. The United States government involves a large amount of people within its three branches, but the checks and balances involved in this setup slows down political processes and keeps the government from having too much control of the people. The Soviet Union in contrast had less people involved in the government, and everyone was pretty much in one unified branch. This government could still be considered large though because of the enormous amount of regulation it had over the rights of the people in the USSR.
The second half of the discussion was mainly based on how much involvement the government should be allowed to have in citizens' lives. There was a lot of debate over how far the government can invade people's lives to protect the country as a whole. The subjects of wire-tapping and the Patriot Act were brought up, and many people thought that this was too much involvement. There were also a few students who think that many Americans complain, but are not willing to go figure out what is really going on for themselves or get involved to help change things. The subject of insatiability was also brought up, and how not everyone can be satisfied, but everyone does the best they can for the good of everyone. This is inevitable since everyone has differing opinions so they can't all be satisfied. This makes government sometimes useless since there will still be arguments going on about the decisions made no matter what. There was a lot of debate, multiple viewpoints on most topics, good points raised, but not much agreement. It does get one thinking about government and what's involved, as well as what one person can do to help.