Middleware in the US Political System

The United States political system has come under great scrutiny. Many view the system as gridlocked. Some even view it as “dysfunctional and broken“. The Republican dominated House of Representatives is holding tough against Obama and the Democrat dominated senate-refusing to pass any legislation pushed by Obama. In the White House, Barack Obama is fully focused on getting re-elected for another term. In this blog post, I will be examining the infrastructure of the American political system. Specifically, I will be talking about the middleware in the law making process of the US political system.

The bottom layer of the law making process is a concerned citizen, legislator, or group that suggest legislation. The top layer of the law making process is the final law that becomes effective. Between becoming a becoming a idea and a law, there are many steps that must be completed. While many of these intermediary steps were put into place as precautionary measures, some of these middle parts have had results that were not originally intended. I will highlight a few of the larger middleware components that do more harm than good.

Through the law making process, majorities and super-majorities of the House and Senate are required for the bill to keep moving along. While majorities are reachable and possible to agree on, requiring supermajorities in parts of the process to pass a bill slows down the system.

However, there is an inherent problem in the middleware and infrastructure as a whole in the US political system. In our current multi-party system, congress is sharply divided by two different conceptions of government  Working on a bill to help trim the budget deficit, Congressment Jeb Hensarling delared that “the committee did not succeed because we could not bridge the gap between two dramatically competing visions of the role government should play in a free society.

In this system, there is an even bigger problem with the law making process. Most politicians “pursue victory above all else” and focuse on their own parties ideologies. Although the law making political system in the United States was designed to make the process and efficient and fair process, when one closely examines the infrastructure of the system – specifically the middleware – it is easy to see that many unintended ‘external’ factors affect his process.

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3 Responses to Middleware in the US Political System

  1. clairejwiggins says:

    I certainly agree that the middle ware of our US political system is one that nobody is completely satisfied with. It is frustrating that the two major political parties can rarely agree on important issues, which makes the whole law making process very inefficient. What would you suggest us trying to do to help develop this infrastructure? Give the president more power, so things can get done quickly? Give incentives to create more inter party cooperation in the law making process? Or, even though our system is far from ideal, do you think there isn’t another better way to do things that doesn’t sacrifice the ‘freedom’ of our system?

  2. alexjking11 says:

    More generically, if the bottom layer in a political system is the desire of the citizenry to pass laws, and the top layer is the established body of laws, the middleware is the entire political process. Even within the subset of democratic political systems, there are a lot of different ways the political process can work – for example, consider the U.S., the U.K. (the parliamentary system), or Russia or Venezuela (apparently democratic, but ruled by a strongman). What are the relative merits of each of these middlewares in serving the needs of the people?

  3. jayraina says:

    Claire – You’re right, it is not an easy fix. Reading about this subject though, the political science department at Harvard University proposed an interesting solution. They stressed that the business community should change it’s role in politics. They said that business should take on a larger social responsibility rather than pressure politicians in different directions out of self interest. Still easier said then done.

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