This essay assignment has two parts: (A) a quick “scavenger hunt” of sorts to answer the first three main questions below (relating to the recent 2020 elections) and (B) a 2-3 page reflective essay for the fourth main question that focuses on one political leader of your choice. Please write your essay in a Word document and be sure to add your name at the top and then number and answer each question 1-4. When you are done, you should have the first three questions answered on the first page and then 2-3 more pages double-spaced thereafter for the essay portion. Note that this is a reflective essay intended in large part to highlight your own insights and critical thinking skills in reaction to the course materials, background information, and current state of political affairs you research. That said, you are required to include at least three references (e.g., scholarly or news articles, books, campaign websites, etc.)— particularly for the general and campaign background information you research (see also the supporting “Reference Rules” document on how to properly cite your sources). I also ask that everyone make sure their answers are professional and thoughtful while avoiding any unsuitable/derogatory criticism of an elected official (don’t get me wrong — being critical of an official’s job performance and policies is perfectly fine, just be sure it is not done using inappropriate language!). When I grade your essay, I will look forward to learning your insights and how well you’ve applied your critical thinking skills to our class-related concepts. Importantly, I will not grade you based on whether you agree with my politics (of course not!), but rather whether your responses are factually correct and written in a proficient and insightful manner. I look forward to having each of you use your voice through writing as active citizens! Here are the questions (be sure to answer all portions completely): 1. Name THREE candidates who recently ran for President of the United States (not just the main two party candidates!). For each one, what was their party identification and what was one key issue they ran on? 2. Name TWO candidates who recently ran for the U.S. Congress (either House or Senate) and whether they were looking to get elected for the first time or were aiming to be reelected. Did they win? 3. Name TWO candidates who recently ran for elected positions at the state (Texas/other) or local (El Paso/other) level (provide the name and position that each person was running for). Did they win their contests? 4. Pick ONE of the candidates from above that you listed and write a 2-3 page essay (doublespaced size 12 font) about that candidate (background, previous career experience, key issue positions, character, vision, etc.) and how you think that person did in their campaign run. Regarding their background, did the person develop a reputation appropriate for an elected official? Do you agree with the way the person sought to represent their constituents? Finally, did that person win their election and, if so, what kind of advice would you lend to that elected official for best representing “we the people” moving forward (if not, what other kinds of activities might they do instead to keep serving the public)?
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