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My name is Alex, and I am a resident of California, which as you know was recently voted the state with the highest poverty and homeless rate in the country by the Census Bureau's Supplemental Poverty Measure (Jackson, "Why is liberal California the poverty capital of America"). But I digress; I have had the pained opportunity of going through your administration's Zero Tolerance Policy on immigration and performed a critical analysis on both the potential benefits and risks that this policy portends for the American people as a whole. Under 8 U.S.C. § 1325(a), the laws of America "prohibits both attempted and illegal entry into the united states by an alien."(Department of Justice, "Attorney General Announces Zero-Tolerance Policy for Criminal Entry"). I understand that the determined zeal with which your administration is clamping down illegal immigrants is fueled by recent reports of a 203% increase in the unlawful entry by immigrants across the border between March 2017 and March this year. Moreover, reports from the department of homeland security project a 37 percent increase in illegal border entries between February and March this year - possibly the most substantial monthly gain since 2010.
You have underpinned your actions, and repeatedly said so, on your commitment to safeguard "American public safety, national security, and the rule of law." You have repeatedly emphasized that as the president of United States, you are responsible for enforcing and promoting the rule of law in a manner that is vital to protecting the nation, its citizens as well as its borders. Subsequently, on April 2017, Jeff Sessions, the U.S... Attorney General announced your administration's renewed commitment to implement criminal immigration enforcement and directed federal prosecutors to prioritize the prosecution of "certain criminal immigration offenses" (Department of Justice, "Attorney General Announces Zero-Tolerance Policy for Criminal Entry"). In addition, the zero-tolerance policy has directed every U.S. Attorney placed along the South-West border and in the Southern District of Texas to speedily prosecute referrals from the Department of Homeland Security under section 1325(a) "to the extent practicable."
Be that as it may, a good portion of the American public believes your zero-tolerance policy on illegal immigration is flawed and expressive of your intolerance towards people that do not fit your bill of the average American. Your claim that your actions are aimed at "promoting the rule of law" is Orwellian because there is no law in the land that allows a government to separate families to the extent being witnessed currently. This fact is corroborated by the Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen who commented that "We do not have a policy of separating families at the border. Period" (Rizzo, "The facts about Trump's policy of separating families at the border"). The fact is that no court ruling had mandated the government to separate families. And as a result of your overzealous policy, the Department of Homeland Security reported in early June that approximately 2000 children have been separated from their parents from April to May.
The fact that court rulings forced your administration to release nearly 100,000 would-be illegal immigrants during the first 15 months of your reign validates the position that the courts have not sanctioned family separations. But perhaps what should come to your mind as you embark on deporting illegal immigrants is that in one way or another, they are fleeing from dangerous situations in their home countries. Gang activity and rampant violence in South American countries like Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras have forced thousands of residents to seek asylum in stable nations and not just the U.S. Alone ((Rizzo, "The facts about Trump's policy of separating families at the border"). I believe some of these affected people seek asylum or refugee status in England, or France, or Canada yet we have not heard of these countries adopting covert measures to rid their populations of illegal immigrants. Separation of families by a government cannot in any way be adjudged to be lawful.
However, I am aware of the potential dangers that we face as more and more undocumented immigrants enter the United States. In an era where radical Muslims have exploited the doctrine of Jihad to unleash untold terror and suffering on innocent civilians, and where rogue states are using spies to steal sensitive information from other countries, and where the possibility of a nuclear war has increased ten-folds because authoritarian nations like North Korea have advanced their technical capabilities to the extent that they can develop Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (ICBMs), I fully commiserate with your efforts to make America and its citizens safe. Nevertheless, other fellow Americans and I, feel that the approach your administration has taken on this issue is retrogressive and will end up causing more harm than good in the long run.
I, therefore, propose a strategy used under the Obama administration that prioritized the prosecution and deportation of dangerous immigrants such as gang members, known terrorist affiliates and people of questionable character. The fundamental difference between Obama's approach and yours is that the latter had a priority list that outlined the guidelines that were to be followed in deporting illegal immigrants (Rizzo, "The facts about Trump's policy of separating families at the border"). Your policy, on the other hand, has blanketed the whole process under the term "criminal offenses" which does little to help distinguish between people who genuinely need help and those who don't. This means that misdemeanors can be grounds for deporting an otherwise law-abiding immigrant. Needless to say, the doublespeak being witnessed among senior government officials speaks volumes as to the organization of the whole process. You, for starters, have distanced yourself from the zero-tolerance policy stating that "it's the Democrats that gave us that law" while your secretary of homeland security is on record saying that no law allows for families to be separated.
Part II: social experiment
The most terrifying outcome of the zero tolerance policy is that children as young as a few months old are being separated from their parents. It is a well-documented fact that parental love is crucial for child development especially in the first five years of their lives (Winston and Chicot 12; Perry 49). But because of the zero tolerance policy, it is becoming highly likely that more children will be in danger of missing out on one of the most important ingredients needed for their development during their formative years. Thus, it is not only moral but developmentally critical to allow a child to grow and develop under the supervision of well-meaning parents because this increases their resilience (ability to cope with stressful situations in life) and lays the foundation for a child's personality, character, and behavior in later life (Maximo and Carranza 17).
To evaluate the impact that parental bonding has on a child's growth and development, I propose to conduct an experiment involving three groups of participants. The first set of participants will comprise 10 parents who have been in constant contact with their children - i.e., parents who have not been away from their children for more than 48 hours to 1 week at any given time. This is meant to consider the fact that parents are technically away from their children when they are at work, on a business trip or any other event that warrants temporary separation between child and parent.
The second group of participants comprises parents with children but are either separated or divorced such that it is possible for either parent to be away from the child/children for more than one month (30 days). For purposes of this experiment, I decided that an absenteeism period of more than a week warrants being considered as lack of ‘constant contact' with the child. The basis for this argument is that usually, a child will start missing a parent/parents and vice versa if they have not been in contact for more than a week (7 days). So for me, this "missing each other" period is the benchmark for knowing when parties have not been in contact for a considerable length of time. Naturally, when either the parent or the child is missing the other, then the implication is that something is already lacking and which potentially affects the well-being of either party.
The third group of participants is children who grew up without parents. I intend to enlist children in foster care and who for one reason or another have not met their parents or entirely don't know who their parents possibly because they were separated at an early stage in life through death, separation or being given up for adoption. In other words, the third group comprises children/young adults who have not experienced any form of parental influence in their lives. Naturally, I cannot get test subjects and separate them from their children/parents for ethical reasons but believe the methodology adopted in this experiment will enable me to gain valuable insights into the importance of parent-child bonding.
The primary tool I will use to collect data in this experiment is the questionnaire. It will have structured questions that will mostly be answered in a Q&A format where respondents chose between predetermined answers. I will also enlist the help of behavior analysts to read the body languages of the participants and help in analyzing some of the answers that I will get from the respondents. The responses will then be evaluated and assessed by an independent group of behavior analysts and social scientists so that my perspectives and bias are not allowed to influence the analysis process. The questionnaire is attached in the appendix section. I will also conduct interviews for a sample of the respondents' population to get a better perspective on the issues related to parental presence or the lack of it notwithstanding.
I will visit the respondents while in their most natural environment. Thus the participants in the third group will be visited in foster care homes or holding centers for children. Participants in group I and II will take part right from the comfort of their homes.
The results obtained from this experiment will hopefully corroborate the findings of a growing body of evidence that have proved that parental presence and bonding is significant towards the growth and development of a well-rounded individual. However, the results obtained may be influenced by participants not willing to offer personal information that they feel makes them vulnerable or by respondents providing information that is not truthful or changing their minds about taking part in this experiment.
Part III: Socratic dialogue
The setting for this dialogue is a house somewhere in the U.S. where a middle-class Mexican-American family consisting of the father (Heho), mother (Amanda) and their two children (Amelia and Jose) are having dinner.
The scene I: (Heho's phone rings. He grabs it from his left breast pocket and answers)
Heho: Yes? Who is this? (Inaudible sounds from the phone as Heho nods and shakes his head intermittently)
Heho: (To Amanda) that was Ricci, Sergio's son. He's telling me his father has been arrested for being in the country illegally.
Amanda: (Looking doubtful) No! But Sergio is a good man who despite being an illegal immigrant is very hardworking, respectful and law-abiding... This is not good.
Heho: Serves him right anyway. I told him to apply for resident status, but he continually ignored. Maybe now he will listen.
Amanda: How can you say that about Sergio, your fellow countryman!? Were you not in his position some years back?
Heho: (sarcastically) yeah...yeah I know. You keep reminding me that all the time this issue of zero tolerance policy comes up. I support it by the way. It protects us from dangerous immigrants who come here to steal and loot our hard earned wealth. Plus they crowd the labor market with their cheap skills and push manufacturers to lower wages which is not good for the economy.
Amanda: That's not entirely true! Some immigrants come here with good education and get well-paying jobs in respectable sectors of our economy. Our family doctor is a Mexican migrant. Sarah's high school math teacher is Colombian, and Jose's best friend is Ecuadorian. These are all good people who mean well for this country. They work hard and pay their taxes just as other Americans do. How can you support the deportation of people who have done nothing wrong except to want the best for themselves and their families?
Heho: They contribute to the high crime rates we are having in the country today. They sell drugs to our children, rape our young girls, and still force us to pay taxes for their upkeep behind bars. Do you know that it costs the taxpayers close to $74 billion annually to run the prison systems?* Think of what that money can do somewhere else. Like in improving the education system or health care.
Amanda: Well, the majority of prisoners are Black Americans who were born here, not law-abiding immigrants like Sergio? In fact, 79.5% of inmates are Americans, not immigrants* and mark you; immigrants are not eligible for social welfare despite paying into it which to me seems like a raw deal.
Heho: Your point exactly?
Amanda: I think immigrants are over-blamed for things that are beyond their control. Job losses, decreasing wages, crime and drug use, should not wholly be blamed on them. They come here to look for a better life - just like you did 20 years ago. Look at you know - a prosperous American family man with a decent life. Why don't you want the same for others? I think the government should adopt a policy that differentiates good immigrants from bad ones and then deport the bad ones. Blanket condemnation of immigrants is not going to help the situation. We need to remember the core values of what it means to be human.
Heho: (sensing defeat) what about the rising crime rates, drug abuse, etc.?
Amanda: That's why we pay taxes so that the criminal justice system puts away the bad people. When crimes rates go up, it means law enforcement agencies and their cohorts are sleeping on their jobs. Even if all the immigrants were to be deported from this country, I still believe we will have criminals around. Countries like Germany, Britain, France, and Spain have their fair share of immigrants but with significantly lower crime rates because their systems are working. Blaming immigrants for all the wrong things happening in our country is like blaming the students for a school's poor performance. What about the teachers?
Heho: I am just saying immigrants are sometimes responsible and that they should be checked more before being allowed into the country...that's all.
Amanda: Absolutely. The government should implement tighter screening processes to weed out potential troublemakers but which is functional enough to identify people with valid reasons to come into the country. After all, America is regarded as a nation of immigrants. Our forefathers and ancestors came from Europe during the 15th and 16th centuries in search of better lives. We cannot stop others from doing the same today.
Heho: Yes, I think unwarranted bias and prejudice guided my earlier stand on this issue. I did not see the bigger picture. People should be given a chance to make their lives what they want them to be. Undoubtedly, some immigrants come here to rebuild their lives that have been torn apart by conflicts, natural calamities, and wars. I think it is fair to give such people an opportunity to have another go at life.
Amanda: That's the way to go, my love. Xenophobia prevents us from realizing what we can achieve when we embrace diversity instead of shunning it. Cultural tolerance makes us more unified. Remember also that we cannot exist in peace if the world around us is falling to pieces. We need each other.
Heho: True that. (Heho and Amanda leave the dinner table).
Part IV: Analysis
The Socratic dialogue between Heho and his wife Amanda depicts a real issue that is at the heart of concerns troubling most Americans today - immigrants. The society is deeply divided as to whether the current zero-tolerance policy will help address an issue that has been festering on the periphery and which now seems to have been brought to the fore under the Trump administration. During his presidential campaigns, Donald Trump made it an open secret that he will revise immigration laws especially to deport illegal immigrants from the country. The ruthless implementation of the zero-tolerance policy is precisely what he was talking about. However, the side effects of this policy are already being seen as families are being separated and children being sent to live with relatives or in foster care.
Thus, the conversation between Amanda and her husband reveals their deep-seated opinions about the issue - Amanda feels that the stance taken by the government does more harm than good while Heho believes the government's actions are justified. One of the things that stand out in this conversation is the use of factual information. Both parties are very conversant with the issue at hand and present statistical evidence to support their arguments. This is an important rhetorical device (ethos) because it adds value to the information other readers can glean from the conversation (Kennedy 145). For example, the readers now know that the higher percentages of prisoners in state and federal correctional facilities are Americans and not immigrants.
Secondly, Amanda can be credited with expertly executing the rhetorical art of kairos. In literature, seizing up an opportunity to use another person's argument and using it against them is referred to as kairos (Kennedy 144). In this conversation, Amanda counters each point brought forward by Heho by adding more details which furthers her argument and not Heho's. For instance, when Heho says that immigrants contribute to high levels of crime, Amanda interjects stating that the majority of inmates in prisons in the U.S. are Americans and not immigrants.
Third, Amanda uses the example of her husband to drive one of her arguments home. She tells him that if it were not for lax immigration laws when he migrated to America some 20 years back, he might not have enjoyed the success that he was currently enjoying. In literature, this aspect of arguing is known as martyria in which a speaker uses his/her own experience to prove a point (Kennedy 139). One can say that Heho's experience does not apply for Amanda but if it is taken in the context that she can use the same argument when talking to another person about the same issue and that at that moment the Heho experience will be unique to her thus making it her experience.
In fact, Amanda's illumination of Heho's own experience also brings about the paradox that readers can identify with the situation. Heho is an immigrant who migrated to the U.S. 20 years ago, settled down and made a life for himself. However, he supports the deportation of illegal immigrants because he believes they are responsible for the numerous challenges Americans are facing. He forgets that 20 years ago he was in the same position as most of the illegal immigrants being deported by the Trump administration. Amanda thus makes a good move in reminding him that he was once an immigrant. Readers can then see the paradox in the whole situation when Amanda, who is a bona fide American citizen, stands against the deportation of illegal immigrants while Heho who was once an immigrant no longer sees the value of having applicable immigration laws.
This conversation also has an aspect of climax (Kennedy 140). This is evident when Heho finally sees the whole immigrant-immigration debacle from an objective point of view rather than his initial subjective view. Nevertheless, it is instrumental to note that objectivity or subjectivity cannot be rationalized from the premise that a party supporting a ‘worthy' cause is objective and the party opposing it as subjective. The converse can also apply especially when the topic is about euthanasia or abortion, to mention a few ‘hot' topics. But when Heho turns around and drops his hardline stance on immigrants and adopts Amanda's more logical and nuanced approach to the issue, the conversation can be judged to have reached its climax - the primary objective of the whole process has been achieved.
“Attorney General Announces Zero-Tolerance Policy For Criminal Illegal Entry.” The United States Department of Justice. 19 June 2018. 1 August 2018 www.justice.gov/opa/pr/attorney-general-announces-zero-tolerance-policy-...
“Inmate Citizenship.” Federal Bureau of Prisons. 30 June 2018. 1 August 2018 https://www.bop.gov/about/statistics/statistics_inmate_citizenship.jsp
Jackson, Kerry. Why Is Liberal California The Poverty Capital Of America? The Los Angeles Times, 14 January 2018. 1 August 2018 www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-jackson-california-poverty-20180114-...
Kennedy, Mary, M. "Defining a Literature." Educational Researcher (2007): 139-147.
Maximo, Sally, and Jennifer Carranza. "Parental Attachment and Love Language as Determinants of Resilience among Graduating University Students." SAGE Journals, (2016): 15-28. https://doi.org/10.1177/2158244015622800.
Perry, B.D. "Traumatized Children: How Childhood Trauma Influences Brain Development." California Alliance of the Mentally Ill 11 (2000): 48-51.
Rizzo, Salvador. “The Facts about Trump’s Policy of Separating Families at The Border." 19 June 2018. The Washington Post. 1 August 2018 www.washingtonpost.com/news/fact-checker/wp/2018/06/19/the-facts-about-t...
Winston, Robert, and Rebecca Chicot. “The Importance of Early Bonding on the Long-Term Mental Health and Resilience of Children." London Journal of Primary Care. Vol. 8 no. 1 (2016): 12-14.
Each election year. The proposed candidates always comment on the economy and what they can do to make it better. Interestingly however, the president has no power to influence the economy. For there to be significant changes in the economy, there are a number of factors that must come into play; infrastructure development, oil prices, the rate of unemployment among others (Kahler Financial Group, 2016).
Notably, a president can influence how these areas perform by passing new laws that are geared towards improving the situation (Kahler Financial Group, 2016). However, he cannot do this without the support of Congress. Sadly, Congress nowadays appears gridlocked on multiple issues that affect the American economy and this makes it hard to pass any laws that will have significant impact on the economy. The result is a president is unable to make significant changes in the country and therefore secure a greater chance of economic growth (Kahler Financial Group, 2016).
The American people always want a leader who they believe will improve the economy and they feel that this is possible if the president has the right policies in place. Looking at the democrat president nominee, Hillary Clinton, focus is on her policy to change workers leave so that paid family leave can be the norm. A commitment to reduce the rate of inflation is also well received by the masses because it means that people will have more money to spend and this is always regarded as a sign that the economy is growing (Kahler Financial Group, 2016). Donald Trump, the Republican President nominee has made it clear that his priorities, should he become president would be trade and immigration policies.
However, his execution of these policies may do more harm than good. Considering that a majority of the US workforce is supported by immigrants, policies that would limit their access to the country may lead to an international trade war which may do more harm than good for the economy (Kahler Financial Group, 2016). It could result in the loss of many jobs and when this happens the public generally loses confidence in the administration.
The naked truth is that economic policies have a huge impact on the outcome of an election. Americans want to have a leader whom they feel will help improve the situation for them as far as their earnings go and quality of life they have (Tuttle, 2016). These are the core areas that influence which presidential candidate they support. However, it is also clear that the American president has no power over the economy because its performance is determined by factors that are beyond the president’s control such as an increase in oil prices.
However, when a president decides to declare war on another country, it has a ripple effect on the economy because the amount of money that is allocated for the military increases which makes other sectors suffer deficits and may also affect international oil prices which in turn affect the economy (Tuttle, 2016). So a president can influence how the economy performs but their influence is greatly limited.
Kahler Financial Group. (2016, October 10). President's Influence on US Economy is Limited.
Tuttle, B. (2016, October 21). 8 Surprising Economic Effects of the 2016 U.S. Presidential Campaign.
This article looks at the personality of one of the most iconic figures in American history – President Barack Obama. It illuminates how Obama’s personality influenced his decision-making processes and tries to link the relationship between a leader’s personality and his management style.
President Barack Obama
Barack Obama captured the imagination of a nation by being the first African-American to be elected president of the United States of America. Before his historic election to the most powerful office in the land, he was a little-known junior senator from Illinois, Chicago.
Obama’s character traits are almost hard to enumerate. At one point in life, he was considered the most popular man alive and his approval ratings justified those assertions. The first thing that strikes a person about the personality of Barrack Obama is his charisma. This is one of the major strong points that really pulled people to him. His charm and eloquence put him on a pedestal only revered figures like Martin Luther king Jr (Akrani, 2011).
Obama is depicted as a very intelligent and ambitious man. Indeed, the ambition can be seen in his belief that he could make it to the white house knowing very well that no African American had ever risen to such status. The fact that he could infuse this belief in the hearts and minds of his fellow Americans testifies to another aspect of his personality trait – that of being a visionary leader. Visionary leaders have the ability to inspire crowds with somewhat relative ease. During his campaign period, Obama’s rallying call was “Yes We Can” a phrase that today has been etched in immortality because of the impact it had on the American peoples’ psyche. This was a call that brought together the young and the old, men and women, black and white and all came out for one purpose and that was to heed to the clarion call of a man that had managed to become a symbol of hope for millions of Americans (Akrani, 2011).
To say that Obama had a good campaign team might be taking too much credit from the man that he really is. The system that elected Obama was a system that could be described as myopic in that the two - now looked at as different entities –fed on the strength of each other. Obama seemed to be inspired by the aggressiveness of his, team which also, in turn, derived motivation from seeing their candidate continue to defy odds and make progress towards attaining what was probably going to be one of the historic occasions in the recent American history (Ambur, 2000).
Obama is also aptly described as a cautious yet decisive leader. In the aftermath of the hunt and eventual killing of Osama bin Laden, it is said that the President had a team of experts ponder over all possible avenues that could be used to capture the terrorist. He knew that the most logical method would have been to use precision guided missile bombs to blow up the terrorist he figured that route had many loopholes that could be exploited depending on the outcome of the situation. In the end, a group of SEAL team was assembled and given specific instructions on how the mission was to be executed in what has become to be regarded as one of the most secretive missions that ever took place during his presidency. The other reason why this decision to send soldiers to Afghanistan was because in the event that precision missiles were used, there would be no evidence that Osama had actually been killed. This could have given Al Qaeda operatives the fodder to propagate propaganda on how the Americans tried to capture Osama and failed. On the other hand, sending American soldiers to a foreign land in the cover of dark presented its own challenges. There were possibilities that the mission could be compromised and the soldiers captured by the terrorists. This would have led to a public outcry that could have dented Obama’s re-election bid in a big way. So I think for him to have gone through these kinds of thoughts and come up with a decision to send the soldiers shows us the kind of man he was. He was a man who had the courage to make hard decisions and be ready to live with the consequences. It would be of note to recall that the capture and subsequent killing of Osama occurred when Obama was due for re-election and therefore all factors considered, he decided that he was going to do what commanders-in-chief do when faced with possibly life changing situations (Merry, 2014).
An event that probably changed Obama’s destiny and shaped his political career’s trajectory, perhaps, was when he visited Kenya as a junior senator. The love and admiration he received from the country men of his father’s land did something that reverberated back in his own country. Obama was received like a sitting president in what major news outlets came to describe later as the beginning of his political career. It was immediately after that trip that on returning back to the United States, a news reporter famously asked the junior senator if his reception in Kenya had maybe given him ideas that one day he could run for the American presidency. At that time it seemed like a far-fetched idea but with subsequent pressure from friends and workmates, it seemed as if the fire had already been lit in him. Eventually, when the Democrats held their nominations it wasn’t a surprise that the junior senator had received the nomination of one of the biggest parties in the United States.
From this perspective, it can be seen how a seemingly unintended event in a country far away from his Obama received impetus to dare to dream.
The other factor that may have contributed to the rise to the top for one of the most liked men in the world was his background. Obama was raised by a single mother after his Kenyan father left them. Growing up, he was mainly brought up by the maternal grandmother in Hawaii. The story brought to the fore Obama’s humble upbringing. This fact led to many to believe that indeed America was the land of opportunities and that everybody’s dreams were valid in this country. The fact that a boy raised by his grandmother and who went through life like any other normal kid was suddenly thrust into the national limelight from where he could go on and become the most powerful man on earth just seemed to defy conventional logic. In most cases, I think, people looked at Obama’s case with mixed trepidation.
John French and Bertram H Raven opine that power can be classified into five categories or bases as they referred to it. These are:
a) Referent power – which is power acquired by a person because of is personality or charisma. In essence, it is also referred to as charismatic power or personality power. This is the type of power that comes from each individual personally. It is the power to be able to have many followers and who are typically attracted to such leaders due to their charming personalities. Examples of leaders with these kind of power included Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr. In my opinion; I think President Obama qualifies to be labeled as someone who has referent power.
b) Legitimate power – this type of power is also known as positional power because it comes by virtue of the position one holds within an organization or institution. For example, a manager has legitimate power because, by virtue of his position of being a manager he can hire and fire people or reward and punish people. This type of power basically gives him/her the power over an organization’s resources.
c)Expert power – is subject to how much someone knows in his line of profession. This is the type of power that is dependent on the knowledge level and skills that a person possesses and which other people are in need of. For example, doctors and engineers are persons who possess expert power simply because they have knowledge that other people are constantly in need of.
d) Coercive power – this is when a person in authority uses threats and intimidation to get something done by another person most likely in an inferior position. A manager can threaten a worker with dismissal or with the possibility of pay-cut for any reason that he might feel justifies his threats. It is regarded as a short-term use of power because in the long run it breeds contempt and creates a negative impact on people it is exercised upon.
e) Reward power – which is basically the opposite of coercive power. What this does is that it promises to reward someone with incentives e.g. a pay rise a bonus etc. in recognition of their service (Akrani, 2011).
Barack Obama is clearly a leader that can be identified as having several bases of power. To start with, he is obviously a referent leader if his popularity and fame is anything to go by. He enjoys an almost cult-like following and has millions of fans all over the world. He is charismatic and has an infectious personality that draws people to him effortlessly
In terms of having legitimate power, I think that by being the President of the United States bestows upon him this type of power, in essence, he is like the Chief Operating Officer of a big organization, which in this case is a country. As the CEO, he obviously has the power to control the resources of the state and probably hire and fire people .so this actually does qualify him to be seen as exercising legitimate power.
Constitutionally, there are certain requirements that are required of a person if they want to run for the office of the President. It is not stated whether having an in-depth knowledge in some field is actually mandatory but a general level of education is ,of course, required that can facilitate a proper understanding and running the affairs of Head of State. In this regard, I don’t view Barrack Obama as having this type of power simply because, by definition, he should be an expert in a certain field. This field must have a minority few members and their knowledge and experience should be needed by the people. It is debatable if the knowledge and skills that president Obama has is very much needed by the American people, but we can argue that for the sake of national unity, his safety and well-being is as much a concern for every member of the community as it is for those who are tasked with the responsibility of looking after the President.
Coercive power and reward power – it is untenable for a president to be in a position of having to use threats in order to get something done. Similarly, for a president to be reduced to having to use the promise of rewards in order to get a message across is also an awkward position. This however should not be taken to mean that the president is devoid of these powers. What we recognize here is that the very application of these powers by a president just seems impractical and out of place. There are proper channels that will be followed to communicate a presidential order or decree and might not necessarily be accompanied by either the possibility of rewards or threats (Akrani, 2011).
It can be argued that president Obama has used several bases of power in his capacity as president on numerous occasions. When he was running for re-election, he like any other politician held rallies and addressed people. He basically used his referent power to speak to people oh his desire to get re-elected and he did. I think it is a point worth mentioning that re-election is not an automatic foregone conclusion as we have seen one0term presidents in the history of the united states and therefore for Obama to seek re-election and get it especially at a time when his popularity had actually taken a hit seems to justify the idea that indeed he exercised his referent power persuade people and get him re-elected (Barack Obama for Re-election, 2012).
Obama demonstrated his use of the power of legitimacy when he instituted the Obama care reforms that he has become so well known for. This was s scheme that was aimed at offering affordable health care to American citizens. Though he received criticism and Republicans made it appoint to fight the scheme, he stood up for his belief and sought support all over the country to get the scheme to be implemented and to get approval in both houses of parliament (Views of Obama; Personal Traits; Historical Legacy, 2015).
Of course, when he sanctioned the mission that led to the capture and killing of Osama bin Laden he displayed his legitimacy power considering that nobody else could have sanctioned such a mission. This is also evidence of his ability to practice legitimate power.
Fiedler's contingency theory states that “effective leadership depends not only on the style of leading but also on the control over a situation. Barack Obama can be said to have had a unique style of leadership and also displayed considerable control over most situation that his administration faced. The contingency theory is also viewed on the basis of how much is the leadership involved in team work and in general how the leadership is interactive with all levels of management. This theory ties a leader’s ability to lead on key issues mostly tied to his personality and psychological disposition.in the preceding paragraphs, we have analyzed the various situations that lead to Obama use of power. In all these cases, we have analyzed the pros and cons of the measures that were taken at the moment and why it was necessary to take those measures. We have evaluated the whole personality of the person of Barrack Obama and investigated how his personality has affected his decision-making process.
Once a leader is in a position of power, then it really matters not what situations he/she is faced with in his/her daily work routine. The bottom line is that sometimes tough decisions are going to be made and the person responsible for calling those shorts is ultimately the one in the higher authority (Fiedler's Contingency Theory, 2016).
Akrani, G. (2011). Five Bases of Power. Kalyan City Life.
Amadeo, K. (2017, January 30). What Has Obama Done? 11 Major Accomplishments. Retrieved from U.S. Economy : https://www.thebalance.com
Ambur, O. (2000). Reconsidering the Higher-Order Legitimacy of French and Raven's Bases of Social Power in the Information Age.
Barack Obama for Re-election. (2012, Oct 22). The Newyork Times; Sunday Review. Retrieved from http://www.nytimes.com
Fiedler's Contingency Theory. (2016). Retrieved from Leadership-Central.com: http://www.leadership-central.com
Goodman, T. (2016 , November 28). Here’s Why A Federal Judge Ruled Obama’s Labor Department ‘Exceeds Its Delegated Authority’. Retrieved from The Dailycaller News Foundation: http://dailycaller.com
Merry, R. W. (2014). The Psychology of Barack Obama. The National Interest.
Views of Obama; Personal Traits; Historical Legacy. (2015, January 14). Retrieved from Pew Research Center: http://www.people-press.org
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