authority, democracy, monarchy

authority, laws, balance

authority, power, influence

authority, regulations, power

Big brother, burdensome, bureaucracy, inefficient. necessary.

cabinet, power, laws

capitol, money, power

control, terrorism, the people

controlling, unfocused, flawed

corruption, democracy, bureaucracy

democracy, laws, Supreme Court

dictatorship, democracy, monarchy

establishment, corrupt, wealth, business

flawed but necessary

Liberal, Conservative, Congress


necessary, incredibly flawed, democracy, president

order, protection, authority

organization, system, branches,

politics, ineffective, Republicans

president, congress, in charge

strong, cooperative

Washington, Capitol Hill, taxes

change, satisfaction de tous, politique, ministres, grèves

de gauche, de droite, du milieu


lois, impôts, élections,


ministre, décision, réunion

ordre, pouvoir, politique,

pouvoir, responsabilité, décision

professionnels, autorité, corruption

puissance, représentativité, action, réformes

représentatif, vote, lointain, démagogie, immobilisme

violent, inefficace


I find it interesting that the American list has more words with negative connotations than the French list does. For everyone: Why do you think that is?

Je suis plutôt surpris ! je pensais vraiment que les américains soutenaient leurs représentants avec beaucoup de conviction, meme s'ils n'avaient pas voté pour eux initialement. Et pourtant en France personne n'est jamais content des politiques : il y a souvent des "scandales" (détournements de fonds, actions au privilège d'amis ou de la famille des politiciens) imiscés par de la concurrence entre hommes politiques. Vraiment beaucoup de gens ont pour idée que les hommes politiques "c'est tous des pourris". Et par ailleurs on n'est généralement peu en accord avec les mesures prises par les différents gouvernements. (quand la droite décide d'une mesure, les gens de droite vont penser qu'elle est trop de gauche et ceux de gauche qu'elle est trop de droite, et réciproquement)

Amanda (ou quelqu'un d'autre !), quelle est l'opinion des américains vis à vis de leurs politiciens ? Y a t'il des affaires de corruption, ... ?

Well currently approval ratings are at an all time low for the Bush administration. Very few people are content with the American government because of the war in Iraq, the failing economy, the visible corruption of businesses and politicans, and the failure of the government to aid cities that have been devastated by natural disasters such as Hurricaine Katrina. In the last Senate and House elections, the American public voted for a predominately Democratic House and Senate. This reflects the loss of confidence in the current Republican administration. In answer to your question about corruption Thomas, American don't tolerate it. In fact, they hate it. For example, we impeached President Clinton because he lied to the public about his affair with a woman. Furthermore, several notable politicans are currently being investigated for potential crimes. How can the French be so unhappy with their politics? Is it healthy to never be satisifed with your government? How does the public respond when scandals surface?

I am not sure I completely agree with you Daphne. The American public was outraged about the Clinton scandal, but we have to wonder why. Tthe Monica Lewinsky Scandal was only uncovered as a result of conservative investigations into the Clinton's potential involvement in real estate fraud. I believe the investigation was called "Whitewater." Anyway, I think more often than not, investigations into political scandals are an attempt by one party to discredit the other. I think this is why the American list is so much more negative. American politics is so dominated by partisanship. I think Barack Obama had a nice way to put the cause of American's disillusionment with the government right now. He said that it is not "the magnitude of our problems, but the smallness of our poitics." Everyone seems so concerned with how to cut down the other party, that they almost forget how to work together to form solutions. I also thinkt that it is healthy for the French to be constantly critical of their government. The whole purpose of a democratic or socialist system is to encourage critisism of the government. If citizens are always satisfied with the way that their government is run, then they have no incentive to take part in their democracy and effect positive change.

An interesting aspect of American politics is that while there always seems to be an air of discontent, it seems the citizenry is not free of blame for this. For example, I believe the statistic is that only about half of the eligible population votes in major elections (and even less in other elections). Myself, I am largely apathetic when it comes to politics; I may not necessarily be in favor of all of our president's initiatives, but at the same time I haven't been compelled to take action (for example I am of voting age but don't do so). Based on our previous discussion regarding "Letter of America", one may demand how I can be aware of the horrible things going on in the world and not take action through domestic politics. The problem for me, as I imagine it is for other individuals like myself at the lowest level of political involvement, is that I don't feel my small effort (by voting, persay) would make any significant impact on the macroscopic level. If I wanted to enact a change in the world, I'd rather go about this via other means, perhaps later in life engaging in an international service project or something similar. Politics is a complicated entity, which in fact sometimes seems to take a life of its own, and the power of individuals is questionable.