According to Barbour and Wright, bureaucracies are often the only meeting ground for citizens and politics because theyA. Must maintain public support in order to succeedB. Are often the only...

According to Barbour and Wright, bureaucracies are often the only meeting ground for citizens and politics because they
A. Must maintain public support in order to succeed
B. Are often the only contact citizens have with government
C. Were set up to check the executive branch and protect citizens’ rights
D. Often make law through bureaucratic legislation
E. Dominate decision making in the federal government

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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The correct answer to this question is Option B.  We can see that Option B is the best answer because A) that answer is given on p. 255 of Barbour and Wright’s book Keeping the Republic (5th Brief Edition) and B) the answer makes sense.

On p. 255 of the book, Barbour and Wright say that

bureaucracy, in fact, is often the only grounds on which citizens and politics meet, the only contact many Americans have with government

other than those few times that they go and vote.  This clearly shows that B is meant to be the correct answer.

This answer also makes sense when you think about it.  Most citizens of the United States will never interact with the people who represent them in Congress, in the state legislature, or even on their city council.  Most of them will never meet the governor of their state or even the mayor of their town.  There is simply no common way for ordinary citizens to interact with the elected branches of the government.

By contrast, citizens interact with the bureaucracy fairly often.  When you get your driver’s license or sign your child up for school, you interact with the bureaucracy.  When you move to a new house and have the utilities switched to your account, you interact with the bureaucracy (in areas where utilities are provided by the government).  When you get a library card, you interact with the bureaucracy.  In all of these ways, we Americans are much more likely to interact with the bureaucracy than with any other part of the government.

For these two reasons, Option B is the best answer.

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