How the U.S. Government Works & How to Get Involved | GeorgetownX on edX

How the U.S. Government Works & How to Get Involved | GeorgetownX on edX

KELLY OTTER: Hi, I’m Kelly Otter,
Dean of the School of Continuing Studies at Georgetown University. I’m coming to you from the seat of
the US government in Washington, DC. You don’t need to be here
in Washington to feel affected by political developments
unfolding on a daily basis. The 24/7 news cycle and
digital media revolution have brought beltway
politics to Main Street. Amid the noise of political reporting,
we often hear terms and remarks about the structure and processes
of our representative democracy that take us back to a college course,
or even a high school civics class. For most of us, these turns of phrase
don’t enter our daily vocabulary. But understanding the fundamentals
of our government system, from the distinct roles of our
three branches of government, to the influence of the US
abroad through foreign policy, to the operations of political
parties and interest groups, is important to our
informed participation. Indeed, there are few things more sacred
than the rights and responsibilities, both afforded to us and asked
of us, by our democracy. As our history has
proven time and again, informed and engaged
citizens who are committed to enacting positive social change are
essential for preserving and enhancing this system. That’s why we’re pleased to offer this
course on how the US government works and how to get involved. In this six-module course,
you’ll hear from experts from Georgetown University, who
will explain the essential functions of government and what you
need to know to get involved and to make a difference. While making your way
through the course, I invite you to reflect
on the concepts and how you may use your understanding of
our government and political system to become a more active
and engaged citizen. I hope that you will feel
educated, inspired, and empowered. With this knowledge also comes the
responsibility to educate others and to be an advocate
for your community. If we all commit to doing so, we can
create a future for American democracy that is more inclusive,
more compassionate, and more inspirational for generations to come. Please enjoy the course.

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