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The role of political culture in the USA

Political culture is very important as it gives the power of voice to everyday citizens. Daniel Elazar made a realization that the United States could be categorized into three different political cultures. These categories are Moralistic, Traditionalistic and Individualistic. These cultures were originally formed by the immigrants that settled in different areas throughout the states. Which brought a numerous amount of different cultures, morals, and values to the political perspective. These classifications have a different role when showing the voices of both the government and citizens. Daniel Elazar has classified Texas’s political culture as Individualistic and Traditionalistic.

Individualistic culture sees the government as a tool to use the system to better one’s own needs rather than the communities. Citizens in the individualistic culture engage in politics to further their own self-interests. “Everyone fend for themselves”, would initially be the phrase they go by. Furthermore, Elazar’s point shows that people in this culture do not care about the better good and can be referred to as dirty business. The moralistic political culture believes that by engaging the community, it will show the result of a better-governed environment. The governments’ role, in this case, is to provide for the better good. While the citizen’s role is to engage in civic affairs. Finally, Traditionalistic cultures are designed to reserve special benefits to the elite and the wealthy. In simpler terms, it can be seen as a country club. Only the wealthy can get in and it’s the wealthy that compete with each other for power. The government’s role in this is to maintain that status quo. The people apart from this community have a say in what should be reinforced. In short, Elazar recognized these political cultures and has characterized them by the certain traits they portray.

Obviously, these political cultures are all different from each other in a number of ways. Besides the certain traits they have, there is a dominant view in every one of them. This includes the governments and the citizen’s point of view. When talking about the Individualistic political culture it is easy to see that the dominant view of the governments is limited. This because they need to keep the marketplace functioning. For citizens, they don’t get much out of this culture. Primarily because the main role is to gain that title. It helps ones own self instead of groups. On the other hand, Moralistic political culture has an equilibrium when it comes the dominant views of both the government and citizens views. Since this culture is focused on the citizens engaging in civic affairs, it increases the chances of the community actually bettering each other rather than focusing on one’s self. The government appreciates the role in which the citizens take because it improves the benefits of being in this culture. More or less, this community is more likely to prosper when it comes to being morally fair. Divergently, citizens in a traditionalistic political culture cannot always say they have the correct fair share of the title. All in all, there is a dominant view in each culture regarding the government and the citizens.

According to Elezar, Texas contains Traditionalistic and Individualistic political culture. When it comes to individualistic culture, Texas has been known to be apart of this since it’s history of being in the western frontier. Self-reliance, individualism, and its characteristics have been apart of Texas” culture for a while. Limited government and a strong act on private property are the main contributors to this certain culture. Furthermore, due to Texas” history of slavery and the patron system, Texas also involves itself in Traditionalistic culture. Public opinions play a huge role as they are the fiscal points that are dominantly viewed in the state. Texas is known to have more faith in individualistic culture and opposes to being apart of a big government. This is also a major reason why it’s called the Lone Star State. Overall, the result of these two cultures has formed Texas the way it is today and proves that we are apart of a more conservative state.

Obviously, political culture is a huge part of America. It has been formed by our history of immigrants and Daniel Elazar was quick to notice the pattern showing these different cultures characters. Individualistic, Moralistic and Traditionalistic are three main political cultures. Individualistic tends to focus on one’s own needs and expects the government to compensate for all of it. Moralistic focuses on the balance of having citizens take part in government decisions while Traditionalistic tends to only care about the wealthy and their own societal needs. These three play a big role as it shows the different cultures beliefs and how they’ve formed into Today’s society. Elazar believes that Texas” political culture is a combination of traditionalistic and individualistic. In which it comes from Texas” history as well as Today’s societal views. In short, political culture shows how states handle the same problems but in different matters.

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