Nevada Politics & Government: Conservatism in an Open Society

Nevada Politics & Government: Conservatism in an Open Society

Nevada Politics & Government: Conservatism in an Open Society

Nevada Politics & Government: Conservatism in an Open Society

Synopsis

Nevada's highly individualistic political culture has produced a conservative political philosophy in an open society. Economic developments resulting from mining and gambling reinforced and heightened the individualistic ethic that many early settlers brought to the frontier state. This ethic is also evident in the opposition of most Nevadans to big government, big labor, and big business. Belief in limited government partially explains the apparent anomaly of the electorate's backing a pro-choice position on abortion while opposing the Equal Rights Amendment. The book discusses the important roles played by Nevada's present U.S. senators in two of the state's ongoing controversies with the federal government: the longstanding water rights dispute between Native Americans, backed by the federal government, and Nevada's ranchers; and the decade-long fight against the establishment of the nation's first permanent nuclear waste depository at Yucca Mountain.

Excerpt

The purpose of this series is to provide informative and interesting books on the politics and governments of the fifty American states, books that are of value not only to the student of government but also to the general citizens who want greater insight into the past and present civic life of their own states and of other states in the federal union. The role of the states in governing America is among the least well known of all the 85,006 governments in the United States. The national media focus attention on the federal government in Washington dc and local media focus attention on local government. Meanwhile, except when there is a scandal or a proposed tax increase, the workings of state government remain something of a mystery to many citizens—out of sight, out of mind.

In many respects, however, the states have been, and continue to be, the most important governments in the American political system. They are the main building blocks and chief organizing governments of the whole system. The states are the constituent governments of the federal union, and it is through the states that citizens gain representation in the national government. The national government is one of limited, delegated powers; all other powers are possessed by the states and their citizens. At the same time, the states are the empowering governments for the nation's 84,955 local governments—counties, municipalities, townships, school districts, and special districts. As such, states provide for one of the most essential and ancient elements of freedom and democracy, the right of local self-government.

Although, for many citizens, the most visible aspects of state government are state universities, some of which are the most prestigious in the world, and state highway patrol officers, with their radar guns and handy ticket books, state governments provide for nearly all domestic public services.

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