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I consider my American Government course a success if my students come to some understanding of the real meaning of "politics." Following Aristotle, I urge my students to understand Political Science as the architectonic science, or the master science, because its end, the good for human beings, individually and collectively, involves the directing of public affairs and the education of citizens. Politics, the art of governing humans and the science of human affairs, necessarily involves questions and opinions of good and bad, just and unjust, right and wrong. Stressing such “value-laden” concepts, I stress that politics begins with opinion. Our second week’s discussion forum, for example, treats the central tenet of what Lincoln considered to be our regime’s founding document, The Declaration of Independence. I ask: “Is it true that all humans are created equal?” This sets the tone of open dialogue, of questioning one’s own presumptions and, in the online forum... read more

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