English: Reading Comprehension Set 39

Directions: Read the following passage and answer the questions that follows.

LOSING THE PRESIDENCY in 2016 to someone most Democratic activists consider unfit for the office even on a good day was terrifying, because it suggested they did not understand the country they aspired to govern. It was also a little exciting. Ever since the Reagan revolution, Democrats have had a sickening feeling that their core idea about government is unsellable. “I’m from the government and I’m here to help” still sounds comforting to many of them, but they suspect they are not allowed to say it. The lessons of Bill Clinton’s victory in 1992 and the backlash against Barack Obama’s attempts to fix health care seemed to be that the country is as hostile to big government as ever. Then Donald Trump ran, without making any of the usual conservative promises to starve the beast, and won. Before 2016 liberals thought they were fighting an idea. Now, it seemed, they were fighting a man. Perhaps the old rules no longer applied.
The sense of possibility that came with this has been a tequila shot for those trying to push the Democratic Party leftwards. One prominent effort to do so is being masterminded from the top floor of an art-deco building in downtown San Francisco. This is where Tom Steyer oversees NextGen America, which he calls the largest grassroots political organisation in the country. Mr Steyer, a former fund manager, and his wife have given $30m to Democratic and liberal causes in this election cycle according to the Centre for Responsive Politics, making them the most generous political donors in the country. But Mr Steyer has a fractious relationship with the Democratic Party’s leadership, which he views as weak-kneed. He funded an advertising campaign that called for impeachment of the president. Party grandees hated it. Mr Steyer thought this hypocritical. “Every Democratic politician thinks Donald Trump has met the standard for impeachment, they just can’t say it,” he says. “Telling the truth and standing up for our values is important in and of itself.”
Doing so, Mr Steyer believes, is also good politics. The Democratic leadership tends to divide candidates into centrists, who can win in marginal districts, and lefties, who are fine in safe seats but will lose otherwise winnable ones. This makes intuitive sense, but it is an idea that political scientists have found hard to stand up. The “median-voter theorem” once held that the party that hews closest to the views of the median voter usually wins. It was taught to this generation of academics as akin to the law of gravity, but has since become the political-science equivalent of believing Earth to be flat. When politics is so polarised, people no longer cluster in the ideological middle. And besides, the belief that voters are calculating machines who carefully weigh policies before opting for whoever offers them the best deal, is hard to sustain. That strengthens the arguments of those pushing for boldness. “The idea that there is a trade-off between pleasing the base and winning is completely false,” says Mr Steyer. “Turnout in elections is pathetic; the strategy of trying to talk to both sides simply doesn’t work.”
Almost all Democratic candidates now favour raising the minimum wage and also endorse universal health care and criminal-justice reform. The disagreement is over how to get there. Lee Drutman looked at the division between Clinton and Sanders supporters in the Democratic primary of 2016 for the Democracy Fund, a bipartisan foundation, and found few disagreements on policy, except for a slight difference over the benefits of foreign trade. Larry Bartels of Vanderbilt University concurs. The notion that Clinton and Sanders supporters were divided by ideology, he writes, is starkly contradicted by statistical analysis.
Within activist circles, though, this division is real. What might look to outsiders like small policy differences reveal a larger philosophical difference. Candidates who favour incremental changes are signalling that they are basically happy with the country as it is, says Karthik Ganapathy of MoveOn, one of the largest pressure groups on the left. More uncompromising candidates are signalling that they know that something is fundamentally wrong with American society, he says. Thus differences over whether the federal government should offer a public health-insurance option or introduce a single-payer system can become litmus tests for the party’s progressive wing.

Democratic senators have recently proposed plans for universal single-payer health care, free college tuition, a national $15 minimum wage and a federal jobs guarantee for those unable to find employment. This last measure alone could increase the federal government’s payroll tenfold. The senators usually spoken of as contenders for the party’s presidential nomination in 2020—Kamala Harris, Cory Booker, Elizabeth Warren, Kirsten Gillibrand, Bernie Sanders—have all endorsed some or part of this. Twenty years ago a Democratic president declared that the era of big government was over. Now it seems to be back.
Contrary to popular belief, there is some evidence for the idea that Americans might quite like some more government. Another consistent finding in political science is that voters are ideological conservatives but operational liberals. Small government is more popular than big government in theory, but voters do not like spending cuts. “The public mostly agrees with the Republicans in philosophical terms and with the Democrats in policy terms,” write David Hopkins and Matt Grossmann in “Asymmetric Politics”, the best recent book about how the two parties became what they are. This is not just an unwillingness to choose between two good things. Even when voters are told that spending will require higher taxes or budget deficits they still want it, according to Messrs Grossmann and Hopkins. A survey taken a year after Mr Trump won found that 55% of Republicans thought government should make sure everyone has access to good health care and 60% of Republicans thought the government should provide a decent standard of living for those unable to work. Perhaps, these numbers suggest, Democrats are not so out-of-tune with the country after all.

  1. Why the country is hostile to big government?
    a. They have big names Only.
    b. They are not concerned about the Services which are given to Public.
    c. The govt. did not understand the country.

    Both a & b
    Both b & c
    Both c & a
    Only b
    All are correct
    Option B

     

  2. What, according to the passage is true about Tom Steyer?
    He is a former fund manager
    He has a peevish relationship with the Democratic Party’s leadership
    He tends to divide candidates into three wings.
    He funded an advertising campaign.
    All except C
    Option E

     

  3. What is “median-voter theorem”?
    a. The centrist wing and the leftist are under government control.
    b. The left wing is the determiner of the winning party.
    c. Party getting votes from at least two wings will be the winner.

    Both a & b
    Both b & c
    Both c & a
    Only c
    All are correct
    Option D

     

  4. What is the reason behind division of Clinton and Sanders supporters in 2016 for the Democracy Fund?
    a. The supported are funded by Democratic Activists.
    b. Sanders and Clinton’s supporters faced a religious turmoil
    c. Both the parties are not favouring all the needed reforms.

    Both a & b
    Both b & c
    Both c & a
    Only c
    All are correct
    Option D

     

  5. What, according to the passage, is wrong with American society?
    federal government is offering a public health-insurance option or introduce a single-payer system
    Uncompromising candidates knew that major parties are not concerned with the needed reforms.
    The increase in the federal government’s payroll tenfold
    Both a & b
    None of these
    Option B

     

  6. What is the most appropriate synonym of the word “payroll ” :
    apointee
    salary
    incumbment
    teleworker
    None of these
    Option B

     

  7. Why Democrats are not so out-of-tune with the country?
    Democratic candidates now favour raising the minimum wage.
    Democratic senators have recently proposed free college tuition.
    Democrats and Republicans, both put more emphasis on Heath-insurance policies.
    All of these
    None of these
    Option C

     

  8. What is the most appropriate antonym of the word “starkly “:
    austerely
    severly
    copiously
    sparely
    bluntly
    Option C

     

  9. What is the meaning of “spending cuts”?
    to balance the budget
    the act of reducing spending
    the act of reducing budget value
    Both b & c
    None of these
    Option B

     

  10. What is the most suitable title of the passage?
    Fork in the Road
    Financing Charitable work
    The remains of the Day
    Complex and Clever
    None of these
    Option A

     


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