“No one pretends that democracy is perfect or all-wise. Indeed, it has been said that democracy is the worst form of government except all those other forms that have been tried from time to time.” Winston Churchill quote from a speech made to the House of Commons on 11 November 1947. Democracy is a work in progress and we are improving.  As bad as you may think our government is, I do not see you swimming the river to get into Mexico.

University of Texas
Arlington Campus
Welcome to Richard Millsap's Political Science Home Page
2013 Excellence in Teaching Award
2003 Excellence in Teaching Award nominee

      Welcome to my course.  As Winston Churchill implies above - democracy is a work in progress and we are improving.  Aristotle - the Greek philosopher of 2400 years ago, stated: "All who have meditated on the art of governing mankind have been convinced that the fate of empires depends on the education of youth."  I look forward to being your professor for the semester.  I wish to assist you any way possible to understand the course material so you will be successful.


      Below are the courses I am presently teaching. Click on the below unique "course number & title" hyperlink for the class you are enrolled in, and there you will find your syllabus, assignments and exam reviews. You are responsible for reading both the "general" and "daily" announcements. Be certain to select your correct course link to avoid getting wrong course information that will be disastrous (has happened to some). I do NOT use Blackboard since I have my own website.


   Click on your Fall 2016 course for correct class announcements - assignments
     2311 United States Government  OR  2312 State & Local Government The Texas Legislature requires passing these courses to earn any State university degree because Americans are badly uninformed about basics of citizenship..


     Fall 2016 office hours University Hall 413 - Tuesdays 1-150 PM and Tuesdays and Thursdays 330-430 PM; others arranged on request.


   Other useful links: Great web news links to inform students about government & the world around them, including comedy news like The Daley Show and the Cobert Report         Voting and elections information (Power Point) and in PDF format - all to educate you, family & friends, as well as basic information about the presidential electoral college.     Atomic Clock Time Set (most accurate on earth - need current JAVA)     US Naval Observatory Master Clock time set      National Park Vacation Lands in America       Here is my coaching guide how to get great student/veteran/retiree summer jobs in beautiful national park resort areas.      Here is other important student/veteran job information - some out of dates but some good links.    National Constitution Center       1st Amendment Center     Independence National Historic Park    Earth Sky   U.S. Flag Protocol, Title 4 US Code, Chapter 1


     Education is the key to all you want to be.  Political science is interesting, as sometimes you think you are learning about government and suddenly you realize you are learning lessons of life.  If you could get paid to do what you love, what would it be?  Confucius (551–479 BC) said: "Find a job you love and you'll never work a day in your life."  Adopting that philosophy, I've worked very few days in my life, even though some have been very difficult and challenging. How do you choose to spend the one brief life you have?  Make every minute count for a noble cause, or waste your brief time on earth?  None of us really know how long we will live on this earth, as it can end abruptly, anytime, in the most surprising irrevocable ways.  How do you one day want to reflect on your life's achievements?  How do you want others to reflect on your life?  It can be positive or negative with extreme contempt that one was a waste of space on earth. What we do as earthlings will be remembered by our individual and collective honor or dishonorable acts.  It is the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil.  In 19 B.C., the Roman poet Virgil wrote in the Aeneid:  “As long as rivers run to the sea – so long shall your honor, your name, your praises endure.”  Teaching is like gardening because it cultivates the future by exposing others to truth and knowledge and how to process information.  My mission is to help you prepare for, find, and land the job of your dreams and a rewarding life. But, you will have to identify your goal and the intermediate objectives necessary to get there, and then step up each rung of the ladder (representing each intermediate objective) by focusing, by working hard like the "Little Engine that Could," by applying yourself, and then you will be at the top enjoying your goal. Dream HIGH. As the great Mohammed Ali said: "If your dreams do not scare you, they are not big enough."


         Politics changes lives, the country and the world  - sometimes for the better - sometimes it makes life worse.  Contribute to changing the world to improve the future, rather than allowing others to perpetuate failures of the past and present. Edmund Burke said: "All the forces of darkness need to succeed is for the people to do nothing." Mark Twain, the American author who severely condemned Belgium's King Leopold II for murdering 10 million Congolese to profit from ivory and rubber between 1885 and 1908, once said: "Always do right. This will gratify some and astonish the rest."  Plato, Ancient Greek philosopher (about 428 to 347 B.C.) once said: “One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors.”  He also said: "Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber."  Thomas Paine said: “Those who expect to reap the blessings of liberty must undergo the fatigues of supporting it.”  The task will not be easy. New better ideas are often threatening to any old conservative establishment comfortable in its old ways. Change is always hard and why they fight it. Keep a positive attitude. If you maintain a negative attitude believing something impossible, you will be right, and you will not be like the change agents of history who risked all to act on bold new ideas that transformed the world for the better. Try not to burn bridges and realize that your adversary today can be your ally tomorrow. Honor the sacrifices of those who before you did their civic duty to serve and performed duty to society that cost many their lives to give and protect freedoms taken for granted by many today.  One day, it may be your turn to sacrifice.  Develop empathy, compassion, and service for those less fortunate than yourself and work to make your community and the world a better place. You have limited time on this earth to make positive contributions to change the world for the better.  Do not waste it.

          Will you earn your keep on this earth enriching it and its inhabitants, or will the world view you a tragic waste of space who made life worse? Your generation is the custodian of the future.  Will you do a good job as a watch dog protecting democracy and liberty and government of the people by passing on a better world for your children?  Or will you have done a poor job, or abdicated your citizen responsibilities that permitted incompetent fools and the mean spirited to dictate your future?  Your job as a good citizen is to question authority to prevent government from doing something stupid and adverse to our well being, such as elective unnecessary war. Free speech and press and the right to grip about government is the heart of the Constitution's Bill of Rights.  Several quotes I like worthy of thought. Horace Mann said: "Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humanity.” The historian Doris Kearnes Goodwin quotes Abraham Lincoln: "What have I done that would make anyone remember I lived?"  John Paul Jones said: "those who will not risk cannot win.”  T. S. Eliot said: "Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far they can go."  The U.S. Military Academy engraved in stone so all cadets can see: "Risk more than others think is safe. Care more than others think is wise. Dream more than others think is practical. Expect more than others think is possible." 

      I specialize in teaching the U.S. Constitution (the well spring from which all comes in this country) line by line, using historical intent and amplified by U.S. Supreme Court cases to show government authority, power and limits to it, as well as rights of the people. It is critical to build citizen government knowledge so they are able to make reasonably responsible decisions. I have spent a lifetime thinking about government's role in civilized organized democratic society and you might find some useful information in my government reflections.  Texas requires passing two government courses because democracy and citizen duties are critical to our survival and Texans score appallingly low on this knowledge and too few participate. There are excellent reasons why students now must pass government in state universities and why we need to expand this requirement to high school graduation http://www.star-telegram.com/opinion/opn-columns-blogs/other-voices/article11101307.html  Accurate knowledge is critical to arm yourself to be a leader able to stand up to ignorant and prejudiced charlatans who would guide our country down a disastrous path leading citizens over a cliff like lemmings https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOOs8MaR1YM like Germans did blindly following Hitler to disaster, or like a perverted blood thirsty Tamerlane or Ghengis Khan. American philosopher George Santayana said: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  How can you avoid mistakes of the past unless you have studied them?  Deceiving ourselves only causes harm. We need educated informed citizens to select the finest Americans to be our leaders and to step up to the plate to be our outstanding leaders to do what is in the best interest of the USA and most Americans. Ignorance is NOT a virture. It is NOT cool not knowing what you're talking about but try anyway to convince others you do.  Too many do not know what talking but yet foolishly try to persuade others their uninformed opinions are right. Yes, that's free speech.  Charlatans - imposters.  Abraham Lincoln said: "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt." How can you fix WASHINGTON if you cannot even spell it? Do not be seduced by all the nonsense expressed by too many humans, who have done so since mankind emerged on this earth, and most likely will always do so.  Think. As the great Mohammed Ali said: "A wise man can act like a fool, but a fool can never act like a wise man."


     We seek truth, like the unemotional rational Vulcan Spock on Star Trek.  Fascinating!  We seek wisdom, good judgment and common sense. We are looking for empirical evidence like Sherlock Holmes and it is like assembling pieces of a puzzle. A citizen who does not understand the Constitution in an academic way is like a boat without a rudder, and therefore would drift aimlessly, grossly uninformed with no hope of understanding democracy and USA institutions, and would lack basic knowledge to protect and improve them.  FDR stated in a 1938 anniversary speech at Gettysburg: "the Nation was founded to preserve a people's government for the people's good."  It that what we have?  Some selfish interests work hard to prevent what is best for the great majority of us, and we have to work hard to defeat them.  Government is critical to organize complex society with law, that is decided by our chosen representatives.  Society without it is anarchy, extreme inequality, terror, and survival of the fittest.  Rotten political corruption is a great evil and the greatest threat to our democracy is the control of major policy by a few wealthy elites who grow fat on the carcasses of our citizens.  If you do not stand up against it, who will?

        Watch this famous award winning fictional movie clip in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HX8aFpnWxPA symbolizing real corruption in American politics, where a man finds himself appointed a U.S. Senator, discovers corruption and fights it. It is about the unfair use of political power, and the unfair influence of big money robber barons and large interest groups over the needs of the people.  Average citizens are not part of this process deciding who will be permitted to run for office and who will be permitted to be competitive. Should average citizens at least have an equal right to the 1% wealthy funders to decide our leaders?  This movie is an interesting inside look at the legislative process, debate, filibusters, and rules.  The corruption shown the same at the national and state levels.  You have to understand the problem to be able to fix the problem.  Rotten Tomatoes rates it a 4.5 movie on 5 point scale.  You can watch the whole movie here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ADGJYSdSzw or find on a commercial streaming service like Netflix or Amazon Prime.

     Too many poor quality irresponsible, self-serving, and even dishonest citizens get elected to office every year due to luck, and their everyday government decisions impact you every day. Who holds office is serious business. You are the next generation who will control our future. The USA needs you to be good leaders rather than sheep victims. We need educated informed citizens to select the finest Americans to be our leaders and to step up to the plate to be our outstanding leaders to do what is in the best interest of the USA and most Americans.  You have two choices as a citizen. 1). Throw up your hands in frustration and do nothing, which will allow those inferior to you make decisions that affect you every day. 2). Get involved to fight corruption and injustice and make our world better.  Democracy is NOT a football game spectator sport you only watch. Successful democracy depends on citizen participation to make government respond to citizen needs.


      My experience teaching upper and lower level courses include: Congress and the Presidency, Texas Politics, United States Government,  Introduction to Political Science, comparative State and Local Government, and comparative American & Texas Governments. I've taught 400 to 500 courses (stopped counting) to perhaps 50,000 or more of the finest young men and women from every country on earth, except Cuba and North Korea, and these new friends have taught me much. The student body in my courses is like the United Nations in diversity.  Like the Olympics of world minds, we study together in peace, freedom, respect and tolerance. I've discovered that young people all over the world are so much alike with their hopes and dreams. I'm so lucky to have been exposed to your wonderful cultures. All we neighbors on this wonderful planet have important problems we must solve together or the earth will be doomed. Fixing problems (like road pot holes, education, voting, crime, health care, clean environment, and other quality of life issues) should NOT be partisan republican and democrat problems, but Americans have allowed them to become so. Why did the vast majority of Americans permit the partisan few to hijack democracy? Example. Do you realize that 32 million Americans (14%) cannot read? Do you realize that statistics show that if a child does not learn to read by the 4th grade that this child is likely to end up in prison due to inability to get an adequate job?  Do you realize that 70% of America's prison population cannot read (the USA has the highest numbers of its citizens in prison than other nations)? Do you realize that it costs about $32,000 to 60,000 taxpayer dollars for every inmate in prison? Wouldn't it make better government policy to aggressively teach children to read?  That's America.  Think about the impact of high illiteracy rate in developing countries.


     I bring not only academic training and experience teaching to the classroom, but also many decades of "real world" experience working for government as a "public servant" in various capacities.  I will do my part, and you have major responsibilities, too. I want you to study hard so you can have a better future.  Too many American students are lazy, do not study hard, and are unprepared for education success, education institutions are failing students, and this results in high probability of failure in life. Thus education is critical. Look at these 2012 PISA world test results and how USA students rank poorly among many world competitors who are defeating USA students badly.  This is the most important education assessment exam on earth and the USA results are frightening and points to schools not providing quality education, parents not stressing quality education, and how too many students do not take advantage of the educational opportunities they have.  This is about you standing in line for the job of your dreams and not being hired, while another gets the job you wanted because he or she did receive a quality education and you did not.  Unemployment among college age students is too high.  There are reasons why and that should frighten you. Study hard in all your courses as it is a matter of survival of the fittest. This is not a game you want to loose, as the consequences will hurt you.


      There are so many uninformed Americans (who think they know everything but actually know little, as is true of many others else where on earth. It is not as much their fault, as it is education's fault, as well as parents. We have a lot of work to do to solve so many problems. These are not just “government” problems, they are problems for each of us, as they impact each of us, and require individual and team participation to solve them. One phase of immigrating to America is passing a federal exam demonstrating basic knowledge of government.  Can you pass this 100 multiple choice exam? I bet most Americans cannot.  Try it yourself http://www.csmonitor.com/USA/2011/0104/Could-you-pass-a-US-citizenship-test/Who-signs-bills


     To begin to understand America and its government and what we stand for, all Americans, especially you, must read and study the following documents rated as the greatest essays on American democracy. This is knowledge that will not be gained in one day, one month or one year, but will take a lifetime of careful study from time to time to refresh your memory. They will help you to be more thoughtful and to be more informed about America and its government. Without these great documents on democracy, your views of American democracy will be like a rudderless sail boat.  These eight greatest documents are: (1) Alexis de Tocqueville's Democracy in America,  (2) Thomas Jefferson's Declaration of Independence, (3) the Federalist Papers https://www.congress.gov/resources/display/content/The+Federalist+Papers authored by several, (4) the United States Constitution, (5) the Bill of Rights, (6) President Lincoln's Gettysburg Address 11/19/1863, and (7) Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Address 3/4/1865.  You should add (8) President Grant's Memoirs - the hero who saved the USA in the civil war. This work has been acclaimed as an astute observation of our American democratic republic. 




       Public service is about service to others, rather than self - making conditions better for other humans.  I have a variety of professional experiences. I most love being an adventurer-explorer of wilderness places untouched by man, as well as the adrenaline race as a federal government first responder to the worst crises that can befall humans. I have saved many lives but also have been with too many as they gasp their last breaths. Also, for years I have been working "pro bono publico" for thousands of hours in international community service - all free donated time - to help bring peace to the good Congolese people. See this CIA Africa map. Did you know to date there have been about 8.1 million people killed in the Congo, (another million dead in the Rwanda source of the conflict), millions wounded and starved, and 2 million women gang raped in a population of 70 million?  My Congo Freedom non-profit organization is doing some good things to help these people (see www.congofreedom.org). See this Congo brief for an excellent overview of the problem.  No other conflict on earth compares in magnitude since WWII, yet few know anything about it. Click on this PDF of Millsap work with Congo (free Adobe Reader download). On the slide with the gorilla, click on the links to see people close to these magnificent animals; my dream to be with them. One of the many things I do to help end this conflict is to ghost write position papers on how to transform anarchy into a peaceful constitutional democratic republic - such as this PDF of my essay Justice and Rule of Law in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. Someday I plan to be the superintendent of Congo's UNESCO World Heritage Virunga National Park (14-15,000' mountains) - home of the famous mountain gorillas that are endanger of becoming extinct due to war http://gorillacd.org/ and this assignment would be fine with me.  I will get my baby gorilla to rear one day. And I will have my own ranger company, who will train like Marines - all to protect civilians and the gorillas in the environment of anarchy and war. Rangers have battles with M23 & Mai Mai rebels (pour magic water on selves to stop ranger bullets) and some 150 rangers have been killed in action since 1996. http://ens-newswire.com/2012/10/25/eight-dead-in-attack-on-virunga-national-park-rangers/ Would be perfect duty for me. UTA is hosting a “Justice for Congo Victims and Democratic Republic of Congo Reforms" Convention. It will be held Saturday and Sunday, August 15 and 16, 2015. Sunday 9 AM to 10 PM. Sunday 9 M to 5 PM each day. It will (1) honor civilian victims of war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide, and (2) plan for change from authoritarian rule to democracy. This map shows its location.

      Another experience is being a United States Marine - who practice using any traditional and non-traditional weapons 24/7 - one of the most demanding occupations on earth (closest to Spartan military warriors exampled by Leonidas at the Greek Battle of Thermopylae), based on the most grueling training (second to none), extreme military skills, discipline, sacrifice, honor, patriotism, and is not for the faint of heart and it is the most feared gang (lawful) on the planet that cannot be defeated. The only ones who know this are the enemies of the USA who fight us.  We are professional gunfighters - masters of any weapon - the nation's shock troops whose mission is to win our nation's wars. The Marines are a family - a band of brothers and sisters for life.  Watch this video describing what being a Marine is all about http://www.dailymotion.com/video/x3f3i1_nmmc-orientation-theater-film and I suggest this You Tube too http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vPg2Kf-jYeA  I was a teenager when I joined the Marines the 1st time to serve my country as an enlisted infantry warrior (0311), when I was nicknamed "Tiger," (by Gunny Tafola - a war hero left with one lung) and it wasn't for playing golf. Marines fight for those who cannot defend themselves. Later I was commissioned as an officer (0302 called a "mustang") commanding EGAseveral hundred infantry warriors whose sole mission is to run to the sounds of guns, search for, close with, and destroy the enemy at close quarters. Marine friends were killed in action and wounded defending our country. It is dangerous work and Millsaps have been killed in battle.  An officer's role is to lead and closely supervise warriors so they accomplish the mission while at the same time restraining them to comply with law. It is hard to become a Marine;  it is harder still to be permitted to command infantry Marines. See why officer grunt combat training is second to none. See this 60 Minutes story about women attempting to become Marine infantry officers http://www.cbsnews.com/news/female-marines-women-in-combat-60-minutes/ Listen to this general explain why  Marine infantry training is the most grueling combat training on the planet. I am proud of my service to fellow Marines, the Corps, my country, and to our role as guardians of freedom. While all Marines are trained to fight, representing several hundred necessary military occupations, including motor mechanics, office word processing clerks, personnel, computer techs, engineers, supply clerks and so forth - only 1 in 10 Marines receive special offensive combat training, including raids, to be the every day warriors - the tip of the spear fighters - the original special forces for the Navy - soldiers of the sea, air and land; that was my duty. I was a grunt ground pounder "kick in the door" component of that spear and was a master of small unit tactics, weapons, explosives, and was an authority on defeating Soviet tanks. We wear dress blue jackets and sky blue trousers with red lateral stripes symbolic of blood we spilt, we are known as the "first to fight," when not on the move we live in individual fighting holes, we sleep with one eye open in mud, rain, snow, hot jungle slime, and we travel over the most rugged terrain on earth. We are called grunts, leathernecks, jarheads, and the most ferocious fighters on earth risking our lives for love of country & fellow Marines who share the phrases "gung ho" (Chinese for working together) and "semper fidelis" (Latin for always faithful). We Marines fight like lions, tigers, wolverines, and grizzly bears combined into ferocious "teufelshunde" (German for devil dogs) - as WWI German soldiers called legendary Marines who could not be stopped from the attack, even when gravely wounded, until the objective is achieved or death. Wars cannot be won without grunt boots on the ground and all other occupations support us to be able to accomplish our objectives, and we cannot do that without them - for we are a team. Today only 1/2 of 1% of USA society has any military experience, and even a smaller percentage has grunt experience.  Thus there is a disconnect for the first time in history between those who pay a price to serve and the rest of the civilian population who pay no price to defend this country, except in borrowed debt paid at a future date by a future generation. That is not healthy for society and is why I am for 2 years of "national service" like done in the past (military draft and civilian public service options like teaching or nursing in poverty zones or like the famous CCC or WPA). It is very hard to get into the Marines, and there are reasons why the Corps is highly selective of applicants. See the following links to learn why the USMC is given unique responsibilities and recognized as the USA's premier fighting force in all climates of the earth.  What do people say about U.S. Marines? and Life as a U.S. Marine and Marine Officer and Officer commissioning programs and Special Operations and The National Museum of the Marine Corps and White House Marines and Marines responsible for flying the President of the United States (my son), and the White House U.S. Marine Band (oldest & finest symphony concert organization in the USA - free patriotic music downloads) and listen to https://www.youtube.com/user/usmarineband, and see Marines who protect every USA embassy on earth and see Medal of Honor & the Legion of Valor (both were established by act of Congress) and Marine Earns Navy Cross May 2011. Marine Jason Dunham earns Medal of Honor for heroic action in 2006 in Iraq and new Navy destroyer ship named in his honor. Marine Dakota Meyer earns Medal of Honor for heroism in 2009 Afghanistan battle, and watch CBS 60 Minutes reporter interview Dakota Meyer 9/18/11. Also see Marine Boot Camp http://www.marines.com/becoming-a-marine/recruit-training/-/proving-grounds/slide/5#pg and  USMC Martial Arts Training and UFC champion fighters experience USMC martial artists

© 2013 Prof. Richard Millsap
The University of Texas at Arlington
Department of Political Science
701 S. Nedderman Drive
University Hall, Room 414
Box 19539
Arlington, Texas 76019-0539
Phone (817) 272-2991

This site was last updated 11/28/16