This list is a work in progress. Please use search engine on the left to find your word/definition. If there is a word, term, idea you’d like to be included please email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
An expression meaning “against the man”. A tactic used in debate when someone attacks the CHARACTER of the person before attacking the CLAIM the person is making. Of course, a person’s character or actions shouldn’t have any effect on the facts of an argument but, it’s an amazingly way to make people wonder or to confuse the issue. “She dressed like a whore so, she must be a whore, so she’s probably lying about being raped."
A tactic used in debate based on the Latin phrase “you too” where you make the person you’re arguing against look bad by exposing them for doing the same thing you’re accused of. "You think I do that? Well, remember this? You do it too."
The belief or behavior that Jewish people are bad or lesser than simply because they are Jewish. Anti-Semitism may take the form of religious teachings proclaiming the inferiority of the Jewish people, political efforts to isolate them from their neighbors, direct oppression, injury or simply prejudiced or stereotyped views of the the people as a whole.
The highest class in certain societies, especially those holding hereditary titles or offices. Can be a form of Government that places power in the hands of a small, privileged ruling class or an individual and, when used to rule, can be seen in direct contrast with a democracy...
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Is characterized by a highly concentrated and centralized power maintained by political repression and the exclusion of challengers. It uses political parties and mass organizations to mobilize people around the goals of the regime and the balance of the power rests deeply on lies, fears and economic prosperity...
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A legal term meaning “the job of proving what you say to be true.”
*Shifting the Burden of Proof is when the person making the statement shifts the job of proving the fact from themselves to their opponent. Statements like “it’s commonly known…” or “a lot of people say…” means YOU have to prove or disprove that it ISN'T rather than MY having to prove it is...
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A religiously governed state that operates under Sharia Law - the strictest form of Islam. A form of Islamic government led by a caliph (the person considered to be the political and religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad) who’s power and authority is absolute. ISIS’s current caliph is it’s leader al-Baghdadi.
“Cap & Trade” is a government organized plan to control the amount of pollution that goes into the environment by providing economic incentives. The “cap” sets the limit on what can be pumped into the environment (which is supposed to be lowered year by year) and the “Trade” creates a marketplace to help companies innovate in order and meet their cap level. The less companies put into the environment, the less they have to pay, so it’s in their economic best interest to stop polluting. ( Also called: Emissions Trading)
The United States Census is when the population of the United States of America is counted every 10 years by the Census Bureau. The count is based on the number of people living in residential structures and includes citizens, non-citizen legal residents, non-citizen long term visitors AND illegal immigrants. The next census will be in 2020...
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The argument that a conclusion is true or false because the person WANTS the conclusion to be true or false. Ex. 98% of world scientists believe climate change is real but the consequences of disbelief make the Republicans in US Senate vote it’s not because it's in their best interest to believe it's not.
A person who believes in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society. A term created in 1936 that originally meant someone who was against the New Deal and the new government services and regulations that came along with it.
A form of government in which a King or Queen acts as the Head of State but the ability to make and pass laws resides with an elected parliament and not the Monarch.
Is a type of authoritarianism in which a country is ruled by one person (or political entity) that regulates nearly every aspect of the public and private behavior of normal people. Dictators, like totalitarian governments, generally employ political propaganda to decrease the influence of any alternate governing systems...
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When laws are excessively harsh or severe. Deriving from Draco, an Athenian law scribe under who small offenses had exceptionally heavy punishments.
Politically, this term is used to designate something (usually funds or resources) for a particular purpose. Usually it refers to any element of a spending bill that puts aside money for a very specific thing - a given project, location or institution. Earmarking is a legislative (typically congressional) provision that directs approved funds to be spent on specific projects.
Gerrymandering is the process of dividing up and redrawing state districts to give one political party an advantage. With gerrymandering one party could acquire the most votes in the state but, because the way the voters are grouped into their districts, the opposing party can end up with more seats in congress...
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A term for a person who favors military force or action in order to carry out foreign policy. Someone whose first choice is usually aggression. The opposite of dovish.
A neo-liberal is a modified form of liberalism that believes personal liberty is maximized by limited government interference in the operation of the free-market.
The original economic liberalism stems from 18th Century economist Adam Smith who advocated for the government to stop interfering in economic matters. No restrictions on manufacturing, no barriers to commerce, no taxes to hold the market back. The ideas were “liberal” in that they had no controls. Free market, free competition, free for capitalists to make huge profits...
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A form of government in which a country is ruled by a monarch who is in a hereditary (born into it) chief of state position for their entire life’s tenure and, depending on the country, has powers varying from nominal to absolute.
Neo Conservative or New Conservative. Someone who believes America’s exceptionalism is measured by it’s willingness to be a great power through unlimited global military involvement. A Neocon believes other nation’s problems become America’s problem because history and fate have made America the world’s greatest country and it’s top authority. A NeoCon believes, not only is it our job to be the world's policeman, it is our destiny and we would cease to be America if we didn't fulfill that role.
The power of the few over the many. Those in charge may be distinguished by royalty, wealth, family ties, education, corporate, or religious control.
Pork barrel spending is a metaphor for the use of government spending on local projects that are in place to bring more money to a particular representative’s district in order to benefit his or her constituents and maintain that politician's support and votes. It’s basically billions of dollars in unnecessary spending designed to please voters and win votes that are earmarked into the federal budget yearly. The term predates the Civil War when barrels of salt pork were given as rewards for good behavior.
Pork barrel spending is a reward for a representative's support in Congress or the Senate. It's a "you do this for me, I'll give this to you" barter tool that becomes part of the budget.
A form of Oligarchy where the power structure is concentrated in the hands of the very wealthiest of citizens. An elite or ruling class of people whose power derives from their wealth.
A military term relating the the ranks (rows) and files (columns) of individual foot soldiers not including their officers. So politically the term refers to the ordinary members of an organization rather than it’s leaders.
A political ideology that supports economic and social interventions by the government in order to promote social justice and equality within a working capitalist economy. A social democracy includes policies like state welfare provisions, collective bargaining to keep consumer costs low and a general regulation of the economy so the market doesn’t go unchecked. Modern Social Democracy aims to REFORM rather than REPLACE capitalism...
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Super Tuesday refers to a Tuesday early in the US presidential primary season when the greatest number of states hold their elections on the same day. More delegates can be won on Super Tuesday than any other single day of the primary calendar. Candidates seeking the presidency traditionally must do well on this day to secure their party’s nomination.
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The Supreme Court is the highest federal court of the United States of America established in the original US constitution in 1789 with one Chief Justice (John G. Roberts) and 8 Associate Justices who are nominated and vetted by the President and approved by the Senate. The justices, once approved, serve for life and act as the last word for all cases and controversies that arise across the 50 states. The court stands as the final decision of both the law and constitutional comprehension.
The current court includes only 8 justices as Antonin Scalia recently died: Anthony Kennedy, Clarence Thomas, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Stephen G. Breyer, Samuel A. Alito Jr., Sonia Sotomayor, and Elena Kagan.