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Politics

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Political Parties: Crash Course Government and Politics #40

Today, Craig is going to talk about political parties and their role in American politics. So, when most people think about political parties they associate them with the common ideologies of the voters and representatives within that party, but the goal of a party is NOT to influence policies. The role of political parties is much simpler: to win control of the government. So today, we’re going got talk about why we have political parties in the first place and then finish with the five functions they use in reaching that goal. It’s a lot to cover, so next week we’ll talk about what each political party stands for and how that has changed historically.

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Political Ideology: Crash Course Government and Politics #35

So today Craig is going to look at political ideology in America. We're going to focus on liberals and conservatives and talk about the influencers of both of these viewpoints. Now, it's important to remember that political ideologies don't always perfectly correspond with political parties, and this correspondence becomes less and less likely over time. So, sure we can say that Democrats tend to be liberal and Republicans tend to be conservative, but we're not going to be talking about political parties in this episode. It's also important to note, that there are going to be a lot of generalizations here, as most peoples' ideologies fall on a spectrum, but we're going to try our best *crosses fingers* to summarize the most commonly held viewpoints for each of these positions as they are used pretty frequently in discussions of American politics.

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Political Campaigns: Crash Course Government and Politics #39

So political campaigns are a pretty big deal in the United States. For instance the 2012 presidential election clocked in at the most expensive ever - at around $6 billion dollars! Needless to say, money plays a very big role in American elections. So today, Craig is going to take a look at why we have campaigns in the first place, why the campaign seasons run for so long, and of course why campaigns cost so much.

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Interest Groups: Crash Course Government and Politics #42

Today, Craig is going to talk about something you fans out there have been demanding for months - money in politics. Specifically, we're going to talk about special interest groups and their role in the U.S. political system. Special interest groups are groups of individuals that make policy-related appeals to government - like the NRA, AARP, or the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. It's all pretty controversial, as money plays an important role in the policies and people these groups influence, so we'll bring in the clones to argue for and against them.

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Election Basics: Crash Course Government and Politics #36

This week Craig is going to give you a broad overview of elections in the United States. So as you may have noticed, there are kind of a lot of people in the U.S, and holding individual issues up to a public vote doesn't seem particularly plausible. So to deal with this complexity, we vote for people, not policies, that represent our best interests. But as you'll see, this process was not thoroughly addressed in the Constitution, so there have been a number of amendments and laws at the state level implemented to create the election system we all know and (maybe) love today.

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Party Systems: Crash Course Government and Politics #41

Today, Craig is going to dive into the history of American political parties. So throughout most of United States history our political system has been dominated by a two-party system, but the policies and the groups that support these parties have changed drastically throughout history. There have been five, arguably six, party systems since the election of John Adams in 1796 (George Washington’s presidency was an unusual case, and we’ll get to that), so we’ll look at the supporters and policies of each of the parties during these eras and look at how historical contingencies cause these policy shifts. We’ll also talk a bit about the benefit of a third party, which although rarely ever wins, helps to influence political debate.

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Public Opinion: Crash Course Government and Politics #33

So today, Craig is finally going to start talking about politics. Now up until this point we've specifically been looking at government - that is answering the questions of who, what, and how in relation to policies. But politics is different in that it looks at why certain policies are made. We're going to start today by looking at public opinion - specifically how the public does (and does not) influence our elected officials.


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Media Institution: Crash Course Government and Politics #44

So today we're going to look at the rather thorny issue of the media and its role in politics. Wether you're talking about older forms of media like newspapers and radio or newer forms like television and the Internet, all media serves the same purpose - to provide information to the public. So we're going to discuss their strengths and weaknesses and examine how both content creators and consumers play a role in the information that is told. It could be argued that because the media only relays information it isn't actually important to the American political system, but when you look more closely at what and how this information affects voters as well as their elected officials, we can more clearly see its importance as a political institution.

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Why Major in Political Science?

Undecided about your college major? Why major in political science? What is political science? This filmed lecture was part of a 'Pizza and Politics' series lecture held at Duke University. To learn more about political science as a college major, visit the American Political Science Associate section dedicated to careers in the field -

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Produced by Shaun King, Duke University Department of Political Science Multimedia Specialist

George Lakoff: Moral Politics

(Visit: UC Berkeley professor of Cognitive Science and Linguistics George Lakoff explores how successful political debates are framed by using language targeted to people's values instead of their support for specific government programs in this public lecture sponsored by the Helen Edison Series at UC San Diego in 2005. Series: Helen Edison Lecture Series [11/2005] [Public Affairs] [Show ID: 11194]
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