AP Gov Vocab pt.2

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25 Terms

1

dealignment

A trend whereby a significant portion of the electorate abandons its previous party affiliation without developing a new partisan affiliation to replace it. Trends of it have increased since the 1970s.

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2

Liberal

Refers to a person who adopts the political ideology of liberalism, which favors more government regulation of business and support for social welfare, but less regulation of private social conduct. The definition of it has changed over time, but contemporary ones are said to fall on the "left-wing" of the spectrum of political beliefs.

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3

Pluralism

A political philosophy and essential element of democracy that promotes and encourages a diversity of political stance and participation. It also assumes that those with different political affiliations and beliefs will both coexist and negotiate solutions for the benefit of society.

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4

Political efficacy

Refers to the citizens' faith and trust in their government. It also refers to the citizens' feeling that they can have an influence on the political system. In modern U.S. society, it has an effect on voter turnout.

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5

Political parties

An organized group of people who share the same ideology and seek out political positions in order to implement an agenda, typically based on the party's shared ideology. The two main political parties in the U.S. are the republican party and the democratic party.

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6

Political culture

A set of shared views and accepted judgments held by a population regarding its political system as a whole. It is comprised of the population's underlying feelings, values, beliefs, and knowledge in relation to the political process.

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7

Political socialization

The process by which individuals learn and acquire a political lens. It frames an individual's perceptions of the world around them, how power is distributed in the world, and how this relationship affects who they are and how they should behave as members of their society.

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8

Public Policy

A system of laws, regulations, and funding priorities concerning a topic that is of interest to a governmental entity or its representatives. It is made on behalf of the public in order to solve a problem or achieve a goal that is in the best interest of society.

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9

bully pulpit

A term first used by U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt, used to refer to his office as president as an ideal position from which to advocate his political agenda. In general, the term refers to a position that provides an opportunity to speak out and be heard by many. While the word "bully" might hold negative connotations, President Roosevelt applied the term as a synonym for "terrific" or "superb."

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10

Cacus

A gathering of local party members to choose candidates for public office or delegates to the national party convention and to decide the party platform. They are often held in schools, churches, auditoriums, or other locations that can host large numbers of a party's base.

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11

Gerrymandering

The act of setting boundaries for electoral districts so as to favor political interests within legislative bodies or hurt the political interests of an opposing group. It often creates districts that have convoluted boundaries, rather than consolidating districts into compact areas.

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12

Hard Money

A specific type of monetary contribution that is made to an individual candidate who is running for political office. Corporations and labor unions are legally banned from making hard money donations to individual candidates, and there are specific limitations on how much an individual candidate may accept.

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13

Hatch Act

Officially known as "An Act to Prevent Pernicious Political Activities," the Act of 1939 is a U.S. federal law put in place to prohibit members of the executive branch from engaging in certain forms of political activity. These restricted activities include bribing voters, coercing campaign contributions, and active political campaigning. The president, vice president, and certain high-level officials of the executive branch are exempt from these restrictions.

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14

Issue Network

An alliance of various individuals and/or interest groups who unite for the purpose of influencing government or public policy in favor of a common cause or agenda. In the U.S. today, interest groups often push for policy changes within the government bureaucracy, can be domestic or international, and use the Internet and social media to promote and spread their causes.

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15

Litmus Test

A question that is posed to a candidate for high office by a nominating official or a representative who must vote on a nominee for high office. The nominee's answer to its question determines whether the nomination official will proceed with the nomination. The litmus test answer may also determine whether a Supreme Court justice will vote for a nominee; the term is most often applied in the context of nominations to the judiciary.

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16

Lobbying

The act of attempting to influence the actions, policies, or decisions of government officials. Legislators and members of regulatory agencies are most often subject to lobbying, and lobbyists may be anyone from a legislator's constituents, to nonprofits, to corporations. It can result in conflicts of interest when a representative shapes the law in favor of a private group for personal or political gain.

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17

Mandates

It is an order from the federal government that all state and local governments must follow. State and local governments must comply with them in order to receive federal aid.

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18

Mass Media

Refers to television, radio, magazines, newspapers, the Internet, and other means of public communication. It is heavily involved in distributing information about politics, and influences public perceptions of political leaders, social problems, and what Americans perceive as being "news."

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19

McCain-Feingold Act

Also known as the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act of 2002, it is a federal law that amended the Federal Election Campaign Act of 1971 in order to provide bipartisan campaign reform. The act was specifically designed to ban soft money contributions to political parties and to limit advertising for political candidates by corporations.

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20

Pork Barrel

The allocation of government funds for projects created to win votes or please voters and legislators. This metaphor usually applies to the appropriation of government spending on localized projects or within a representative's district.

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21

Public Opinion

Refers to the opinions, wants, and desires of the majority of the people in regard to a political or social issue or problem. It can influence public policy, foreign policy, and decisions made by the president.

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22

Revolving Door

A process whereby personnel move between roles as legislators or regulators and roles as members of industries affected by legislation and regulation. The notion of a it between the private sector and government holds a negative connotation in American politics, as it can result in the granting of privileges that are not in the best interest of the nation.

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23

Soft Money

Campaign contributions made to political parties and committees. It campaign financing is a relatively new form of financing campaigns that is not yet heavily regulated. It often involves spending by Super PACs and can amount to hundreds of millions of dollars.

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24

Super PACs

A specific type of independent political action committee, officially known as an "independent expenditure-only political action committee." They are legally able to raise and spend large amounts of money in support of a candidate running for political office, but cannot contribute money directly to the candidate they support.

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25

watchdog

Associated with journalism, a watchdog is a journalist or publication that informs the public about events and happenings in government institutions and politics, particularly goings-on that may provoke a change in public opinion. Common practices of this type of journalism includes fact-checking, interviewing public figures and challenging them with concerns, and investigating journalism.

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