Political Terms

People Politico Cheat Sheet

senateMany people toss around a lot of political terms, phrases and ideas, but use them in such a way that is often misleading or simply, completely, incorrect. The first step of educating yourself about our political system is to learn the terms they use and their real meanings.

I urge you all to take a stand and hold all politicians, news companies, and all other sources to the simple expectation of using words and phrases correctly. News correspondents in particular need to present the facts of all situations with as little bias and spin as possible.

Even if you think you know all these words I would suggest you read through them. I find it necessary to refresh my understanding once in awhile when the media gets to twisting them so far out of proportion. It is also a good idea to check back as we will be adding to this list.

  • Capitalism: an economic system based on the private ownership of the means of production and distribution of goods, characterized by a free competitive market and motivation by profit
  • Communism: the political theory or system in which all property and wealth is owned in a classless society by all the members of that society
  • Compromise: a settlement of a dispute in which two or more sides agree to accept less than they originally wanted
  • Congress: the national legislative body of the United States, consisting of the House of Representatives and the Senate
  • Conservative: in favor of preserving the status quo and traditional values and customs, and against abrupt change
  • Democracy: the free and equal right of every person to participate in a system of government, often practiced by electing representatives of the people by the majority of the people
  • Democrat: somebody who believes in or supports democracy or the democratic system of government
  • Dictator: a leader who rules a country with absolute power, usually by force
  • Dictatorship: a dictator’s power or authority, or the period of time during which a dictator rules
  • DNC: Democratic National Convention
  • Executive Branch: the section of a country’s government that is responsible for implementing legislative decisions
  • Fascism: any movement, ideology, or attitude that favors dictatorial government, centralized control of private enterprise, repression of all opposition, and extreme nationalism
  • Fascist: someone who supports or believes in fascism
  • Federal Government: relating to a form of government in which several states or regions defer some powers, e.g. in foreign affairs, to a central government while retaining a limited measure of self-government
  • Free Market: an economic system in which businesses operate without government control in matters such as pricing and wage levels
  • GOP: the Grand Old Party: the Republican Party in the U.S.
  • House of Representatives: the lower house of Congress and of most state legislatures in the United States
  • Hyperbole: deliberate and obvious exaggeration used for effect
  • Independent: in politics, free from the authority, control, or domination of somebody or something else, especially not controlled by another state or organization and able to self-govern
  • Judicial Branch: relating or belonging to a body of judges or to the system that administers justice
  • Legislative Branch: involved in the writing and passing of laws
  • Majority Party: the most powerful party or group voting together in a legislature
  • Minority Party: a group that has fewer votes in an organization than another group or groups
  • Nazi: a member of the fascist German National Socialist Party that came to power under the leadership of Adolf Hitler in 1933
  • Plutocracy: a wealthy social class that controls or greatly influences the government of a society
  • Progressive: a supporter or advocate of social, political, or economic reforms
  • Pundit: a critic or authority on a subject, especially in the media
  • Regulation: an official rule, law, or order stating what may or may not be done or how something must be done
  • Republic: a political system or form of government in which people elect representatives to exercise power for them
  • Republican: somebody who believes that the best government is one in which supreme power is vested in an electorate
  • RNC: Republican National Convention
  • Senate: the upper of the two elected legislative bodies of the United States government. It is made up of two senators from each state.
  • Socialism: a political theory or system in which the means of production and distribution are controlled by the people and operated according to equity and fairness rather than market principles
  • Socialist: relating to, based on, or advocating socialism
  • Speaker of the House: the presiding officer of a legislative body such as the U.S. House of Representatives
  • State Government: an area forming part of a federal country such as the United States or Australia with its own government and legislature and control over most of its own internal affairs
  • Vitriol: extreme bitterness and hatred toward somebody or something, or an expression of this feeling in speech or writing

*Forms of Government: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Form_of_government

*Definitions from Encarta Dictionary: http://encarta.msn.com/encnet/features/dictionary/dictionaryhome.aspx

*When multiple definitions were given, the most fitting and appropriate definition was used to define terms on this page. However, we at www.peoplepolitico.com urge you to look at all definitions as well as the thesaurus of these words and terms to gain a broader understand of them.

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