Blog

Political Dysfunction

overton
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How the Overton Window Affects Politics and Policy

The Overton Window describes the range of policies that are politically acceptable to the public at a given time. Learn how the Window shifts and why it matters.

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Dark Money
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How Dark Money Impacts Our Democracy

Learn how dark money - the political funds spent by groups without disclosing the identities of their donors - undermines accountability and fairness in elections.

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Choosing Between Options
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Why Do People Vote Against Their Own Interests?

Discover the reasons why voters tend to vote against their own interests - whether from voter uncertainty or the effects of advertising and the two-party system.

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Jersey City
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New Jersey: A Hidden Home of Voter Suppression

David Goodman, the statewide leader of RepresentUs of New Jersey, sheds light on the effects of the "county line," a voter suppression tactic in New Jersey.

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voter apathy
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10 Causes of Voter Apathy in the United States

Voter apathy refers to a lack of interest among voters regarding participation in elections. Here, we walk through the top 10 reasons why it's a problem.

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Venn Diagram
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Concurrent Powers and Voter Representation

Concurrent powers are powers exercised by both the state and federal governments in the United States. This overlap has key implications for voter representation.

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Jimmy Carter
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What It Really Means to Be a Public Servant

Explore the difference between politicians and leaders who have been true public servants, and those who have followed a path of self-service and personal gain.

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270 to Win
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The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact Explained

The idea behind the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact is that whichever presidential candidate gets the most votes nationwide should win the election.

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winner take all
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What Is a Winner-Take-All Electoral System?

In a winner-take-all system, the candidate with the most votes wins the election, whether or not that candidate reflects the majority of voter preferences.

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two round election
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Pros and Cons of Two-Round Election Systems

Two-round systems begin with a first round of voting and then proceed to a second round or runoff election if no winner emerges with an absolute majority.

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Public Funding
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The Pros and Cons of Publicly Funded Elections

Publicly funded elections are a system of electoral financing where government funds are used to support the campaigns of political candidates or parties.

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Ralph Nader
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What is the “Spoiler Effect,” Really?

The spoiler effect is rooted in the mechanics of first-past-the-post voting, a system where the candidate with the most votes wins with or without an absolute majority.

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Tree Warmer
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Why We Need the Freedom to Vote Act

Originally introduced in 2021, the Freedom to Vote Act seeks to address numerous issues related to voting and elections, from voter access to campaign finance.

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Capitol
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Why Can't the U.S. Have a Multi-Party System?

The two-party system has dominated American politics since the early 19th century, while many other nations have developed more nuanced multi-party systems.

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Handshake
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Political Corruption 101: Examples of Clientelism

Clientelism refers to a political system where goods or services are exchanged for political support, shifting the focus away from fair representation and meritocracy.

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Trump Rally
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Political Violence: The Darker Side of America's Polarization

Concerningly, a significant percentage of Americans across the political spectrum now see political violence as a justifiable means to achieve political ends. 

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Pie Chart
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Plurality vs. Majority Voting: What's the Difference?

Plurality and majority voting each have advantages and disadvantages, especially as we consider how best to reform elections to represent the will of the people.

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Houston TX
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What the Houston Water Crisis Says About Government Corruption

Houston's ongoing water crisis demonstrates both the level of corruption and the inefficiencies that continue to plague the residents of the Lone Star State.

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Collusion Handshake
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Political Corruption 101: Collusion in Politics

Collusion in politics refers to a secretive agreement or cooperation between parties for a deceitful or fraudulent purpose, thwarting the people's best interest.

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Political Corruption 101: Examples of Graft

From Tammany Hall to Rod Blagojevich, graft is a form of theft that enriches the individuals engaged in it and comes at the expense of the public good. 

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Caution
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10 Ways the Political Establishment Disenfranchises Voters

Voting disenfranchisement can be accomplished through creating laws that disproportionately affect people of color, the poor, and the elderly.

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Triangle
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How the Iron Triangle Contributes to Political Corruption

The concept of the iron triangle describes the policy-making relationship between Congress, government bureaucracy, and special interest groups. 

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Rational Ignorance
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How Rational Ignorance Impacts American Elections

Rational ignorance creates an environment ripe for misinformation, manipulation, and the oversimplification of complex issues in American politics.

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Family Tree
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Political Corruption 101: Examples of Nepotism in Politics

Nepotism, the favoritism granted to relatives by those in power, is not a new phenomenon, nor is it exclusive to any one region or regime. 

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Powerful Trio
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7 Signs That It's Time for an Independent Revolution

More Americans are identifying as independents, seeking alternatives to entrenched party lines. Here are seven signs this movement is about to turn the tide.

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Revolving Door
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The Hidden Danger of Revolving Door Politics

The term “revolving door” in politics refers to the practice of public officials and employees transitioning to positions in the private sector, and vice versa.

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Triangle Pattern
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Is Triangulation Bad for Political Campaigning?

Triangulation occurs frequently in politics when a candidate or politician positions themselves between two opposing ideologies to appeal to a broader base.

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Gerrymandering Map
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Navigating the Labyrinth: Independents and Gerrymandering

From Maryland to Wisconsin, gerrymandering hurts voters across the nation and raises obstacles for independents seeking to run in gerrymandered districts.

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Vote Sticker
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Electoral Reform: How to Challenge Ballot Access Laws

Ballot access laws vary from state to state, often increasing the barriers for independent candidates seeking to run for office at the state and national level.

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Hidden Corruption
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7 Hidden Forms of Political Corruption

Political corruption lies hidden at every level of government. From dark money to regulatory capture, learn how to identify and combat these corrupt practices.

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Fairness Doctrine
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Is It Time to Bring Back the Fairness Doctrine?

The Fairness Doctrine was enacted in 1949 and repealed in 1987. In the digital age of polarization and media bias, could this law provide balance in media coverage?

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Phone and Newspaper
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10 Signs of Media Bias Against Independent Candidates (and How to Overcome Them)

Media bias keeps independent and third-party candidates from receiving the same media attention as partisan candidates. Here's how to overcome these obstacles.

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Citizens United
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The Implications of Citizens United for Independent Candidates

The 2010 Supreme Court case Citizens United has had an immense impact on politics and elections. Learn the implications of this case for independent candidates.

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FDR
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Pros and Cons of Political Term Limits

Explore the history and current state of political term limits in the United States, along with arguments for and against the implementation of term limits.

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Abstract Stars and Stripes
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How Understanding the Two-Party System Informs Strategies for Independent Political Campaigns

Understanding the history of the two-party system can help independent and third-party candidates overcome barriers and find their place in U.S. politics.

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Puzzle Pieces
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Guest Post: Can't We All Just Get Along?

Guest writer Chris Schmalhofer explores strategies for bipartisan cooperation and fostering effective communication across party lines, pushing back against America's rising political polarization.

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Mitch McConnell
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Gerontocracy in U.S. Politics: The Challenges of an Elderly Political Class

With an aging Congress and the United States' oldest president yet, gerontocracy is becoming an increasing concern for the state of American democracy. How are younger citizens affected, and what can we do to ensure fair representation?

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Screenshot 2023-08-04 at 3.27.46 PM
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Uncontested Elections Rot Democracy From The Inside Out

The vast majority of elections held in the U.S. only have a single person on the ballot. How "democratic" can that really be?

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Political Polarization
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What is Political Polarization?

Delve into the intricate world of political polarization: its causes, manifestations, and far-reaching implications. Uncover the role of media, social networks, and cognitive biases in shaping divergent ideologies. Gain valuable insights into how understanding and empathy can mend societal rifts.

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opp5
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The Destructive Threat “Oppenheimer” Warns Us About Isn’t Nuclear Bombs – It’s Partisan Paranoia 

Atomic bombs are obviously dangerous - but not as dangerous as short sighted political games, Christopher Nolan's new drama warns us.

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pelosi
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5 Of The Biggest Grifters Within The Two-Party System

Politics shouldn't be a get-rich-quick scheme for elected leaders. Unfortunately, it is.

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ICH MAYORERICADAMS-EXCLUSIVEINTERVIEW 071323
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The Rise Of The Entitlement Of The Thin-Skinned Modern Politician

Today's politicians wield greater amounts of power than ever, yet are the first to play the victim when confronted on their failures.

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623c91abc34d6c65e453db97 how-to-fundraise-for-your-political-campaign
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Fundraising And The Race To The Bottom: How The Two-Party System Brings Out The Worst In Everyone

When party politics devolves to whoever can "defeat" the other side better, fundraising tends to reward those who turn the most negative.

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Electoral College Pros&Cons
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Electoral College Pros and Cons: Analyzing the Strengths and Weaknesses of the U.S. Electoral System

Explore the benefits and drawbacks of the Electoral College system in the United States. Delve into the arguments supporting and challenging this unique presidential election method. Gain insights into the ongoing debates surrounding its effectiveness and relevance.

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Disadvantages Of The Two-Party System
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Disadvantages Of The Two-Party System

Explore the limitations and drawbacks of the two-party system, including political polarization, limited choices for voters, and stifled debate. Learn about the implications for democratic representation and the challenges faced by third parties.

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congress-lobbyists-SH-2-final
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Who Actually Writes Congressional Bills? Not The Leaders You Elected…

Most of us probably think the people we elect to Congress are the ones who write the bills that become laws. Oh, if only it were that simple...

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Gerrymandering politicians
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What Exactly Is Gerrymandering? Why Is It So Bad?

Gerrymandering is among the sneakiest anti-democratic practices politicians in power use to entrench their own rule against the will of the voters. It's a gross, utterly corrupt practice -- and it's the status quo. Let's break it down.

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corp
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Congress Itself Is A Corporation's Best Investment

When it comes to major corporations padding their profit margins, their single best investment is spending money to influence your elected representatives.

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Superdelegates Are Super Anti-Democratic: How Political Parties Try To Rig Their Primary Elections

When it comes to primary elections, don't be too shocked to learn that the "democratic process" isn't quite as democratic as it's cracked up to be.

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USA Map
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The Electoral College Is Even More Anti-Democratic Than You Probably Thought

Who exactly are the members of the Electoral College? Who chose them? It's certainly not us voters.

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Corrupt Mayor
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Reporting Corruption in Local Government: A Guide to Promoting Transparency and Accountability

Reporting corruption in local government is essential for maintaining transparency and accountability. Learn about common types of corruption, such as conflicts of interest, embezzlement, fraud, and nepotism, and how to combat these practices.

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Guest Post: FAIL: Two-Party System & Democrats Scapegoat LGBTQ+

How the two-party system is failing the LGBTQ+ Community

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Kermit
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Guest Post: Vote Better With Realer Options

It's a new day. Good Party helps independent candidates run for office and people tired with the two-party system to take action.

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Breaking the Two-Party Duopoly
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Breaking the Two-Party Duopoly: Empowering Political Reform and Expanding Voter Choice

Breaking the two-party duopoly is crucial for expanding voter choice, enhancing voter representation and alternative political options, and fostering political innovation.

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Why Americans Are Losing Faith In Democracy
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Why Americans Are Losing Faith In Democracy

The rigged nature of the two-party system and its dysfunctional partisan politics have created a dark doom-loop, trapping voters and hindering progress on pressing issues like climate change, inequality, and individual freedoms.

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two-party system
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How the Two-Party System Works in the U.S.

The two-party system has always controlled American politics. Here we analyze what that means and potential alternatives.

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Two Party System
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5 Reasons the Two-Party System is Bad for America

The two-party system in America is a problem as it is rife with dark money and corruption, giving citizens the illusion that they have a say in who runs the country. This system has existed since the dawn of the United States, with two parties dominating the country since the first election.

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