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Government

Government is a key part of any society and culture. Learn more about different types of government, politics and civic issues.

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The Defense Production Act Was Designed for Emergencies Like Coronavirus

President Harry Truman signed it into law in 1950 and it's been invoked many times ever since. Should President Donald Trump be using it more to help health care workers?

The Waffle House Index Is at Code Red; That's Not Good

What is the Waffle House Index anyway, and does the Federal Emergency Management Agency really use it to gauge local disasters?

Can the Feds Close State Borders to Stop COVID-19?

Some legal experts say that the U.S. government lacks the authority to close state borders or quarantine entire cities to stop the coronavirus from spreading. Others aren't so sure.

What Are Superdelegates?

Why does the Democratic Party have superdelegates who don't have to respect primary results when they cast votes? Is that undemocractic or a hedge against nominating a poor candidate?

Why Is Super Tuesday So Super?

Super Tuesday is the day early in a U.S. presidential primary season when a large number of states hold primaries. It's also the first day when a huge number of delegates are up for grabs.

How Political Primaries Work

Political primaries let voters choose which candidate they want to represent their political party as president. But not everyone is happy with the process. What are the problems, and can they be fixed?

Test Your Knowledge of Presidential Campaign Slogans

Does the campaign slogan really make or break a candidate? Some of the most successful presidential campaign slogans have had little to do with any actual issues. Take our quiz on victorious presidential campaign slogans to find what worked.

How the White House Press Briefing Went From Daily to Done

White House press briefings, which date back to the McKinley administration, could be the most important means of communication between the White House and the American people. Are they a thing of the past?

Why Countries Use Economic Sanctions to Prevent Conflict

Economic sanctions are one way of pressuring another nation to comply without resorting to war. But the penalties often target the population and not the government. So do they work?

Fight for Equal Rights Amendment Enters a New Era

The ERA just got a big boost from the state of Virginia. Is now finally the time that the ERA will become the 28th Amendment?

Why Libertarians Have a Love-hate Relationship With the 10th Amendment

The 10th Amendment says any power not delegated to the U.S. by the Constitution is reserved to the states. But the Constitution is never that simple ... and that's why Libertarians are so at odds with it.

7 Key Questions in the U.S. Slavery Reparations Debate

The question of whether to pay reparations for slavery in the U.S. has been going on since slavery ended but picked up steam this year with a House hearing on the issue. We look at some key issues in the debate.

When Presidential Approval Ratings Really Matter

Every week (or every day) there seems to be new poll giving new numbers on how many Americans approve of the president's job performance. But what do these numbers really tell us and when should we take them seriously?

Will a Third-Party Candidate Ever Win the White House?

A majority of Americans feel that neither of the two main parties is doing a great job, but they can't agree on what a third party would look like. And that candidate faces enormous hurdles to make the debating stage.

How Executive Orders Work

Executive orders are directives handed down from the president without input from the legislative or judiciary branches of government. Presidents often use them when Congress won't approve a favored regulation. But should they?

Could the Electoral College Be Obsolete By the Next U.S. Presidential Election?

American presidents are chosen by the electoral college rather than the popular vote. But a measure to circumvent that is gaining steam. So far, 15 states have signed on, but is it constitutional?

Can You Ignore a Subpoena?

Ignoring a subpoena can land you in jail. So why would anybody do it?

The Anatomy of a U.S. Presidential Motorcade

When the U.S. president comes to town, it's time to get off the roads. As fast as you can.

What Is an Oligarchy and Has the U.S. Become One?

Opinions differ about whether the U.S. has become an oligarchy, a society in which a wealthy elite has most of the power.

What Is a Constitutional Crisis?

We've been hearing the words constitutional crisis tossed around a lot lately. But what is one, really?

How the Census Works

The U.S. census is a headcount of the nation that takes place every 10 years. How has it changed over time and what's happening with the 2020 census?

What's Next for the Green New Deal?

The U.S. Senate voted to quash the non-binding resolution without ever talking about it. But that doesn't mean it's dead in the water.

Bridging the Chasm: Emory Class Delves Into America's Right-wing History

Emory historian and author Joseph Crespino's course aims to examine the history of right-wing ideology in the U.S. while at the same time teaching his students objectivity and empathy.

10 Countries Besides the U.S. That Have Electoral Colleges

A handful of other countries have electoral colleges, but they're very different in function and purpose from the one that decides U.S. presidential elections.

Is a Border Wall Really Grounds for a National Emergency?

President Trump has threatened to use emergency powers to build a border wall without Congressional approval.

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