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Politics (from Greek πολιτικός politikos, literally "of, for, or relating to citizens") is the practice and study of influencing the policies, interpretations, and actions of government. It encompasses a range of broad topics including political science, political history, and political philosophy.
Political history encompasses the evolution of ideas, leaders, movements, and entities and how these influence society especially when political entities evolve into governments. Originally there were kinships and these kinships evolved into nomadic tribes which over time evolved into early forms of government predating recorded history. Egypt's history began around 8,000BC as a series of tribes which around 3150BC, the beginning of Egypt's Early Dynastic Period, unified into a kingdom and was arguably the earliest recorded government in history. King Menes who originally ruled Upper Egypt conquered Lower Egypt and became the first King of Egypt, a title which under later rulers evolved into pharaoh.
United States Presidential Elections
The 2008 United States Presidential Election is the 56th quadrennial presidential election which occurred November 4th, 2008. The two major candidates were incumbent Democrat Barack Obama, running with Joe Biden, and Republican John McCain, running with Sarah Palin; Barack Obama and Joe Biden won. The 2012 United States Presidential Election is the 57th quadrennial presidential election which occurred November 6th, 2012. The two major candidates were incumbent Democrat Barack Obama, running with Joe Biden, and Republican Mitt Romney, running with Paul Ryan; Barack Obama and Joe Biden won. The 2016 United States Presidential Election is the 58th quadrennial presidential election in the U.S., with voting scheduled to commence on November 8th, 2016. The two major candidates are incumbent Democrat Hillary Clinton, running with Tim Kaine, and Republican Donald Trump, running with Mike Pence.
Police Brutality Controversies
Police Brutality Controversies refer to incidents in which police officers are accused of using excessive force, often involving allegations of racial bias as a motivating factor. Well-publicized police brutality controversies often involve the death of a black person including Tamir Rice's Death, Sandra Bland's Death, Michael Brown's Death, Alton Sterling's Death, and Freddy Gray's Death to name just a few. Black Lives Matter, also known by the hashtag #BlackLivesMatter, is the name of a movement created by three Brooklyn women during the protests following the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the murder of Trayvon Martin in 2013. The movement grew in traction during the police brutality controversies in Ferguson, MI, New York City, and Baltimore, MD throughout 2014 and 2015.
September 11th, 2001 Attacks
September 11th, 2001 Attacks refers to the three suicide plane attacks against the World Trade Center twin towers in New York City, the Pentagon in Arlington, Virginia and the fourth plane that crashed into the fields near Shanksville, Pennsylvania. On September 11th, 2001, four commercial airliners, including two Boeing 757s and two Boeing 767s, were taken control of by 19 hijackers. Two planes left Boston’s Logan Airport and subsequently crashed into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center early that morning. One plane left Washington Dulles International Airport in Virginia and crashed into the Pentagon. Another plane left Newark International Airport in New Jersey and crashed into the ground near Shanksville, Pennsylvania after passengers revolted. Within hours of the crash of two planes into the World Trade Center buildings, both North and South towers completely collapsed at 9:59 a.m. and 10:28 a.m. respectively, ultimate resulting in the death of 2,996 people, including 2,977 victims and 19 hijackers.
Occupy Wall Street
Occupy Wall Street is a series of protests in New York City and elsewhere across the United States that seek to resolve socioeconomic inequality and influence of corporate lobbying on Washington politics, as well as a number of other social injustices. Mostly coordinated via social networking services like Twitter and Facebook without a central organizer, the flash-mob demonstration officially began on September 17th, 2011 and its participants have since set up base in Zuccotti Park (formerly known as “Liberty Park”) near Wall Street. On July 13th, 2011, Adbusters posted an article titled #OCCUPYWALLSTREET, which called on 20,000 people to assemble in lower Manhattan on September 17th, 2011 and occupy Wall Street for indefinitely to demand that President Barack Obama ordain a Presidential Commission tasked with ending the influence of money in Washington politics. During the Occupy protests the "we are the 99 percent" slogan emerged alongside the infamous casually pepper spray everything cop meme.
Pizza is a Vegetable
"Pizza is a Vegetable" is a satirical expression inspired by a spending bill passed by the U.S. Congress in November 2011, which bars the Department of Agriculture from changing the nutritional guidelines for public school lunches, such as raising the minimum amount of tomato paste on pizza to be counted as a serving of vegetable. On November 14th, 2011, the Associated Press reported that U.S. House Republicans put forth a spending bill that would bar the USDA from changing its nutritional guidelines for school lunches, which would’ve required more green vegetables and set a higher qualification for tomato paste to be counted as vegetables from 2 tablespoons to a a half-cup. The article also revealed that part of the spending bill would protect the status of tomato paste on pizza as a vegetable at the request of food companies supplying the nation’s school cafeterias.
Politics has a powerful presence online, being the topic of all core news sites including Wikinews, Reuters, Alternet, BBC, NPR, MSNBC, CNN, and Fox News to name just a few. Political tests asking the participant's political leanings can be found on a number of test-oriented and political sites including ISideWith, Political Compass, People Press. Libertarianism, PBS, Polquiz, and NBC News. Many fringe or alternative news sites exist promoting niche political views including Stormfront (white supremacy), Anonews (Anonymous), and Feminist Majority Foundation. PolitiFact is a site devoted to judging the truthfulness of statements given by politicians and graphs how often overall politicians are lying or telling the truth. Wikileaks is notorious for its publishing of politically sensitive documents from various countries often meant to be secret. The Young Turks are a left-wing progressive YouTube channel made December 21st, 2005 which has 3 million subscribers and 3 billion views as of September 21st, 2016. On June 4th, 2014, TYT uploaded the documentary Spent: Looking For Change (shown below, left) and it has become their most viewed political video with 12.1 millions views and 15.3 thousand likes as of September 21st, 2016. VICE News is a left-leaning progressive YouTube channel made November 20th, 2013 which has 2 million subscribers and 400 million views as of September 21st, 2016. On August 14th, 2014, VICE uploaded the documentary The Islamic State (Full Length) (shown below, right) and it has become their most viewed video with 11.2 million views and 32.5 thousand likes as of September 21st, 2016.
Alt-Right refers to a segment of right-wing conservative principles, as well as the faction of politicians and constituents, characterized by its vehment opposition to multiculturalism, feminism and socialism in the United States. Presented as an alternative to mainstream American conservatism, the alt-right is known for its vocal support for 2016 Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump, especially on political discussion boards like 4chan’s /pol/ and Reddit’s /r/The_Donald.
Anarcho-Capitalism, often abbreviated as Ancap, is a libertarian political philosophy promoting individual freedoms, private property and free markets through the removal of state governments. As a right-wing branch of anarchism, ancap is distinct from traditional left-wing branches that are typically associated with communist, syndicalist and mutualist economic theories. Online, ancap-themed web comics often use black and yellow colors taken from the Swedish AnarkoKapitalistisk Front flag.
Anonymous is an ad-hoc group of Internet users who are often associated with various hacktivist operations, including protests against Internet censorship, Scientology and government corruption. Users of the anonymous image board 4chan, launched in late 2003, began using the term “Anonymous” when referring to themselves as a collective. User registration is not required on the site and users who do not identify themselves are given the label “Anonymous.” In 2004, a 4chan administration manipulated the site to force every user to be displayed as “Anonymous,” which perpetuated the notion that users of the site was part of an anonymous group.
Feminism is a socio-political movement that centers around the idea of improving the living standards and cultural opinion of women, both through changing female representation in the media and legislation. Individual feminists and groups vary widely with their opinions on specific issues pertaining to gender equality and society, with many subcategories and waves of feminism. Feminism began to develop as a philosophical idea in the early 19th century, encouraged by works such as Soujorner’s “Ain’t I a Woman”. In the 20th century, feminism developed into a social movement through activists in the suffrage movement. The movement is oftentimes described in “waves”, starting with the first wave and continuing on to the third/fourth waves, although there is much debate over how the waves should be categorized.
Hacktivism refers to people, notably Anonymous, acting outside of the criminal justice system to carry out vigilante missions through the subversive use of computers or the Internet. The alternate term Internet Vigilantism is often used as a synonym though the terms have nuanced differences.
ISIS / Daesh
The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), also known as the Islamic State, is a Jihadist militant group of Sunni Muslims based in parts of Syria and Iraq which originated as part of the global Islamic terrorist group al-Qaeda. The group has gained notoriety for their aggressive propaganda campaigns and prolific social media presence, which came under even more scrutiny by the press in June 2014 after the group released morbid photographs of an apparent massacre of captured Iraqi Army soldiers via Twitter.
LGBT, short for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender, is an initialism used to refer to a loosely connected global community of non-heterosexual and non-cisgender people. The definition also applies to various supporters and organizations, who are actively involved in the advocacy of civil rights for the gender and sexual minorities. The alternate term LGBTQIA is often used to emphasize the inclusion of the queer, intersex, and asexual communities. On the Internet and in the English-speaking media, the term has been used to describe the community of gender minorities, the social movement for the advancement of their civil rights and a wide range of political issues pertaining to gender equality, such as same-sex marriage, homophobia and discriminatory laws against members of the LGBT community.
Nazism, otherwise known as Nationalsozialismus (National Socialism in English), is a fringe alt-right political ideology that became prominent as a result of World War II-era Germany. Typically identified as being totalitarian right-wing on the political compass, it explicitly opposes the ideas of liberalism, socialism, communism, and all forms of anarchy. It advocates nationalism, racial/ethnic purity, social Darwinism, antisemitism, and the Organic Theory of the State. It is closely related to fascism, another extreme ideology that developed at around the same time in the 20th century.
North Korea, officially known as the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, is an East Asian country which constitutes the northern half of the Korean peninsula. Although the country claims to be a Democratic-Socialist state, it is closer to a totalitarian dictatorship, with a notable cult-of-personality surrounding the Kim family since the countries establishment. As international tensions between the country and other nations rose in the 2010s, the country became the subject of many jokes and memes. North Korea was officially formed in 1948, with Kim Il-Sung as its official leader, and the south, officially formed as the “Republic of Korea” with Syngman Rhee as its first president.
Social Justice Blogging
Social Justice Blogging, also more broadly referred to as social media activism, is the use of blogging and social networking platforms to publicize a wide range of individual cases relating to social injustice, including racism, classism, sexism and ableism. The influence of online activism on public opinion has grown significantly with the emergence of social justice bloggers. However, the group has been criticized for propagating unreliable information and espousing slacktivism and herd mentality, as reflected in the pejorative term “social justice warriors.”
Donkey and Elephant
Donkey and Elephant are a pair of symbols representing the Democratic Party and the Republican Party. The donkey is typically depicted as blue while the elephant is typically depicted as red. Used commonly in United States politics especially during election season, they are widely known as political symbols for the two polarized parties.
Cultural Marxism is a conceptual term used to describe the idea that culture is a main driving force for inequality in the Western world. Since its coinage by American sociology professor Trent Schroyer in 1973, the term has grown into a popular conspiracy theory among far right wing political conservatives who assert that the normalization of political correctness in modern-day society is a Marxist plot collectively undertaken by influential liberals in academic, artistic and cultural spheres to undermine Western traditions and Christianity. Online the term is frequently used on political image and message boards such as 4chan’s /pol/ board.
False Flag Conspiracies
False Flag Conspiracies refer to when conspiracy theorists describe mainstream events as having been perpetrated by governments or entities that did not actually perpetrate them, often in the name of creating diversion from another political event. A false flag is a military operation originated by the navy, where a boat would fly the flag of another country when completing an operation, in order to fool onlookers into believing that the action was being committed by the other country. False flag operations have been pretexts for declarations of war on many occasions, including during World War II, when a false flag attack on German forces by Germany convinced the German state to attack and eventually take over Poland, and the Second Sino-Japanese War, when a Japanese detonation of a Mongolian railway was used as a pretext to attack Manchuria.
Lesbian Farmer Conspiracy
Lesbian Farmer Conspiracy is a theory put forth by American conservative radio personality Rush Limbaugh which alleges that the United States government has been quietly subsidizing a rural settlement program for “lesbian farmers” to relocate to rural states traditionally affiliated with the Republican party (“Red States”) in order to swing their votes in favor of the Democratic party. On August 16th, 2016, conservative blog the Washington Free Beacon published an article about an upcoming summit held by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to discuss LGBT people in rural America. The piece suggested that the summit would “teach lesbian and transgender hillbillies how to get subsidies from the government like rural housing loans and ‘community facility grants.”
Nationality Stereotypes are generalizations about different countries that are often used as a form of trolling or flaming. These can be considered as racism and are often spread after a certain event or time that occurred in a certain nation or region. If the event or time can easily be mocked, then stereotypes are sure to spread. These stereotypes have a large presence on the internet, not just in real life.
Political Compass is a two-axis model of the political spectrum between libertarian/authoritarian and economic-left/economic-right. Similar to the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, it is a model with websites that invite users to take a survey to see where they stand. It has spawned many parody edits. The term “political compass” has been trademarked by Pace News Limited since 2001, and the graph was created by Politicalcompass.org. It consists of Economic Right/Left on the horizontal axis and Authoritarian-Liberterian on the vertical access. The resulting sectors are Authoritarian Right/Left and Libertarian Right/Left.
Red Guy Blue Guy
Red Guy Blue Guy memes consist of sign people, usually colored in red or blue, posed in such a way that they symbolize a sort of ideology, also known as an “-ism” (i.e. socialism, capitalism, libertarianism, etc.), but not necessarily. The blue character often represents the common man while the red character often represents an important figure like a leader of some sort.
The Illuminati is a purported secret society consisting of world governments, corporations and celebrities that play an important role in global affairs. Many believe the goal of the organization is to establish a global totalitarian government known as the “New World Order.” Due to its long history in American mythology, conspiracy theories regarding the Illuminati are prevalent online and are often mocked by those who are skeptical of the organization’s existence.
Vote as a word has evolved into a meme online and offline. Alternate usages of the word include Go Vote and I Voted. Often the letter 'v' is changed into a checkmark and the word is put into images composed of red, white and blue colors with red and white stripes as are traditional to the American flag. It is commonly used by online campaigns as a means of promoting people to go vote, often for specific causes or candidates. The meme appears regularly on stickers received upon casting a vote in the United States.
War Propaganda Parodies
War Propaganda Parodies refer to spoofs and satires based on a particular type of visual media, mainly posters and short films, that were mass produced and publicly distributed by numerous governments in the early 20th century, mainly for the purpose of promoting domestic support in mobilization efforts and/or demoting certain views held by enemies during wartime. The concept of propaganda, which is broadly defined as any form of biased communication employed to influence public opinions through the power of persuasion, has been practiced for many centuries before the arrival of the modernity, most notably in times of religious and political reformations across Europe. However, the first large-scale and organized propaganda campaign was brought on by the outbreak of the Great War in 1914, during which both the British and German governments mass produced a series of posters, newsletters and even films to encourage voluntary recruitment of military forces and instill a strong sense of nationalism.
 Teaching American History – The State, The Earliest Forms of Government (Section 4)