1600 Pennsylvania Ave:  Official address of the White House.  1600 Pennsylvania Ave. NW, Washington, DC 20500 


A


Accord:  A diplomatic agreement that does not have the same binding force as a treaty.


Acquiesce:  Accept something reluctantly but without protest.


Adherent:  Someone who supports a particular party, person, or set of ideas.


Ad Hoc:  Formed, arranged, or done for a particular purpose only.


Affirm:  An action by the Supreme Court to uphold a ruling by a lower court; that ruling is now the legally binding one.


Affirmative Action:  Measures to give minorities special consideration for hiring, school admission, and so on, designed to overcome past discrimination.


Alderman:  A member of a city government in the U.S.


Alien:  A foreigner, especially one who is not a naturalized citizen of the country where they are living.


Allahu Akbar:  An Islamic phrase, called Takbir in Arabic, meaning "God is greater" or "God is [the] greatest".  Many Radical Islamic Terrorists yell this phrase while killing innocent civilians.  


Allocate:  Distribute (resources or duties) for a particular purpose.


Ambassador:  A diplomatic official of the highest rank, sent by one sovereign or state to another as its resident representative.


Amnesty:  The act of an authority (as a government) by which pardon is granted to a large group of individuals.


Anarchy:  A condition of lawlessness and disorder brought about by the absence of any controlling authority.


Apportion:  Divide and allocate.


Appropriation:  The act of Congress formally specifying the amount of authorized money that an agency can spend.


Arbitrary:  Not based on reason or evidence:  done without concern for what is fair or right.


Archives:  A place where historical documents or public records are kept.


ATF:  The law enforcement agency of the Treasury Department that enforces federal laws concerning alcohol and tobacco products and firearms and explosives and arson. Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.


Attorney General:  The chief law enforcement officer of the United States or of a state government, typically serving in an Executive Branch position. The individual represents the government in litigation and serves as the principal advisor to government officials and agencies in legal matters.


Autocracy:  A regime in which the government holds all the power.


B


Baby Boomers:  People born during the demographic post–World War II baby boom approximately between the years 1946 and 1964. This includes people who are between 52 and 70 years old in 2016, respectively. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the term "baby boomer" is also used in a cultural context.


Behest:  An authoritative order or earnest/urgent request.


Bellwether:  Someone or something that leads others or shows what will happen in the future.


Benghazi:  The 2012 Benghazi attack took place on the evening of September 11, 2012, when Radical Islamic Terrorists attacked the American diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya, killing U.S. Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens and U.S. Foreign Service Information Management Officer Sean Smith. Stevens was the first U.S. Ambassador killed in the line of duty since 1979.  Also killed were Hero CIA Contractors Tyrone S. Woods and Glen Doherty.  -Rest in Peace-


Big Government:  A negative term, used mainly by conservatives to describe government programs in areas where they believe government shouldn't be involved, especially those that spend money on social problems.


Bilateral:  A state acting in cooperation with another state.


Bill:  A proposed law or policy.


Bill of Rights:  The first ten amendments to the Constitution, which safeguard some specific rights of the American people and the states.


Bipartisan:  A cooperative effort by two political parties.


Black-Hat Hacker:  A hacker who "violates computer security for little reason beyond maliciousness or for personal gain."


Bloviate:  To talk or write at length, especially in an insubstantial but inflated manner.  


Blue Dog:  Blue Dogs are Democratic members of Congress who are moderate or more conservative in their voting record and political philosophy than other, more liberal, members of the House and Senate in their party.


Boilerplate:  Phrases or sentences that are a standard way of saying something and are often used.  Also heard as Boilerplate Talking Points.


Bombastic:  Important or high-sounding but with little meaning; inflated.


Boston Tea Party:  This famed act of American colonial defiance served as a protest against taxation. Seeking to boost the troubled East India Company, British Parliament adjusted import duties with the passage of the Tea Act in 1773. While consignees in Charleston, New York, and Philadelphia rejected tea shipments, merchants in Boston refused to concede to Patriot pressure. On the night of December 16, 1773, Samuel Adams and the Sons of Liberty boarded three ships in the Boston harbor and threw 342 chests of tea overboard. This resulted in the passage of the punitive Coercive Acts in 1774 and pushed the two sides closer to war.


Brief:  A document submitted to a court that presents one side’s argument in a case.


Bully Pulpit:  The Presidency, when used by the President to inspire or moralize. Whenever the President seeks to rouse the American people, he is said to be speaking from the bully pulpit. When the term first came into use, "bully" was slang for "first rate" or "admirable."


Bureaucracy:  An administrative way of organizing large numbers of people to work together; usually relies on specialization, hierarchy, and standard operating procedure.


C


Cabinet:  A group, composed of the heads of federal departments and key agencies, that advises the president.


Caliphate:  A caliphate is an Islamic state. It's led by a caliph, who is a political and religious leader who is a successor (caliph) to the Islamic prophet Muhammad. His power and authority is absolute.


Capitulate:  To surrender often after negotiation of terms / to cease resisting.


Carpetbagger:  A political candidate who seeks election in an area where they have no local connections.  ALSO, a person who is perceived as an unscrupulous opportunist.  


Case Law:  The collection of court decisions that shape law.


Caucus:  A gathering of political leaders to make decisions, such as which candidate to nominate for an office; set policy; and plot strategy.


Census:  Counting the population to determine representation in the House of Representatives; the constitution mandates one every ten years.


Character Assassination:  A deliberate and sustained process that aims to destroy the credibility and reputation of a person, institution, social group, or nation.


Charter:  A document issued by state government granting certain powers and responsibilities to a local government.


Charter School:  A publicly funded independent school established by teachers, parents, or community groups under the terms of a charter with a local or national authority.


Checks and Balances:  The ability of different branches of government to stop each other from acting; designed to prevent one branch from gaining too much power.


Civil Disobedience:  A nonviolent, public refusal to obey allegedly unjust laws.


Civil Liberties:   Individual freedoms that the government cannot take away, including free speech, freedom of religion, and the rights of the accused.


Civil Rights:  The rights of equality under the law.


Closed Primary:  A primary in which the voter must belong to the party in which he or she participates.


Coattails:  The influence or pulling power of a popular movement or person (as a political candidate).


Cohort:  A cohort is a group of persons who have shared a particular event together during a particular time span.


Cold War:  A conflict over ideological differences carried on by methods short of sustained overt military action and usually without breaking off diplomatic relations; specifically often capitalized C&W :  the ideological conflict between the United States and the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics during the second half of the 20th century.


Collude:  To work with others secretly especially in order to do something illegal or dishonest.


Commander-in-chief:  According to Article II, Section 2, Clause I of the Constitution, the President of the United States is commander in chief of the United States Armed Forces.


Communal:  (of conflict) between different communities, especially those having different religions or ethnic origins.


Commutation:  A change of a legal penalty or punishment to a lesser one.


Congress:  The national legislative body of the U.S., consisting of the Senate (Upper House) and the House of Representatives (Lower House) as a continuous institution.


Conundrum:  A confusing or difficult problem.


Coup:  A sudden, violent, and illegal seizure of power from a government.


Credence:  Belief that something is true.


D


Dark Horse:  A long-shot candidate.


de facto:  In fact, or in effect, whether by right or not.


Defamation:  The action of damaging the good reputation of someone; slander or libel.


Delegation:  A group of people who are chosen to vote, represent or act for someone else.


Demagogue:  A leader whose impassioned rhetoric appeals to greed, fear, and hatred, and who often spreads lies. 


Democracy:  Rule by the people.


Department of Justice:  A department of the federal executive branch, headed by the attorney general, which administers the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), prosecutes violations of federal law, and is responsible for enforcing all civil rights legislation.


Deportation:  The removal from a country of an alien whose presence is unlawful.


Depose:  Remove from office suddenly and forcefully.  -ALSO-  Testify to or give (evidence) on oath, typically in a written statement.


​Depression:  A severe economic downturn that lasts a long time; more serious than a recession.


​Deregulation:  The repeal or reduction of regulations in order to boost efficiency, increase competitiveness, and benefit consumers.


Devolution:  The process of the national government giving responsibilities and powers to state, local, or regional governments.


​Dictatorship:  An absolute government in which one person holds all the power and uses it for his or her own self-interest.


​Diplomacy:  The act of negotiating and dealing with other nations in the world, trying to achieve goals without force.


Disavow:  Deny any responsibility or support for.


Dissenting Opinion:  A court opinion written by the losing side that explains why it disagrees with the decision.


​Diversity:  A mix of different cultural and religious traditions and values.


Dole:  A giving or distribution of food, money, or clothing to the needy. (2) :  A grant of government funds to the unemployed.


Double Down:  To become more tenacious, zealous, or resolute in a position or undertaking.


Due Process Clause:  Part of the Fourteenth Amendment, which declares that no person can be deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law.


Duopoly:  A term to describe the overwhelming power of the two major parties in American politics.


Duplicity:  Deceitfulness; double-dealing.  Trickery.


E


Earmark:  A provision in Congressional legislation that allocates a specified amount of money for a specific project, program, or organization.


​Earned Income Tax Credit:  A federal welfare program that refunds all or part of a poor family’s social security tax.


Economic Aid:  Assistance to other countries designed to help the recipient’s economy.


Editorial:  The editorial page serves as a place for the newspaper publisher to express his or her opinion. It can also contain opinion pieces written by local residents and readers.


Effective Tax Rate:  The actual percentage of one’s income that one pays in taxes, after deductions and tax credits.


Elector:  A member of the Electoral College.


Electoral College:  The body that elects the president of the United States; composed of electors from each state equal to that state’s representation in Congress; a candidate must get a majority of electoral votes to win.


Elitism:  The view that a small capable group should rule over the rest.


Emergency Powers:  Inherent powers exercised by the president to deal with emergencies.


Empire:  A state that governs more than one national group, usually as a result of conquest.


​Entitlement Program:  A program under which the federal government is obligated to pay a specified benefit to people who meet certain requirements.


​Enumerated Powers:  The powers specifically given to Congress in Article I, Section 8, of the Constitution.


Environmentalism:  The belief that humans have an obligation to protect the world from the excesses of human habitation, including pollution and the destruction of wilderness.


Equal Time Rule:  A broadcast media regulation that requires media outlets to give equal amounts of time to opposing candidates in an election.


Equivocate:  To use unclear language especially to deceive or mislead someone.


Excess Demand:  An economic situation in which the demand for something exceeds the supply.


Executive Leadership:  The view that the president should have strong influence over the bureaucracy.


Executive Order:  An order issued by the president that has the effect of law.


Executive Privilege:  The right of officials of the executive branch to refuse to disclose some information to other branches of government or to the public.


Exports:  Goods and services produced domestically and sold or traded abroad. Contrast with imports.


​Ex Post Facto Law:  A law that declares something illegal after it has been done.


Expressed Powers:  The specific powers given to Congress or the president by the Constitution; also called the enumerated powers.


F


Fairness Doctrine:  A broadcast media regulation that requires a broadcaster that airs a controversial program to also provide airtime to people with an opposing view.


Faithless Elector:  An elector who votes for someone other than the candidate who won the most votes in the state.


Fascism:  Ideology from Italy that stresses national unity, a strong expansionist military, and absolute rule by one party.


FBI:  A bureau in the U.S. Department of Justice charged with conducting investigations for the Attorney General and with safeguarding national security.

Federal Bureau of Investigation


Federal Budget:  A document detailing how the federal government will spend money during a fiscal year.


​Federal Communications Commission (FCC):  The federal agency that regulates the broadcast media.


​Federal Election Commission:  The independent agency established in 1974 to enforce campaign finance laws.


​Federal Register:  A federal publication that lists all executive orders.


Federal Reserve Bank:  The name of the central bank of the United States; often called the Fed.


​Feminism:  The belief that women are equal to men and should be treated equally by the law.


Fiat:  An official order given by someone who has power : an order that must be followed.


Filibuster:  A Senate tactic; a senator in the minority on a bill holds the floor (in effect shutting down the Senate) until the majority backs down and kills the bill.


First Continental Congress:  A gathering of representatives from all thirteen colonies in 1774; it called for a total boycott of British goods in protest against taxes.


Fiscal Policy:  How the government influences the economy through taxing, borrowing, and spending.


Fiscal Year:  A twelve-month period (which does not coincide with the calendar year) used for accounting and budget purposes by the federal government.


Flat Taxes:  A taxation system in which everyone is charged the same rate, regardless of income.


Foreign Policy:  A state’s international goals and its strategies to achieve those goals.


Framers:  The men who wrote the Constitution.


Front Runner:  The candidate perceived to be in the lead in an election campaign.


Fundamentalism:  Strict adherence to the basic principles of any subject or discipline.


G

​​G7:  The Group of 7 (G7) is a group consisting of Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States. The European Union is also represented within the G7. These countries are the seven major advanced economies as reported by the International Monetary Fund: the G7 countries represent more than 64% of the net global wealth ($263 trillion).  A very high net national wealth and a very high Human Development Index are the main requirements to be a member of this group. The G7 countries also represent 46% of the global GDP evaluated at market exchange rates and 32% of the global purchasing power parity GDP.


Gag Order:  An order by a court to block people from talking or writing about a trial.


Generation X:  The generation born after that of the baby boomers (roughly from the early 1960s to mid 1970s), often perceived to be disaffected and directionless.


Generation Y:  The generation born in the 1980s and 1990s, comprising primarily the children of the baby boomers and typically perceived as increasingly familiar with digital and electronic technology.  AKA Millennials.


Generation Z:  There are no precise dates for when this cohort starts or ends; researchers and demographers typically use the mid-1990s to the mid-2000s as starting birth years.  A significant aspect of this generation is its widespread usage of the internet from a young age. Members of Generation Z are typically thought of as being comfortable with technology, and interacting on social media websites for a significant portion of their socializing. 


Glass Ceiling:  An unofficially acknowledged barrier to advancement in a profession, especially affecting women and members of minorities.


Global Warming:  An increase in the earth's atmospheric and oceanic temperatures predicted by some to occur due to an increase in the greenhouse effect resulting especially from pollution


GOP:  Grand Old Party, nickname of the Republican Party.


Grandstanding:  Acting or speaking in a way intended to attract attention and to influence the opinion of people who are watching.


Grassroots Activism:  Efforts to influence the government by mobilizing large numbers of people.


Gravitas:  Dignity, seriousness, or solemnity of manner.


G.R.I.P.:  Get Rid of Incumbent Politicians


​Gross Domestic Product (GDP):  The total value of all economic transactions within a state.


Guerrilla War:   A war in which one or both combatants use small, lightly armed militia units rather than professional, organized armies; guerrilla fighters usually seek to topple their government, often enjoying the support of the people.


H


Hacking:  Using a computer to gain unauthorized access to data in a system.


Hague:  See "The Hague"


Hawkish:  Preferring to deal with political problems by using military force or threat of, instead of more peaceful methods.


Hierarchy:  An arrangement of power with a small number of people at the top issuing orders through a chain of command to lower-level workers; each person is responsible to someone above him or her.


Honeymoon Period:  The first few months of an administration in which the public, members of Congress, and the media tend to give the president their goodwill.


House of Representatives:  The lower house of the United States Congress. With 435 popularly elected officials, the House (as it is often called) is the most representative body in the federal government. House seats are apportioned relative to each state's population.


I


ICE:  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (also referred to as "ICE") is a federal law enforcement agency under the Department of Homeland Security and the largest investigative arm of DHS. ICE is the agency charged with detaining and deporting immigrants.


Ideology:  A set of beliefs a person holds that shape the way he or she behaves and sees the world.


Illegal Alien:  A foreign person who is living in a country without having official permission to live there.


​Impeachment:  The power of the House of Representatives to charge an officeholder with crimes; the Senate then holds a trial to determine if the officeholder should be expelled from office.


Imports:  Goods and services brought into a country from abroad for commercial purposes. Contrast with exports.


Inauguration:  The formal admission of someone to office.


​Income Distribution:  The way income is distributed among the population.


Incumbent:  An official or regime currently holding office.


Indefinitely:   An unlimited or unspecified period of time.


Independent:  A person who does not feel affiliation for any party.


​Independent Regulatory Agency:  A federal agency charged with regulating some part of the economy; in theory, such agencies are independent of Congress and the president.


"In God We Trust" :  The official motto of The United States and signed into law by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1956.


Inside the Beltway:  An American idiom used to characterize matters that are, or seem to be, important primarily to officials of the U.S. federal government, to its contractors and lobbyists, and to the corporate media who cover them—as opposed to the interests and priorities of the general U.S. population.


Insurrection:  A violent uprising against an authority or government.


Interest Group:  An organization of people who share a common interest and work together to protect and promote that interest by influencing the government.


​International Law:  A set of agreements, traditions, and norms built up over time that restricts what states can do; not always binding.


Iron Dome:  A mobile all-weather air defense system developed by Rafael Advanced Defense Systems and Israel Aircraft Industries. The system is designed to intercept and destroy short-range rockets and artillery shells fired from distances of 4 kilometers (2.5 mi) to 70 kilometers (43 mi) away and whose trajectory would take them to a populated area. Israel hopes to increase the range of Iron Dome's interceptions, from the current maximum of 70 kilometers (43 mi) to 250 kilometers (160 mi) and make it more versatile so that it could intercept rockets coming from two directions simultaneously.


ISIS:  Stands for Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and is an extremist militant group that rules by Wahhabi/Salafi law. In Arabic, the group is also known as Daesh. An example of ISIS is the terrorist group that is known for kidnapping and Killing western journalists and aid workers as part of their tactics.  Democrats seem to like to use ISIL instead.  


Isolationism:  A policy that advocates national self-sufficiency and freedom from international affairs or alliances (political and economic).


J


Jim Crow Laws:  Laws passed by southern states that imposed inequality and segregation on blacks.


Joint Chiefs of Staff: A group that helps the president make strategy decisions and evaluates the needs and capabilities of the military.


​Judicial Philosophy:  A set of ideas that shape how a judge or lawyer interprets the law and the Constitution.


​Judicial Restraint:  A judicial philosophy that believes the court’s responsibility is to interpret the law, not set policy.


K


Kate's Law:  Bill O'Reilly is calling on Americans to support a law that would impose a five-year federal prison sentence on illegal immigrants who are deported, but come back into the U.S. illegally.  Named after Kate Steinle  who was murdered in San Francisco by a 5 time deportee.  -Rest in Peace Kate-


Kyoto Protocol:  An international treaty aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions.


L


Lame Duck:  An elected official or group continuing to hold political office during the period between the election and the inauguration of a successor.


Left-Wing:  Liberal. The labeling system originated from the seating pattern of the French National Assembly, which put liberals on the left, moderates in the middle, and conservatives on the right.


Legislative Agenda:  A series of laws a person wishes to pass.


Libel:  Printing false statements that defame a person’s character.


Libertarianism:  The belief that government should be small and most decisions left up to the individual.


Limited Government:  A government that places few restrictions on its citizens’ choices and actions, and in which the government is limited in what it can do.


​Line-Item Veto:  A special type of veto that the president can use to strike the specific parts of the bill he or she dislikes without rejecting the entire bill.


Lobbying:  Attempting to persuade government officials through direct contact via persuasion and the provision of material benefits; also known as the inside game.


M


Madisonian Model:  A structure of government proposed by James Madison that avoided tyranny by separating power among different branches and building checks and balances into the Constitution.


Mainstream Media:  Major television networks and newspapers. Most mainstream media outlets are biased left but pretend to be neutral. Abbreviated msm.


​Majority Leader:  (1) In the House, the second-ranking member of the majority party; (2) in the Senate, the highest-ranking member of the majority party.


Majority Party:  In a legislative body, the party with more than half of the seats.


Majority Rule:  The idea that the government should act in accordance with the will of the majority of people.


Malfeasance:  The performance by a public official of an act that is legally unjustified, harmful, or contrary to law; wrongdoing (used especially of an act in violation of public trust).


Mandate:  When the federal government requires states to do certain things.


McCarthyism:  The practice of smearing people with baseless accusations. Refers to the tactics of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who in the 1950s destroyed the careers of many prominent Americans by branding them Communists.


Means - Testing:  Basing benefits from a policy on a person’s wealth so that poor people get more benefits than rich people.


Merit System:  The practice of hiring and promoting people based on skill.


Midterm Election:  A congressional election that does not coincide with a presidential election.


Millennials:  Millennials (also known as the Millennial Generation or Generation Y, abbreviated to Gen Y) are the demographic cohort between Generation X and Generation Z. There are no precise dates for when the generation starts and ends. Demographers and researchers typically use the early 1980s as starting birth years and use the mid 1990s to the early 2000s as final birth years for the Millennial Generation.


Minority Leader:  In both the House and Senate, the leader of the minority party.


Minority Party:   In a legislative body, the party with fewer than half of the seats.


Miranda v. Arizona:  A 1966 case in which the Supreme Court ruled that police must inform suspects of their rights when arrested.


Misconduct:  Mismanagement especially of governmental or military responsibilities


Monarchy:  A regime in which all power is held by a single person.


Monolithic:  (of an organization or system) large, powerful, and intractably indivisible and uniform.  Synonyms:  rigid, inflexible, unbending, unchanging.


Motive:  A reason for doing something, especially one that is hidden or not obvious.


N


NAFTA:  The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) is an agreement among the United States, Canada and Mexico designed to remove tariff barriers between the three countries.


National Convention:  A convention held by a political party every four years to nominate candidates for president and vice president and to ratify the party platform.


National Debt:  Money owed by a government.


Nationalism:  A belief in the goodness of one’s nation and a desire to help make the nation stronger and better.


​National Security Counsel:  A part of the White House Staff that advises the president on security policy.


Negligence:  Failure to exercise the care that a reasonably prudent person would exercise in like circumstances.


North Lawn - White House:   Bordered on the north by Pennsylvania Avenue with a wide view of the mansion, and is screened by dense plantings on the east from East Executive Drive and the Treasury Building, and on the west from West Executive Drive and the Old Executive Office Building.  AKA The Front Lawn.


NSA:   National Security Agency - a US federal defense bureau established in 1972 that specializes in cryptography.  An organization to protect the United States information systems and to produce foreign intelligence information.


Nuclear Proliferation:  Development of nuclear weapons by nations that did not have them before.


Nuclear Triad:  Refers to the nuclear weapons delivery of a strategic nuclear arsenal which consists of three components, traditionally strategic bombers, intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), and submarine-launched ballistic missiles (SLBMs).


O


Oligarchy:  Rule by the wealthy few.


Open Primary:  A primary in which a person can participate in any party’s primary as long as he or she participates in only one party’s primary.


Optics:  The way a situation, action, event, etc., is perceived by the public or by a particular group of people.


Original Intent:  A judicial philosophy that states that judges should seek to interpret the law and the constitution in line with the intent of the founders.


Oversight:  Congress’s power to make sure laws are being properly enforced.


P


Pack Journalism:  The idea that journalists frequently copy and imitate each other rather than doing independent reporting.


Pandering:  Catering to the lower tastes and desires of others or exploiting their weaknesses.


Pardon:  A release from punishment for criminal conviction; the president has the power to pardon.


Party Activist:  A person who is deeply involved with a party; usually more ideologically extreme than an average party voter.


​Party Platform:  The collection of issue positions endorsed by a political party.


Pay to Play:  Sometimes pay for play, is a phrase used for a variety of situations in which money is exchanged for services or the privilege to engage in certain activities. 


Photo-Op:  Short for "photo opportunity," an event staged specifically for news cameras to help a politician appear on the evening news or in morning papers.


Pigeonholing:  The ability of a committee to kill a bill by setting it aside and not acting on it.


Pinhead:  (Slang) An ignorant, foolish, Naïve, or stupid person.  (Bill O'Reilly likes this one!)


Platitude:  A statement that expresses an idea that is not new and even dull.


Pledge:  A solemn (formal) promise or undertaking.


Poling:  Assessing public opinion by asking people what they think and feel.


Political Action Committee (PAC):  An organization, usually allied with an interest group, that can donate money to political campaigns.


Political Appointees:  Federal bureaucrats appointed by the president, often to reward loyalty.


Political Party:  An alliance of like-minded people who work together to win elections and control of the government.


Political Suicide:  A vote or action that is likely to be so unpopular with voters as to cause a politician's probable loss in the next election.​​


Politicize:  To relate (an idea, issue, etc.) to politics in a way that makes people less or more likely to agree.


Politico:  Informal term for politician.


Populist:  A member or adherent of a political party seeking to represent the interests of ordinary people.


Pork:  Money spent by Congress for local projects that are not strictly necessary and are designed to funnel money into a district.


Posturing:  Behaving in a way that is intended to impress or mislead others.


POTUS:  Acronym (informal) President Of The United States.


Poverty Line:  The federal standard for poverty: Anyone below a certain income level is considered poor.


Power of the Purse:  The ability of Congress to spend money; all federal expenditures must be authorized by Congress.


Preamble:  A preliminary or preparatory statement; an introduction.


Precedent:  An earlier event or action that is regarded as an example or guide to be considered in subsequent similar circumstances.


Predecessor:  A person who held a job or office before the current holder.


Preemption:  The practice of the national government overriding state and local laws in the name of the national interest.


Preponderance of the Evidence:  The greater weight of the evidence required in a civil (non-criminal) lawsuit for the trier of fact (jury or judge without a jury) to decide in favor of one side or the other. This preponderance is based on the more convincing evidence and its probable truth or accuracy, and not on the amount of evidence.


Primary Election:  An election within a party to choose the party’s nominee for the office.


Privatization:  The practice of private companies providing government services.


Prohibited Powers:  The powers specifically denied to the national government by the Constitution.


Propaganda: Ideas or statements that are often false or exaggerated and that are spread in order to help a cause, a political leader, a government, etc.


Protracted Conflict:  The term refers to conflict situations characterized by the prolonged and often violent struggle by communal groups for such basic needs as security, recognition, acceptance, fair access to political institutions, and economic participation.


Public Assistance:  Another term for welfare.


Pundit:  A political analyst, commentator, or columnist who usually works for a newspaper or magazine, or in broadcasting. 


Purport:  To have or present the often false appearance of being or intending; claim or profess.


Q


Quid Pro Quo:  A favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something.


R


Radical:  Having extreme political or social views that are not shared by most people


Ransom:  A sum of money or other payment demanded or paid for the release of a prisoner.


Ratification:  Formal approval.


Recession:  An economic downturn; milder than a depression.


Redact: To obscure or remove (text) from a document prior to publication or release; Edit


Redistributive Policy:  A government action that takes money from one part of the citizenry and gives it to another part; usually the transfer goes from the well-off to the poor; also known as income transfer.


Red Tape:  Government paperwork and procedures that are slow and difficult. Stems from an 18th-century British practice of binding official papers with a reddish twine.


Regulatory Policy:  Government policies that limit what businesses can do; examples include minimum wages, workplace safety measures, and careful monitoring of stock sales.


Remand:  Sending a case back to a lower court for a new trial or proceeding.


​Reverse Discrimination:  Discrimination against majority-status people due to affirmative action policies.


Rhetoric:  Language designed to have a persuasive or impressive effect on its audience, but often regarded as lacking in sincerity or meaningful content.


Rigged:  Something that is fixed in a dishonest way to guarantee a desired outcome.


Roe v. Wade:  A 1973 Supreme Court case that legalized abortion during the first trimester.


Rogue State:  A state that does not follow international law or unspoken rules of the global arena.


Rural:  Of or relating to the country and the people who live there instead of the city.


Rust Belt:  Parts of the northeastern and midwestern US that are characterized by declining industry, aging factories, and a falling population. Steel-producing cities in Pennsylvania and Ohio are at its center.


S


Sanctuary City:  A city in the United States that has policies designed to not prosecute people solely for being an illegal alien.  Other considerations are also given - as well as not necessarily turning over the illegal individual(s) to the proper authorities for deportation. 


SCOTUS:  Acronym (informal) Supreme Court Of The United States.


Second Amendment:  A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.


Senate:  The upper house of the United States Congress. Two senators are elected from each state, regardless of state population, guaranteeing each state equal representation. Senators are elected for six-year terms.


Separation of Powers:  Dividing up governmental power among several branches.


Sexual Harassment:  Unwanted and inappropriate physical or verbal conduct of a sexual nature that interferes with doing one’s job or creates a hostile work environment.


Silent Majority:  The mass of Americans whose opinions are not loud and public, but who together have enormous power. Popularized by President Richard Nixon, who claimed that Vietnam War protesters comprised a minority, while a "silent majority" supported the war.


​Slander:  Publicly stating things that the speaker knows to be untrue that hurt a person’s reputation.


Smoke-Filled Room:  The sort of place where behind-the-scenes political wheeling and dealing, often devious, occurs. Refers to the penchant of many political operatives for smoking cigars.


Socialism:   Political view that the free market breeds servitude and inequality and should be abolished.


​South Lawn - White House:  Located directly south of the mansion, and is bordered on the east by East Executive Drive and the Treasury Building, and on the west by West Executive Drive and the Old Executive Office Building, and along its curved southern perimeter by South Executive Drive and a large circular public lawn called The Ellipse.  AKA The Back Lawn.


Sovereignty:  The right to exercise political power in a territory.


Speaker of the House:  The leader of the House of Representatives, elected by the majority party.


Special Election:  An election to replace a member of Congress who leaves office in between regular elections.


Special Prosecutor:  Generally a lawyer from outside the government appointed by an attorney general or, in the United States, by Congress to investigate a government official for misconduct while in office.


Spin:  A politician's attempt to shape the way the public looks at an issue or event.


Split Ticket:  A vote for candidates of different political parties on the same ballot, instead of for candidates of only one party. In the presidential elections, for example, a voter may choose a Republican candidate for president, but a Democratic candidate for senator.


Staffer:  A person who works for Congress in a supporting capacity.


Stanch:  To stop something.


State:  A political unit that has sovereign power over a particular piece of land.


State of the Union Address:  A constitutionally mandated message, given by the president to Congress, in which the president lays out plans for the coming year.


State-Sponsored Terrorism:  Terrorism practiced by a government against its own people or in support of international terrorism.


Statute:  A law passed by Congress, a state legislature, or some other government body.


Steering Committee:  A committee that decides on the priorities or order of business of an organization and manages the general course of its operations.


Stipend:  A fixed regular sum paid as a salary or allowance.


Stump:  To campaign in person on a local level.


Subsidy:  Aid, usually money or of monetary value, given by the government to support a public service.


​Successor:  A person who has a job, position, or title after someone else.


​Suffrage:  The right to vote; also called the franchise.


Sunset Provisions:  Expiration dates written into some federal programs; Congress can renew the program if it is satisfied that the program is achieving its objectives.


Superdelegate:  A party leader or elected official who is automatically granted delegate status for the national convention; superdelegates do not have to be chosen in primaries.


​Super Tuesday:  A term used to describe primary elections held in a large number of states on the same day.


Supremacy:  The state or condition of being superior to all others in authority, power, or status.


Swan Song:  A person's final public performance or professional activity before retirement.


Swing Vote:  The undecided, usually independent, portion of the electorate that can "swing" the outcome of an election one way or the other.


Systemic:  Of or relating to an entire system.


T


Talking Points:  Ideas / comments that lend support to an argument; also :  a subject of discussion


Tariff:  A tax on imports.


​Term Limits:  Limits on the number of terms an elected official can serve.


Terrorism:  The use of violent tactics with the aim of creating fear and destabilizing a government; frequently targets civilians.


The Hague:  The Hague is a city on the North Sea coast of the western Netherlands. Its Gothic Binnenhof complex is the seat of the Dutch parliament, and 16th-century Noordeinde Palace is the king’s workplace. The city is also home to the U.N.’s International Court of Justice, headquartered in the Peace Palace, and the International Criminal Court.


The Montgomery TEA Party:  Created in the summer of 2010 to provide an organized outlet and subdivision for the National Tea Party where like minded people may come together to learn and discuss the many political issues that affect our lives both of local and national concern.  Montgomery Twp., New Jersey


Theocracy:  A system of government in which priests rule in the name of God or a god.


​Third Party:  In American politics, any political party other than the Democrats and Republicans.


Thumb on the Scale:  An act of bias or a tactic for cheating which creates a situation that unfairly benefits one party involved in an interaction.


Tort:  A wrongful act or an infringement of a right (other than under contract) leading to civil legal liability.


Totalitarian Government:  A regime in which the government controls every facet of life.


TPP:  The United States and 11 other Pacific Rim nations—Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam and Japan—signed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) on Feb. 4, 2016. This trade, investment and economic governance agreement was negotiated in secret from 2010-15.


Trickle-Down Economics:  An attempt to improve the economy by providing big tax cuts to businesses and wealthy individuals (the supply side). These cuts encourage investment, which then creates jobs, so the effect will be felt throughout the economy; also known as supply-side economics.


Trier of Fact:  A judge or jury that determines questions of fact in a trial. 


U


Underemployment:  When people who seek work can only find part-time jobs.


Unfunded Mandate:  A mandate for which the federal government gives the states no money.


Unilateral:  A state acting alone in the global arena.


Unprecedented:  Never done or known before.


Upturn:  An improvement or upward trend, especially in economic conditions or someone's fortunes.


Urban:   Of or relating to cities and the people who live in them.


V


Valor:  Great courage in the face of danger, especially in battle.


Verbose:  Containing more words than necessary :  wordy <a verbose reply>; also :  impaired by wordiness


Vet:  To check (someone or something) carefully to make sure it is acceptable.


Veto:  The power of the president to stop a bill passed by Congress from becoming law.


V.F.W.  Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States: a society composed of veterans of the U.S. armed forces who have served overseas during wartime.


Vitriol:  Cruel and bitter criticism.


W


War Chest:  A fund accumulated to finance a war; broadly :  a fund earmarked for a specific purpose, action, or campaign.


War Powers Resolution:  Passed by Congress in 1973, the War Powers Resolution demands that the president consult with Congress when sending troops into action; it also gives Congress the power to force withdrawal of troops.


Watchdog Journalism:  Journalism that attempts to hold government officials and institutions accountable for their actions.


Welfare:  The term for the set of policies designed to help those in economic need.


Whip:  A member of the leadership of a legislative body responsible for counting votes and connecting the leadership with the rank and file.


Whistleblower:  A person who reports wrongdoing in a government agency.


White House Staff:  The people with whom the president works every day.


WikiLeaks:  An international non-profit journalistic organisation that publishes secret information, news leaks, and classified media from anonymous sources.


Winner Take All:  An electoral system in which the person with the most votes wins everything (and everyone else loses); most states have winner-take-all systems for determining electoral votes.


​Writ of Habeas Corpus:  A court order requiring that the government show cause for detaining someone and charge him or her with a crime.


www.themontgomeryteaparty.org  The best website ever!!!


X

Xenophobia:  Intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries.  


Y


Yellow Journalism:  Journalism that focuses on shocking and sordid stories to sell newspapers.


Z


Zealot:  A person who has very strong feelings about something (such as religion or politics) and who wants other people to have those feelings : a zealous person


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Glossary

general@tmtp-nj.org

Here are some words you may encounter as you not only navigate our website, but come across as you research and absorb political information.  Keep in mind that words do have more than one meaning and this page was created as a quick reference only.  If there is a word you wish added, feel free to contact us and let it be known.  We always love to hear from our members and website visitors.  Thank you!