Politics

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How Segregation Influenced Evangelical Political Activism

While abortion is often cited as the motivation behind evangelical Christians becoming politically active in the 1970s, there's another little-known reason that involves the IRS and segregated schools.
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The Roots of Evangelicals’ Political Fervor

White evangelical Christians are among President Trump’s most important supporters. But more than 40 years ago, they were on the margins of American politics.
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Future of Cities

In the latest installment of our “What Happens Next” series examining the future of society, we visit Medellín, Colombia—a city that has reinvented itself over the past few decades, turning its violent past into a sustainable future by transforming its slums.
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Bitter Supreme Court Confirmations from Bork to Kavanaugh

Will Brett Kavanaugh answer any questions? He may not -- and it all goes back to the bitter hearings over Judge Robert Bork, which forever changed how nominees answer questions.
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Gerrymandering's Surprising History and Uncertain Future

Both political parties have always played the redistricting game. But some of today’s battles have roots in a civil rights case decided by the Supreme Court 30 years ago.
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She Derailed the Fight for Equal Rights for Women

Even in the #MeToo era, many people don't know that the Equal Rights Amendment never passed...because of one woman -- which is why it's a big deal that Illinois recently passed the amendment.
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Iran, North Korea, Russia: How the Nuclear Threat Re-emerged

Despite President Trump's summit with Kim Jong Un, new reports suggest North Korea is pushing ahead with its nuclear program. The U.S. and Russia are also expanding their nuclear arsenals... so how is it that the public seems so complacent about the risk of nuclear catastrophe?
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Why We Can't Have a Civil Conversation About Guns

In the 1980s, the attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan and the shooting of his press secretary, Jim Brady, led to the Brady Bill. Decades later, are there lessons from that fight for the Parkland students?
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Us vs. Them: from George Wallace to Donald Trump

Trump has used populist politics to appeal to voters who are fed up with the status quo. We look at another politician who tapped into America’s divisions decades ago: George Wallace.
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How Toughness on Leaks and a Free Press Link Trump, Obama, and Nixon

Taking a page from Nixon, President Trump is waging his own battle against leaks, which threatens to damage Americans’ right to know.
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The Populist Politician and California's Property Tax Revolt

In 1978, voters passed Proposition 13, lowering taxes for millions of California homeowners. Decades later, what has it meant for California?
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The Great Debate: Style or Substance?

The moments we remember from political debates are embedded in our political folklore, from the knockout lines to the losing gaffes. But does media coverage often miss the real lessons they offer?
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Fair Housing

Has the government done enough to stop housing discrimination?
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The Split (1860): Conventional Wisdom

Some issues are too fundamental for a party to withstand, and the consequences can last for a generation.
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The Speech (2004): Conventional Wisdom

Sometimes the most important speech at the convention isn't delivered by the nominee.
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How Anti-Immigrant Sentiment Gave Birth to a New Democratic Party (1924): Conventional Wisdom

Immigration has been a defining issue in a campaign before, and the consequences transformed the Democratic Party.
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The Modern Primary (1912): Conventional Wisdom

In 2016, some Bernie Sanders supporters have said the delegate process isn’t fair. In 1912, a battle over the primary process transformed American politics.
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How It Started (1831): Conventional Wisdom

In 1831, a radical third party had a new idea for selecting a presidential candidate, and it’s still in use today: the national nominating convention.
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The Outsider Republican (1964): Conventional Wisdom

Donald Trump's candidacy isn't the first time the Republican Party has been split by an outsider declaring war on the establishment elite.
Image from The Mess In Chicago (1968): Conventional Wisdom
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The Mess In Chicago (1968): Conventional Wisdom

There are important lessons to be learned from the Democrats' 1968 Chicago convention.
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The Power of the Delegate (1976): Conventional Wisdom

In 1976, Ronald Reagan found owning the soul of a party isn't the same as taking home its nomination.
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Smoking Man: Political Ads That Changed the Game

In the 2012 Republican primary, Herman Cain's campaign produced an unusual video featuring Cain's chief of staff, Mark Block, giving a pep talk while smoking a cigarette.
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The Rock: Ads That Changed the Game

In 2007, long-shot Democratic candidate Mike Gravel released one of the strangest ads in political history.
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Willie Horton: Ads That Changed the Game

The infamous Willie Horton ad placed a nail in the coffin of Michael Dukakis' 1988 presidential run.
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Morning in America: Political Ads That Changed the Game

Future "warm and fuzzy" ads can trace their lineage to this one. For his reelection campaign, Ronald Reagan employed a team of advertising all-stars, resulting in one of the most famous catchphrases in American politics.
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It's 3:00 am: Political Ads That Changed the Game

After a string of critical losses in the 2008 Democratic primary, Hillary Clinton's campaign put out a hard-hitting ad that questioned Barack Obama's readiness for the White House.
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Daisy: Political Ads That Changed the Game

Perhaps the most famous political ad of all time, this early television spot ran on air just once, but generated enough media coverage to become a real factor in the 1964 presidential election.
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Hillary Clinton and the Superpredator

Wondering what the Hillary Clinton/superpredator brouhaha is all about? Here's the cliff notes...
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Why Bush v. Gore Still Affects Our Elections Today

The dramatic controversy surrounding the 2000 presidential election led to sweeping voting reforms, but opened the door to a new set of problems that continue to impact elections today.
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Being in the Bubble

The curious origin of a political metaphor.
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Campaign Finance from Watergate, to Soft Money and Citizens United

The Watergate campaign finance scandals led to a landmark law designed to limit the influence of money in politics. Forty years later, some say the scandal isn’t what’s illegal, it’s what’s legal.