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Portal:Politics

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The Politics Portal

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Politics is the process and method of gaining or maintaining support for public or common action, the conduct of decision-making for groups. Although it is usually applied to governments, political behavior is also observed in corporate, academic, religious, and other institutions. Political science is the field devoted to studying political behavior and examining the acquisition and application of power, or the ability to impose one's will on another. Its practitioners are known as political scientists. Political scientists look at elections, public opinion, institutional activities (how legislatures act, the relative importance of various sources of political power), the ideologies behind various politicians and interest groups, how politicians achieve and wield their influence, and so on.

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Selected article

Oliver Stone, director of JFK

JFK is a 1991 American film directed by Oliver Stone. It examines the events leading to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy and alleged subsequent cover-up through the eyes of former New Orleans district attorney Jim Garrison (played by Kevin Costner). Garrison filed charges against New Orleans businessman Clay Shaw (Tommy Lee Jones) for his alleged participation in a conspiracy to assassinate the president, for which Lee Harvey Oswald (Gary Oldman) was found responsible by two Government investigations: the Warren Commission, and the House Select Committee on Assassinations (which concluded that there was another assassin shooting with Oswald). The film was adapted by Stone and Zachary Sklar from the books On the Trail of the Assassins by Jim Garrison and Crossfire: The Plot That Killed Kennedy by Jim Marrs. Stone described this account as a "counter-myth" to the "fictional myth" of the Warren Commission. The film became embroiled in controversy. Upon JFK's theatrical release, many major American newspapers ran editorials accusing Stone of taking liberties with historical facts, including the film's implication that President Lyndon B. Johnson was part of a coup d'état to kill Kennedy. After a slow start at the box office, Stone's film gradually picked up momentum, earning over $205 million in worldwide gross. JFK went on to win two Academy Awards and was nominated for eight in total, including Best Picture. The film was one of three films Stone made about the American Presidency, followed later by Nixon with Anthony Hopkins in the title role and W. with Josh Brolin as George W. Bush.

Featured picture

Republican presidential ticket 1864b.jpg
Credit: Lithograph: Currier and Ives, Restoration: Lise Broer

A campaign poster from the National Union Party during the US election of 1864, showing presidential candidate Abraham Lincoln (left) and his running-mate Andrew Johnson. The Republican Party changed its name and selected Johnson, a former Democrat, to draw support from War Democrats during the Civil War.

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Selected biography

Official Portrait of President Ronald Reagan in 1981

Ronald Reagan (1911-2004) was the 40th President of the United States and the 33rd Governor of California. He was defeated in his run for the Republican presidential nomination in 1968 as well as 1976, but won both the nomination and election in 1980. As president, Reagan implemented new political initiatives as well as economic policies, advocating a laissez-faire philosophy, but the extent to which these ideas were implemented is debatable. The policies, dubbed "Reaganomics," included substantial tax cuts implemented in 1981. After surviving an assassination attempt and ordering controversial military actions in Grenada, he was re-elected in a landslide victory in 1984. Reagan's second term was marked by the ending of the Cold War, as well as a number of administration scandals, notably the Iran–Contra affair. The president ordered a massive military buildup in an arms race with the Soviet Union, foregoing the previous strategy of détente. He publicly portrayed the USSR as an "Evil Empire" and supported anti-Communist movements worldwide.

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Selected quote

Edmund Burke
There is a sort of enthusiasm in all projectors, absolutely necessary for their affairs, which makes them proof against the most fatiguing delays, the most mortifying disappointments, the most shocking insults; and, what is severer than all, the presumptuous judgement of the ignorant upon their designs.
Edmund Burke, Irish statesman, author, orator, 1757

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