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The Difference Between Civics, Politics, and Issues

Several people have asked, “What do you mean by formative civic education?” “How is this different from politics?” and “Isn’t it important that we all focus on the issues?”


Formative civic education is about having an understanding about how any governmental system works, in our case, United States of America governmental systems.


By definition, politics is “the activities associated with the governance of a country or other area, especially the debate or conflict among individuals or parties having or hoping to achieve power.” We also often hear about partisan politics, which are the political differences between political parties and their respective ideologies.


Issues are specific problems in democracies that various governments solve, depending upon the charge of that government. Water problems exist in every level of government but are handled differently at each level. So you have to know the nature of the problem you’re trying to solve and then figure out which level of government deals with that problem.


Have you fallen asleep yet? Let me suggest another way to think about this…


Think of America as your home…


…voting is how you open the front door and get to live in your home of freedom, called America.


Each room in your home represents the different democracies in which you live -


· there’s a local room for any city or township or village,


· then there’s a county room for your county government or for those who live in Louisiana, parish government,


· then a state room for the state that you live in


· then there’s the federal government room for the national government.


While they are all located within these United States, not every state does things exactly the same as all other states. In fact, there’s a wide variety of interpretations.


Just like your home, each room has a different function, a different way in which you engage and use that space.


A partisan political point of view and the issues you care about are how you decorate the room, which is what makes each person’s home of freedom different.


But the foundation is the same. Everyone needs to know every room in the home of freedom, otherwise you’ll find yourself standing in the hall and only voting. It’s great to get in the house, but we want you to use every room.


Hope this helps!

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