Government vs Politics: What’s the Real Difference?

Government vs Politics: What's the Real Difference?

( – During election seasons, certain words are thrown around so often that they begin to lose meaning. “Government” and “politics” are two such words; many people use them interchangeably, yet there are important differences between them.

A government is the set of structures we use to establish rules and arrange public services. To ensure no single part of government gains too much influence, we employ something called “separation of powers.” In America, we separate powers into the executive branch (the president or state governors), the legislative branch (Congress or state legislatures), and the judicial branch (the courts).

Politics is the method by which we choose our governments. Those who partake in politics with the aspiration of becoming members of government are called politicians. The business of politics often involves misrepresenting facts to voters in order to build popularity, which is why the word sometimes has negative connotations.

There’s obviously a lot more to both government and politics than we’ve covered here. You could fill a book with important details about each one. However, once you know the basic differences, you’ll be able to use your knowledge to make more educated decisions as a voter.

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