chapter  2
How the Government Works
A Foundation in Civics
ByKevin J. Fandl
Pages 27

Social media is allowing the rapid spread of false ideas that many voters are unable to distinguish from facts, further skewing voter awareness and engagement in governance. The power of a vote depends upon two things—the makeup of the district and the electoral college. Declining civic engagement is a bit of a paradox. Just as civic engagement is diminishing, public trust in government has dropped precipitously. The Democrat-Republican Party split in the early 1800s to become the Whig Party and the Democratic Party. The Whigs supported a federal government where Congress maintained most of the power and where the economy would be modernized and protected against foreign competition. Only through the spread of facts and active dialogue around those facts can we create a healthy political environment in which most people participate, believe that their voice is being heard, and trust their government to act in their best interests.