10 Common Myths About the United States Government

The United States government was built by
the founders with many, many layers in order to ensure a better union. By having so many checks and balances and
separation of powers, anyone who tried to pull a hostile takeover of the government,
or turn it into something less democratic, would find an incredible amount of resistance
from multiple angles, and would have to take years just to advance in any significant way. While this system has a lot of advantages,
it can also be very confusing even to many living in the United States, because of the
staggering complexity of the entire system. The United States government and many of its
functions or responsibilities are often misunderstood by the average citizen. 10. There Is No “The Government” In The United
States One of the favorite claims you will hear from
any conspiracy theorist is that there is something called “the government.” These theorists seem convinced that the United
States government is a vast, monolithic entity that is always sharing information and working
towards the same goals. In a way, it seems to give them a feeling
of security that the government is all powerful and able to watch out for them and protect
them, despite their constant fear mongering. However, they are greatly exaggerating the
competence and coordination of the United States government. The government is made up of the legislative,
judicial and executive branches, all of which have people within them with radically opposing
viewpoints. These people all have their goals to make
the world a better place, and like most politicians they have secrets. The USA also has powerful state governments,
with similar setups. Dotted throughout the country are police departments
that rarely have to answer to much of anyone and cooperate with each other on mostly a
good faith basis — then there are all the sheriff’s departments as well, which are
elected officials and have different rules and authority than the police. And then, if that wasn’t enough, there are
many spy agencies, and several different military branches with many subgroups within them. Many of these groups, for secrecy reasons,
only share information on a strictly need to know basis, so they may share certain surface
details to avoid bungling into each other, but it is highly unlikely in most cases that
they know exactly what the other agencies or military branches full plans are, and what
their eventual goals are. In a way, the United States government is
like a centipede with all the legs moving awkwardly in different directions. 9. The Claims Of Military Dominance Are True
But Also Somewhat Misleading One of the proudest boasts of the United States
and many of their citizens is that they spend more on military, and have a more powerful
and well upgraded military than anyone in the world. Now, we aren’t saying this boast isn’t
true — although Russia has a few more nukes — but it does leave out some important details. Diplomacy is a subtle game, and showing off
your military dominance is often a great way to get enemies to the negotiating table without
you having to lift a finger. However, if this type of diplomacy is done
in a less subtle way, your enemy may become even more belligerent, and now you risk either
looking weak or being forced to invade. Now, the United States could probably invade
and take out a lot of small nations, but they do not want to be forced to do so. The truth is that much of the military spending
actually goes towards maintenance on even some fairly recent equipment, because maintaining
the most powerful military in the world is incredibly expensive — and as you can imagine,
going to war is going to greatly increase your maintenance bill. However, that is only a small part of the
cost of a sustained occupation, which can cause a real hit to the budget of even a world
superpower like the United States of America. Despite taking control of Iraq and Afghanistan
fairly easily initially with almost no losses, the actual sustained occupation was extremely
costly in both money and lives. 8. The Power Of The President Is Still Greatly
Exaggerated Many people have been trying to educate others
on this one for some time, but it does not really seem to take hold. While many people will always be angry with
whoever is in the presidential office and direct most of their anger toward them, they
are allowing others at fault to conveniently avoid any real attention, and keep up their
work completely unheeded. The president of the United States of America
does have a certain number of powers, but outside of signing or vetoing legislation,
actions made by the president can be reversed by the next president to take power — as
they are not permanently binding without a full act of congress — and could be fairly
easily blocked by congress or the courts. One of the greatest real powers of the president
is simply the amount of attention they get, which they can use to shape the public mindset
and act as a leader for their party, or for a specific ideology. However, their power is much more limited
than many people realize. The leaders of the House and Senate have great
power to bring forth legislation to the president’s desk, and it is extremely rare to see the
house or senate minority or majority leader running for president. They already have an extremely powerful position,
and they do not have to deal with nearly as much of people’s ire if they dislike a decision
— many of them would likely see the presidency as a downgrade. There are also those in the judicial branch,
especially the supreme court, who wield tremendous influence and power. A swing vote on the Supreme Court can shape
the face of the country, and they have their position until they retire or death claims
them. 7. Free Speech Only Applies To The Government
Limiting Your Speech This pops up on message boards, and in public
places of business, and just about everywhere else you can imagine. People will be told in some way by someone
in authority to be quiet, or tone down the type of thing they are saying, and the person
will go on a rant about freedom of speech, and how their first amendment rights are being
violated. Or some public figure will lose their job
for something they said in an interview, and their fans will claim the first amendment
is being stomped on. However, the first amendment is very specific
and isn’t really interested in what private citizens or places of business do. The first amendment states that the government
cannot abridge your speech, or the speech of the press, and that people have a reasonable
right to public assembly to address their grievances — in a public place. All this means is that the government has
to give you a reasonable accommodation if you ask for a public protest, and cannot punish
you for what you say and put you in jail for it. However, this does not mean a private place
of business, or a private website, has to put up with you, nor does it mean your employer
has to give you a platform to express views that are antithetical
to them. Free speech protects you from government retaliation,
but retaliation from any sort of private entity is another matter. 6. Anti-Discrimination Laws Are On The Books,
But That Doesn’t Mean Proving It Is Easy Sometimes it happens that someone gets kicked
out of an established place of business that is open for the public. For whatever reason, the incident gets attention
and people argue about whether the people involved were racist or not, when the people
kicked out were not white. Now, this is understandable considering the
history of the United States, but in all of these cases many people are incensed that
no prosecutor or lawyer seems interested in trying to punish someone with a civil rights
violation, or prosecute them with a hate crime. While it may seem obvious to some people watching
a video from a distance, proving something like intent in a court of law can be a whole
lot more difficult. While civil rights laws now disallow discrimination
based on skin color and the like, public businesses can refuse to serve anyone for really any
non-illegal reason they want, and as long as they can come up with something remotely
reasonable sounding, the police will make you leave and ask you not to come back. In some cases perhaps the person who was asked
to leave was a victim of racial discrimination and did nothing wrong, but the trick is proving
that this has actually happened. If taken to court, the owner or manager of
the establishment could just give some kind of reason like they were making staff uncomfortable,
or customers had complained, or something hard to disprove. To win a case like this, you would practically
have to have tape of someone calling someone racial slurs or the like, and it is fairly
rare for that type of outburst to be caught on film. 5. The Post Office Is A Part Of The Government,
But Requires No Tax Revenue The United States Postal Service is an agency
that has confused a lot of people. Some people actually believe it is completely
distinct from the United States government — this is not the case — or that it is
a private corporation owned by the government, kind of like Amtrak. However, the USPS was actually founded back
in the days of Benjamin Franklin, who became the first Postmaster General. He wanted the agency to have a certain level
of independence, but he still wanted it to be a part of the United States government. The Postal Reconstruction Act of 1971 did
change the USPS, but it did not remove it from the federal government, or make it a
private entity, and USPS employees are still federal employees with all of the related
benefits. The confusion likely stems from the fact that
since this act, the USPS is expected to take care of all of its operating expenses simply
by the costs it charges for its services. It does not exist to make a profit, and it
does not take your tax dollars — it takes a fair price for the service provided, and
does its constitutionally mandated duty to provide that service to all Americans no matter
what. 4. Yes, Puerto Rico Is Indeed Part Of The United
States Of America Recently there was a news story about a Puerto
Rican couple being turned away by a clerk at a Motel 6, who told them that he needed
an American ID, and that an ID from Puerto Rico did not count as such. Some people thought that the clerk was being
malicious, but it is more than likely that he was honestly confused. The truth is that over 40% of Americans are
actually completely unaware that Puerto Ricans are fellow citizens and that their territory
is considered part of America. Now, this is possibly in part due to the fact
that Americans get little exposure to the United States territories. The Hawaiian islands are a very popular tourist
destination, but Puerto Rico, Guam, the US Virgin Islands, American Samoa, and the Northern
Mariana Islands are as isolated from the mainland as Hawaii and are simply not nearly as popular
spots. It would do well however, for Americans to
get a better knowledge of all US territories, and learn more about the intricacies of all
of what makes up America. The only thing a Puerto Rican needs to get
into the United States of America and stay as long as they wish is their Puerto Rican
ID or passport, since they have already been in America their entire lives to begin with. 3. English Is Not The Official Language Of The
United States Of America Sometimes people will get confused and start
talking about how in America, you speak English, and not any other language. They will demand this of others, and suggest
people should be forced to assimilate, or they should leave. Now, this misunderstanding stems partly from
the fact that English is by far the most spoken language in the country and is used for almost
everything written, but that doesn’t mean it is correct. There are roughly 500 languages that are spoken
in the United States today, and the federal government of the United States does not recognize
any of them as the official language of the country. It has been proposed before, but it has never
succeeded, except on a state level. At this point several states have passed laws
stating that their state’s official language is English, but this still does nothing, at
least yet, to change any federal laws or statutes. In truth, there is really no point to making
anything official — most people speak it, and most people use it for written communication,
and there is rarely any confusion — there is also the argument that making an official
language would violate the first amendment. Even if it were made the official language,
there are still some people who would struggle with it, and keep speaking mostly in their
native language, and other citizens would be happy to use their own language skills
to help them fit in, as humans like to do. 2. The Jury System Is Not Foolproof, Jury Nullification
Can Be Used For Good Or For Ill The jury system and justice system in general,
on its face, seems like a really, really good idea. Everyone has to have a fair and speedy trial,
and no cruel or unusual punishment is allowed. Forced interrogations are a thing of the past
and people are presumed innocent instead of guilty. In many ways it is a paragon of proper justice,
but every system has flaws, and one of the biggest ones in the United States is the ability
for juries, if the entire group is in sync, to simply to decide to do what they want and
tell the judge to take his instructions, and the law and witnesses to take what they told
them, and stuff it. This is something called jury nullification,
but it can also be used to ensure someone’s guilt. Now, it says you will have a jury of your
peers, but this is extremely dubious. No precedent has ever been followed to make
sure the people judging you are part of your peer group, so you end up with whoever is
local to that courthouse. In some cases to prevent abuse a trial is
moved to an entirely different geography for jury toxicity reasons, but this is not always
possible. In the old south in the United States of America,
many people who were obviously guilty of lynching got away with it due to friendly juries, and
many black people saw themselves jailed with what was basically nothing more than a cursory
examination from the jury. This isn’t to say the system is biased all
or much of the time, but perhaps emphasizing the peers part in jury selection would help
improve the fairness of the process overall. 1. The Supreme Court May Seem Insanely Powerful,
But They Do Not Have The Final Say Many people get very, very upset when the
Supreme Court does something, and people from both parties will accuse them of being activist
judges or something similar. It is quite common to suggest that the Justices
are actually trying to legislate from the bench, and using their lifelong position to
control the country in an entirely inappropriate way. This misconception likely stems from people
thinking that the Supreme Court has the final say on everything. The Supreme Court’s job is not to legislate
or tell politicians what to do, it is to evaluate laws based on the constitution and decide
if the constitution is being properly respected. However, laws can be changed to narrowly fit
requirements and they can be passed again, or a constitutional amendment can be made
to override the Supreme Court entirely. If something like this were to occur in response,
it’s not like the Supreme Court could just step in. Even if the Justices thought the new constitutional
amendment was incompatible with the rest of the constitution without more drastic changes,
they could not actually do anything until someone had challenged it in court, and it
had properly worked its way up the ladder. Even if they wanted to hear a case as soon
as possible, they have to wait for it to reach them. In the end, as much as some people may complain
about them, they are just interpreters of the constitution — they are not legislators
or executives.

100 thoughts on “10 Common Myths About the United States Government

  • I’ve always tried to learn about the territories and I love that there is no official language for some reason I love it so much.

  • We could always just pay one family to….??…to…..? …..do nothing but wave and wear crowns…lol…no, who would do that. That would be just stupid.

  • We know UK has no history of discrimination because if it's based on bloodline not skin color then that's ok.

  • Re: #5 – The 1st Amendment also serves as the basis for anti-hate speech and discrimination laws, which you roughly point out in #6. So, yes, it is strongly related to private parties and not just "The Government" that you mention.

  • I was born in Wichita Falls and have been to that police department (not under arrest). It's a CONSPIRACY!

  • The Supreme Court case Worcester v Georgia is a case in point for how the Supreme Court doesn't have the final say. In that case, they were looking at a case revolving around the forced eviction of the Cherokee Tribe as part of this Indian Removal Act 1830. The upshot was that the court decided that the Cherokee Tribe did not have to move from Georgia, but then President Andrew Jackson infamously said "[Chief Justice] John Marshall made his ruling, not let him enforce it." The result was that the Cherokee were marched off their land at gunpoint and forced to move to present day Oklahoma, with one out of every 4 Cherokee dying enroute, leading to this time being referred to as "The Trail of Tears"

  • Do you think we are all stupid? The video is so theoretical and pretending to be apolitical that is insulting human intelligence. It is like you have never heard of Wikileaks, Snowden, revolving doors, corporate power etc.
    Puertoricans are not "fellow Americans", they are a colony of United States. I.e.: 0 Puertoricans voted for Trump because they have no voting rights in the American elections.

  • The business that employs you is a dictatorship almost completely. There was a Bakery in Washington that was sued by a Lesbian couple for discrimination for refusing them service even though the business had a sign posted that they reserved the right to refuse service to ANYONE. There are many laws in America that are contradictory. The Jury system is flawed the Jury is supposed to determine reasonable doubt however if asked most would say they are determining innocence or guilt. You are not presumed innocent if this were true the burden of Proof would be on the Authorities. This is not the case, Police will seize property and it will not be returned unless you can provide proof of ownership even then you will still have to go before a judge and get a court order and even then there is no guarantee you will have your property returned. The US is also not a Democracy It is a Dictatorship disguised as a Democracy. Your vote is meaningless any decision of any consequence will not be determined by a vote, your votes are simply a subterfuge to fool you into believing in a lie.

  • Yeah, juries are kind of scary. Every citizen gets jury duty, so most the time the people who decide your fate are people who don’t even wanna be there in the first place and don’t really care. I’ve only gotten it once, but the case was canceled or something so I didn’t have to do it.

  • When I worked for the Social Security Administration, I was a case in which the issue was whether someone who was born on Swain's Island was, because of where he was born, as citizen of the United States. Swain's Island may be one of the most inconsequential places on earth – except to the people who were born there or live their now.

  • The obfuscation employed by trump and his cronies would never survive a British style Royal Comission, their government is a lame duck supporting villainous behavior.

  • What do you mean "there is no "the government"? Thats one of the stupidest things I've ever heard someone say. Umm ever heard of the White House? How about Congress? The FBI? Those are government entities.

  • Government in the United States=Plutocracy.
    It is the comingling of executive agencies and associated bearuacracy with elected officials funded by their corporate backers. Those corporate "backers" effectively extort elected officials with campaign funds and personal bribes to write the law for them. Then those private sector donors go through the revolving of door of executive agency positions until such time as they are appointed to provide industry oversight and expertise. This is usually a reward to backers when a new administration takes power. Effectively this gives the company the ability to write , enforce, and oversee the law through graft and corruption.

    That is not a "conspiracy" it is a statement of fact provable by any observation of American Poltical History. Standard Oil, Northrup Grummen, Google; it's the same beast with the same tools only different names.

  • The French helped John Paul Jones out with the Bon Homme Richard. It was over the hill, but provided enough dead weight to nearly sink his opponent. They also provided some tapped out bronze cannon. One blew up at first light, taking several crew members with it. They were all taken off line. I did my 12 year sentence to the monopoly public school system for the crime of being born but they seem to have left out Thomas Jefferson. He said that if a central bank ever took hold in this country, the population would be rendered homeless in the land their forefathers conquered. In fact, I don't remember bankers getting any mention at all. Yet these were the words of a president. Look around. I see extortionate rents and prohibitive prices. We have 5 million homeless crawling the streets and growing. Curiously the banks are keeping off the market about enough housing to shelter these people. We are beginning to get shanty towns. This after our treasury was cored out to prop them up. Looks like time for Revo 2 the sequel.

  • You're wrong about the supreme court,.. they DO legislate from the bench as proven by Roe vs. Wade where most in law today, and even back then, say if they were to take Roe vs. Wade up again, at any time,.. it would immediately be overturned, and is WHY it has not been re-visited even once since.

  • The best way to get filthy rich and powerful is to get your hands on government contracts and then monopolize your sector. The US Military industrial complex has mastered this fact and now they hold the government and public to ransom whilst they make off like bandits. There is no profit for them in peace times so they spend their time bribing government officials and looking for conflict just so they can justify their obscene budgets. Trump and his goons proved this when they tried to provoke Iran into war a few weeks ago. Keep em scared to keep the money rolling in.

  • It would kill this guy to say something nice about the states. Typical arrogant Brit. I suffer his type daily.

  • Years ago we had a class in schools called 'Civics', that class taught about our government. They no longer teach the American students about how our government works. And that is a crying shame.

  • There is no official language mandate for the country for interspersonal communication. However, the official language of federal government and interstate governmental affairs is English by statute. That being said, by law, every legal document that a nongovernmental organization or individual request from the government must be available in the requested language. So while the government legally communicates in English, when communicating to 'the people' language grace is legally mandated and compensated for.

  • Hotel front desk clerk here. Of course Puerto Rico is in the US but requiring an American ID could be an excuse to deny service. The vast majority of hotels, do it being, you know, a place where travelers go do NOT require an American ID. They require a government issued ID. A passport is fine.

  • To be fair, the US Treasury and US Congress bolster the majority of power in the government system. The Treasury could completely screw over the nation and stop releasing money altogether, while Congress basically makes all the damn rules and can overrule just about anything.

  • 10/10 vid, taught a lot of much needed governmental understanding and checked everyone's over-exaggeration back into line.

  • 6:00 free speech does extend to any public platform due to state of English common law adopted at the beginning of the USA. A public forum can not place any usually prohibitions which have the effect of being editorial; exercising editorial preference nullifies the protection from being a platform and not a publisher

  • The is a “the government” if you work in a federal or state Job you are an employee of “the government” and will have certain benefits.

  • The president can without congress, attack a country without declaring war, Nuke a country, create a national holiday, create a new federal policy through executive action, pardon someone convicted of a crime. Our president has more power than your Queen and your prime minister.

  • The 1st Amendment doesn't prohibit the social consequences of irresponsible or hateful speech, nor should it.

  • Btw, when I visited Puerto Rico, citizens there said that they do not want to become a state of the United States. They're happy reaping the benefits of being an American Protectorate and not have t he disadvantage of paying American taxes. They do have their own government which oversees all domestic issues without interference from the U.S..

  • "Military dominance" is an interesting idea given that we haven't won a major engagement in almost 80 years. We can lick any conventional army in the world, true, but none of those will ever fight us again. Other than that, all we can do is get bogged down in one asymmetrical third world quagmire after another. All you have to do is wait us out. And we really need to ditch those silly U.S. territories, not just Puerto Rico. Either become states or go your own way already.

  • When I say/hear 'the government' I actually am thinking about 'the bureaucracy' – the non-voted beancounters and regulators who make decisions that can have large impact on the lives of the People.

  • That’s not what is meant Simon. What is meant is that there exists a shadow government in charge of intelligence offices on the federal level that makes sure that information is gathered by any means possible and stored on every individual citizen of the country. Some believe that it is a violation of certain constitutional rights

  • Begs the questions as to whether the Afghan and Iraq wars were somewhat responsible for the financial collapse of the late naughts

  • Technically English is recognized by two different Federal Agencies thus by defacto it would appear that English is the official language. The references are found in DOT laws and regulations and the second is OSHA regulations.

  • English is not the "official" Language because it's just assumed that it is. In order to become a citizen, you must be able to speak and understand a certain amount of English. Not official, assumed.

  • Not accurate, if they think Russian Nukes are about to be launched, I doubt they call the Senate for a time consuming vote and answer

  • Stupidity absolute stupidity!!! United States domestic law enforcement is subject to checks and balances from the people of the United States!!

    This production is clearly narrated by a left winger who cannot stand a politically balanced government

  • There are ALOT of innocent people in prison in the U.S. We kidnap and enslave more of our own people than ANY other country in the world. The only way to assure that you don't go to jail is to make sure to have the proper amount of money on hand. Also you have to LOOK the way the majority of other people look in whatever particular area you're in. Then you still have narrow minded bigots who actually believe that if you don't break the law you cant go to jail and that the law determines what is right and wrong.

  • Actually the Pesident if he wanted could overthrow Congress by force being that He is the Commander and Chief of the Military. He could also go to war with another country without the approval of Congress of course this would require funding for the war which would need to be approved by Congress which is why there is a 90 day cap.

  • Hawaii is a State the difference is that States are represented in Congress while Territories have no representation in Congress. However, these Territories are directly under the control of the President of the United States. Yes if you are born in a United States Territory you are a United States citizen.

  • The Democrats are trying to turn our country into something less democratic. They're trying to turn the U.S. into a hardline socialist country. That's only one small step away from progressive COMMUNISM!!!

  • Here's what government is, There is no government just people calling themselves government and forcing their will on others.

  • Yes English is not official but it is the unofficial language of the United States. And yes if you want to immigrate to the us you should learn to speak it.

  • Yes you are innocent until proven guilty until the news media sticks their nose in it then you're guilty

  • Or you like to use big words but you don't understand those words. I'm glad that you pointed out that there are conspiracy theorists out there a k a critical thinkers you might want to look up the word conspiracy theorist and where it was coined at and where it began. You know you say the government but you don't even know what's really going on behind the scenes you talk a lot of talk but don't know nothing.

  • Guys I love the vast majority of your videos, but damn! A significant percentage of your analysis of Americans and the basis for our systems and beliefs are simply ignorant of context and offensive.

    And please, Elon Musk is a charlatan, on the verge of a breakdown because he realizes he can't keep it up. Stop propping up a mentally fragile man.

  • I'm not worried about the actual government that you see. I'm worried about the shadow government you don't see.

  • Before you talk about the post office "doing its constitutionally obligated duty," maybe read the constitution. The Constitution gives the government the authority to create a postal service. It does not require that they do so.

  • Yes, racism is a dark part of our past, but do not forget how your country treated the Irish. Also, USPS has been losing money for years now so they do require tax dollars to keep running. Just thought you should know.

  • I didn't know that about Puerto Rico, actually I thought we had released them as a territory some time ago. Should've seen my face when I heard Guam and the others were also still U.S. territories😂, where public education has failed me, the internet picks up the slack.

  • Freedom of speech is gaurenteed in the U.S. but you cant yell "fire" in a crowded theater, slander someone, use fowl foul language on public television, tell someone to harm another person and lie to police.

  • It does NOT require a formal declaration to make a language official. A formal declaration may be required for the language to be legally official but there are thousands of limitations that a person for whom doesn't speak English are subject to as a consequence

  • The most powerful army in the world? Let's be honest, India has more soldiers, Russia has more nukes, China has more all round weapons and Australia has more skill by far …….

  • 12:00 That isn't true. A judge can in fact set aside the jury decision, but generally only if the jury finds the person guilty, on the grounds that the jury could not have reasonably found the person guilty based on the evidence presented.

  • The judiciary shouldn't have to wield so much power. Ideally, every jurist in America would be a constitutionalist like Clarence Thomas or the late Antonin Scalia, then they would have very limited power.

  • Nothing new here. 🙂 Jury nullification can be an extremely powerful way to protest unjust laws, but the problem is that what constitutes justice in the minds of 12 people is never going to be consistent anymore than it is with the thousands of people in positions of political power in the US. One tip: if you want to be on a jury, never mention nullification. Neither side will accept you. In fact, if you do want to be on a jury, the best thing, in my experience, is to say nothing during the voir dire. If you say nothing, you can offend neither of the lawyers. If, however, you don't want to be on a jury, the reverse is often true: the more you speak the more likely one of the people who can ask you to be excused won't like what you had to say.

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