5 bizarre features of American politics that shock people when they first hear about them.

...including one reason people are staying involved despite it all.

Tuning in to American politics for the first time in 2017 is a lot like drinking from a firehose while fighting a grizzly bear and trying to summarize the plot of "Inception" from memory.  

Photos by: Win McNamee/Getty Images (Paul Ryan), Justin Sullivan/Getty Images (Neil Gorsuch, Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren), Zach Gibson/Getty Images (James Comey), Jim Lo Scalzo - Pool/Getty Images (Donald Trump), iStock (Supreme Court).

As breaking news and scandals continue to erupt at an Usain Bolt-ish pace, many Americans are experiencing the early days of the Trump administration as a crash course in what makes our government kind-of-but-honestly-not-exactly work, with emphasis on the "crash."

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4 scary ways politicians have radically flipped their positions since November.

Flip-flopping is a political no-no. Why do so many politicians do it anyway?

It seems like just yesterday, congressional leadership was pounding its chest about ensuring that the 45th president of the United States should be held to rigorous ethical standards. Step out of line and prepare to be hit with a subpoena to appear in front of the House Oversight Committee. Bam! Oh, and that Supreme Court seat they were holding open? Yeah, maybe they’d leave it open for another four years. Raring to go for an opportunity to flex some major “checks and balances” muscle, our legislative branch was making their bold intentions known.

And then something completely unexpected happened: Donald Trump was elected.

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Before the 2016 presidential election season began, most American relationships looked like this.

Ah, to be in love. Photo via iStock.

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