No matter where you live, politics probably plays a part in your day to day life. You might not immediately deal with political issues, but you can be sure that politics plays a part in what you do! Whether it is office politics deciding who gets that raise you’ve been hoping for; city politics determining where you are allowed to park downtown; county politics dictating your quarterly property tax or even nationwide politics deciding how your schools are funded, politics plays a part in your daily life.
It is important then that you understand what politics really is. Politics, at its core, is defined by Wikipedia as the process by which groups of people make decisions. At its core, politics sounds quite simple. What makes it complicated are the individuals involved in making the decisions. Because human beings are not perfect, the political system is never going to be perfect. This is something that most people don’t understand about politics. You can put all of the pomp and circumstance into politics that you want, in the end; it is more about human beings getting their way than about the process itself.
It has been said quite often that politics is a dirty business. In the United States Congress, for example, politics has taken on an air of hatred and manipulation. Many citizens of the United States feel that they are left out of the process of politics and that their elected representatives are more interested in scoring personal points than in working toward the betterment of their states and districts. In the last few decades special interest groups have taken on an entirely new role and lobbyists have become particularly vilified.
This disillusion toward politics is nothing new. Plato-the famous Greek philosopher-believed that all political systems were corrupt at their cores and that societies leaders should be chosen from an elite group of individuals who were began leadership training at birth. Aristotle argued that man is inherently political and that personal and political ethics are often the same thing.
One of the most famous political philosophers, Machiavelli advised that leaders of politics be brutal and manipulative and do whatever they could to retain their power. Machiavelli is studied today and his work is considered to be one of the leading authorities on how to behave in politics. Is it any wonder then, that the political systems of so many nations look corrupt?
The heart of politics is good: it is how laws are made and how individuals are judged by the societies that surround them. Without politics, nobody would know what was allowed and what was not allowed when they left the house. Unfortunately, many people view politics as a way to get ahead or to gain some sort of power over the people they live and work with. It is because of these “bad eggs” that politics has become regarded as an evil and ugly business.