Without politics, the world would be in chaos due to the lack of discipline. Politics help to organize the laws of the land, and help us to find people that would lead us to a better place than we were. But politics can also lead to corruption within the state and person. Politics can bring mud-slinging words to unneeded arguments and harsh comments to simple videos. That is why I believe that politics have a good side, a bad side, and an ugly side. Life has many good things.
The problem is that most of these good things can be gotten only by sacrificing other good things. We all recognize this in our daily lives. It is only in politics that this simple, common sense fact is routinely ignored. In politics, there are not simply good things but some special Good Things — with a capital G and capital T — which are considered always better to have more of. Many of the things advocated by environmental extremists, for example, are things that most of us might think of as good things.
But, in politics, they become Good Things whose repercussions and costs are brushed aside as unworthy considerations. Nobody wants to breathe dirty air or drink dirty water. But, if either becomes 98 percent pure, 99 percent pure or 99. 9 percent pure, there is some point beyond which the costs skyrocket and the benefits become meager or non-existent. In some ways certain things give politics a bad name. Democratic politics can be one of the most creative human activities.
It provides an opportunity for the public resourcefulness and talent of citizens to be developed to the full. However, before exploring the positive potential of politics, it is important to acknowledge that for many people, “politics” as they see it is a nasty concept, a word with all kinds of negative associations When politics only revolves around elections, then it is difficult to escape the idea that political parties are in control of the game. There is nothing wrong with political parties as such. In fact, it would be impossible to hold elections without them.
They provide an important channel for people to get involved in political activity and express their views, but they also often end up alienating others if they are the only game in town. Sometimes parties adopt fairly similar positions on an issue, but at other times they differ strongly. Differences between parties can result in bitter conflict and we’ve seen some of this in recent debates and arguments between party supporters, and even in violent conflict in communities. It is no surprise that many ordinary citizens try to steer clear of it. Politicians themselves often receive much criticism.
There are many unfair stereotypes. Politics is seen as something that only suits a particular kind of person: ambitious, power-hungry, ruthless and dishonest. The quotes above indicate just how negative many people feel about politics. They highlight the fact that people feel abused and manipulated by politicians. They don’t feel as though their interests really matter. They think that all politicians want is their vote. Citizens are not stupid. They are often very unimpressed by tactics that parties and politicians use to get people to vote for them.
Unfortunately, this usually makes people run away from politics, rather than work to change it. One of the most common perceptions is that politics is about a struggle for power. In this fight there are always winners and losers. After an election, the party that wins the most votes is said to be “in power. ” Of course it will work hard to stay there. The bigger its majority, the more powerful it feels. The runners-up in an election generally put a lot of energy into opposing the ruling party. They try to build their support so that they can take power away from the ruling party in the next election.
The struggle never seems to end: if one party gains power, then another party inevitably loses power. In this view of politics, there is never enough power to make everyone happy. Quite a lot of people have a negative idea of power itself. When they look around them and see the bitter power struggles in the world of politics, they end up believing that power is the root of the problem. Power is seen as a corrupting force that can get the better of anyone. Those who want it are treated with suspicion. Those who have it are seen as ill-intentioned or even evil.
Those who don’t have it are thought to be innocent victims. In fact, this is a very simplistic understanding of power and politics. It is unfortunate that so many people have become so disillusioned, because both politics and power are essential in our world, with the potential to be positive forces of transformation. Power comes from the Latin verb which means “to be able. ” The idea of having the power to do things is much more creative than the idea of exercising power over others. Power becomes something to develop and expand, rather than a limited resource to fight over.
If we define politics as the negotiation of different interests to achieve useful public purposes, then we can say that politics is everywhere and involves everyone. Contrary to the opinion of the person quoted at the beginning of this article, politics is not just “old people’s stuff. ” Young people have their own distinctive interests. By learning to articulate these and negotiate with others who have different interests, they learn to practice a different kind of politics. In this sense, politics is not only about power struggles and ideological conflict.
Nor is it just about political parties and elections. Politics is engagement with the world. It is an everyday activity that takes place in all kinds of settings, like schools, youth groups, sports clubs, and so on. Politics is incomplete without the voice and action of young people. By exploring politics in the broadest sense, elections will become more relevant to young people too. There was the good politics, which makes people want to follow leaders of integrity and competence, who stand for the needs of all, the success of all, and facilitate collaborations so that all benefit.
The good politics may rile you up, in a good way, and engage you to push your own limits, expand your thinking, manage your judgments, and passionately act with those-not-like-you to forge change for the greater good of all. Not all politics is bad, and good politics fosters positive change, making the whole greater than the sum of its parts. There was the bad politics, where self-serving people in positions power put their own needs before that of others. This can get especially ugly when resources and influence are limited, as is the case in many tech companies.
People can get pushed under the bus, maligned over miscommunications and misinterpretations of words and acts, and worse. Sometimes it not the politics but the person who is in the position that creates the bad politics. It’s not a matter of getting the “right” person in place; it’s a matter of refusing to give ANY person the amount of power politicians and bureaucrats currently enjoy. There is no way someone can “do good” in a position where they are expected to make certain groups happy and to do so with one tool and one tool only, force. That is government.
We are stupid to think good intentions can somehow make coercion a “nice” and effective way to achieve social progress and harmony. One reason certain politicians have a bad reputation is the election process itself. A life of public service and law making is not an occupation for social introverts, so many candidates for local offices are already notorious overachievers with more than enough self-confidence. Candidates for political office are often very ambitious by nature, and with ambition can come a level of moral and ethical flexibility.
Some bad reputations develop because the politician has already had to compromise any number of personal beliefs in order to gain votes or popularity. There is also the adage that power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Some politicians have a bad reputation because the power of the office has corrupted them in some way. Professional lawmakers, judges and others in position of power over citizens are constantly approached by lobbyists, special interest groups and influential private citizens who all want them to provide favors.
Many politicians do have enough integrity to resist corruption, but unfortunately some are not as strong. A politician under significant pressure can make some questionable decisions, which in turn could lead to accusations of wrongdoing or deriving personal benefit from an office. Historically, there have been numerous examples of dirty politics practiced by equally dirty politicians. Unfortunately for the majority of honest office holders, these incidents often dominate the public media. Consequently, a number of effective politicians have a bad reputation only by association.
If one politician is capable of dirty tricks or dereliction of duty, then they may all be equally capable of some wrongdoing. This general perception of politicians becomes even more pronounced during election campaigns, where candidates have the leverage to expose each other’s political and personal shortcomings. There was the ugly politics, which could just be amplified bad politics where someone is an unwitting victim, where the wrong people or strategy win influence and power and bring down people, teams and companies, where good politics with people of the best intentions go awry, when bad things happen to good people.