Essay written by: Charisma
What is politics? Throughout history, people have participated in politics on many different levels. They may have participated through a direct democracy, in which they directly governed, or they may have participated through a representative democracy, in which they participated by electing representatives. As citizens’, people have participated in politics to attain the things they needed or wanted, the valued things. Participation in politics has been the way that people have a voice and change the things that directly affect their lives. Throughout the course of history, politics has been the competition of ideas; they decide who gets what, when, where and how.
Politics is the means for attaining valued things. Although, valued things are different in every society, the means of securing those things has never changed. The competition for power, authority and influence will always be the backbone of politics. Applying power, authority and influence to the valued things that support the public good, will produce the quality of life a society desires. In the present day, citizens in the United States demand certain valued things such as welfare, education, safe streets and healthcare. Through politics, citizens can apply their power in many different ways to get the things they want. Power is the ability to get someone to do something they may or may not want to do. Through the use of or the application of coercion, persuasion, manipulation and negotiation, power is used to influence the system.
It would seem as if valued things, such as safe streets and healthcare, would already be established in a society such as ours. Using safe streets as an example, it is hard to believe a person would not support safe streets. But the discussion about safe streets is not exactly whether we want them or not. The disagreement on this topic, and most political topics, is how much should be spent fiscally on achieving and maintaining safe streets. The question of how much money should be spent on what and where is usually decided by whomever or whatever has applied the most power, influence and authority.
How active or inactive should the government be in getting valued things? Politics must be used as the means of answering this question. Politics should be used to attain the things that the society needs most and should represent all of the people equally. In America today, there is a general, underlying equality that has been offered to everyone. Our framers instilled democratic values into our system, and politics must consistently strive to lower the rate of inequality. The importance of equality in our system should considered of the same importance as our freedom. For we can not call ourselves free people if our neighbor is of lower significance. Over the course of history, the fair representation of the people and their needs have been over-shadowed. Things such as re-elective actions, in which the representative of the people makes a certain decision based on getting re-elected and other things, such as the governments disregard of certain people with low economic status are corrupting our political system. Our system, our people and our country will survive certain setbacks such as these because politics is the way we live together.
Politics is the fight for power, authority and influence. Through discourse, debate, and the knowledge of the public good, politics decides who gets what, when, where and how.
Essay written by: Charisma