In Defense Of “Politics”

Politics is the art and science of influencing people. It does not come in genders. There is no male or female politics.

In society, people will disagree on a particular issue. This issue gets resolved through the practice of politics. There is no other way.

One side influences the other side through either coercion or persuasion. If a guy wants to rob a convenience store, society shows its displeasure by throwing the criminal in jail. If you want to eliminate homelessness, they must persuade enough people to follow your plan.

People forget, or they’re not aware, that both sides are convinced of their moral superiority. Remember the Nazi’s delusion; killing all the Jews will save humanity.

So if you can’t convert your opponents, what can you do? You can coerce people to follow your cause, a tactic terrorists favor. Or you can persuade others their best interest is served by coming around to your point of view. This is what we like to think is the American way of influencing each other.

This is where people find politics objectionable. Appealing to self-interest seems wrong, dirty. However, almost every day you appeal to another’s best interest to get what you need as others do likewise to you.. This process, or “game”, goes on within the family, in the workplace, at church, as well as within the country – wherever people hold opposing views.

We should expect that politics, however practiced, advances the common good. Making history by becoming the first woman president seems to me, so far, Hillary Clinton’s idea of advancing the common good.


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