The Meaning Of Power In Politics

This essay has a total of 839 words and 6 pages.

The Meaning Of Power In Politics

My Own Understanding of Politics

"A means by which individuals and interest groups compete to shape government's impact on
society's problems and goals." Politics is easily defined. It is the concept behind the
words that is more difficult to understand. Though politics is the primary method of
communicating with government, this is not the only time politics are used. Immediate,
individual interests, wants, and needs must be satisfied, as well as societal problems.
The pursuit of interest is the purpose and initiation of political behavior.

The moment an individual actively pursues an interest or works toward the completion of a
goal, it is projected outside him. For example, a person is shopping for a car. The
situation is no longer individual because he cannot achieve his goal of obtaining a new
car alone; another person or dealership must make the car available to him. Because the
person selling the car also has a goal, there is interplay of interests, and the
implications of politics.

Negotiation over a car, or anything of interest involves a distribution of attention from
one side to another. Just as a car has a seller and a buyer, the government has different
political parties, and each issue has a group for and against it. Gaining cooperation from
the other side requires strategy.

Tactics used range from peaceful, including persuasion and civil disobedience, to violent.
But the expectation of reward and the actual probability of reward essentially dictate
political action.

Rewards are both individual and societal. Power and the ability to control motivate our
political leaders. Desire for wealth fuels citizens and the economy. Skilled citizens are
represented in the technologically advanced Japanese population. Enlightenment comes from
an educated society. Health is invaluable to everyone, and to society when average life
spans increase. And finally, respect, morality, and affection are the values that make up
a person's essence.

Government is just as involved in the distribution of rewards and the claiming of values
as individuals. Its leadership is the nucleus of society. The government allocates
resources (money), deciding the fate of such programs as Medicare and welfare reform and
the means, usually tax dollars, to pay for these programs. Government is the
goal-attaining unit, and its decisions reflect those goals.

The government is responsible for building a foundation now to prepare for the future.
These decisions for the future are some of the most difficult ones to make. Improving the
education system, reforming Social Security, and making progress in race relations have
been primary goals and sources of political debate.

In the United States, issues become political issues first as a result of the republic, or
"representative democracy" the country is. The people do not directly make decisions;
their elected officials do. However, politicians running for office must concern
themselves not only with the issues that are important to the voting public, but with the
political party's interests, and the special interest groups which advocate that party.

This potential conflict of interests, complicates the job of government to act in the best
interest of the country. Once elected, the politicians wish to achieve their individual
goals of remaining in office, and they keep this in mind when deciding which of the
contending interests to support. Which goals take priority, the politicians' or the
country's? This is a question is asked by the non-voting public and is a possible
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