WHAT IS POLITICS?

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It is obvious that what we call politics usually is not a science able to demonstrate and verify its statements. I believe that everybody agree to call it as an art, since it depends on the ability of the person who exercises it. That art can be more or less attractive and convincing according to the skill and ability of persuasion of the politician, and the media that is used.

Well, we can define it as an art without any doubt, but at the same time, we can also ask: what kind of art is? Let’s see some definitions or possible answers:

(A) The art of getting political power, in democracy, by obtaining the most number of votes by the adversary.

(b) Once the power is obtained, the art of establishing priorities in the decisions to be taken to develop it.

(C) The art of serving the common good of all citizens, through appropriate and respectful regulations and laws.

(d) The art of imposing the own ideology without respect to other citizens who do not think like that person who governs, attacking and destroying the freedom of people, that is a basic principle in democracy.

(E) The art of not creating any more problems but trying to resolve those that already exist in the society.

(f) The art of getting the highest number of votes through morally unlawful means, such as deception, falsehood, slander, prevarication, bribery, fear, injustice, corruption, privilege, political machine, and so on.

(G) The art of manipulating voters, not favoring their freedom but on the contrary, negatively influencing in their way of feeling or thinking.

(h) The art of “buying” the votes of many voters, offering them generous economic subsidies, employment or work invented in fictitious companies, and so on.

In short, the art of politics can be summed up in two basic attitudes: serving the common good of everybody, respecting the freedom of choice; or, serving the well being of some or a few citizens, starting with the politicians who govern a country. I mean, respecting the morality of human acts and therefore the justice in decisions, or do not respecting that morality that is intrinsically and necessarily contained in every policy decision taken by politicians who execute the power.

One more point: it is not true what that clever English politician said: “political power always corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” No, power corrupts those who exert it morally illicit and also tends to corrupt those who suffer their government. Contrarily, it improves those politicians that hold the power with absolute respect, people, and especially the truth, justice, morality and freedom as necessary and transcendental human values in order to have a healthy society.

Roberto Grao

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