Politics can refer to any activity that is related to government. You can narrow it down to include only those seeking to governor currently serving in government. The Greek word polis means “city” and the word “politics.”
Politics is often referred to as both government and political science. The main difference between “politics” and “government” is the association that politics has with those who seek to hold on to political office.
Example of Politics
In English-speaking countries, the term politics usually refers to elections. Politics in the United States revolves around local, state, and national elections. The presidential election is the most important, occurring every four years. Political activity in the United States is at its peak during a presidential election year. The Democratic and Republican Parties put a lot of effort into getting their candidates elected in Washington. Advertising is a considerable expense. Political leaders engage in debates and travel to visit voters to convey their message. While most Americans over 18 are eligible to vote, younger citizens may also be eligible to participate in certain types of political activities.
Issues often dominate campaigns. These are some of the most popular political problems:
- Medical Care
- International relations
- Social Security
- Civil Rights
- The Environment
Many political issues are not directly connected to campaigns. Lobbying is one example. Lobbyists immediately target political leaders who have just acquired their offices. Lobbyists work as professionals to influence politicians to support their positions. Lobbyists work at all levels of government, including the state and local.
Also, it is essential to note that politics in non-democratic countries does not revolve around elections. In authoritarian regimes, government officials are primarily concerned with subordinating the population in any way possible. This is done not only with force but also with propaganda.
Politicians engage in many activities to keep themselves in power. This includes meeting constituents to explain how tax dollars are spent. Many countries need more resources. This leads to political power struggles about how these resources should best be used.
Histories of Politics
Politics, of any kind, is as old as humankind. But, Western politics started with the ancient Greeks. The Republic, by Plato, is one of the earliest significant works on politics. He describes his vision of a perfect society in this book. Aristotle was another Greek philosopher.
Politics was a primary concern in the Roman Republic and Roman Empire. Cicero was one of the most significant Roman orators. Cicero often wrote about politics in the Roman Senate.
During the Renaissance, there were many prominent political theorists. Machiavelli, a Florentine diplomat, was the most influential. Many political science classes require that you read his book The Prince.
Many prominent political writers wrote works during the Enlightenment that would impact future generations of Americans and Europeans. John Locke and Jean-Jacques Rousseau were among these writers. These writers significantly influenced the Founding Fathers in the United States. They laid the foundations for modern secular democracies.
The invention of mass media was another major shift in politics. Political leaders used radio, television, newspapers, and then the internet to influence millions of people.
Politics and Government
Politics had very little to do until recently with democracy and elections. The power was concentrated in the hands of a few people who could achieve their power through violence, hereditary privilege, or religious traditions. Democracies have expanded worldwide over the past 200 years. Today, politics is more about elections and fulfilling the wishes and needs of those living in particular places.
The government is the entity that manages public programs and maintains the public property. Different countries have different responsibilities. The United States federal government is responsible to the entire nation. It is divided into three branches: the executive, legislative, and judicial. The executive branch enforces laws. The legislative branch makes the laws. The judicial branch interprets the rules.
The only branch of government that has a limited number of members is the judicial branch. The president appoints federal judges, and the Senate confirms them. Federal judges are set by the president and approved by the Senate. However, their decisions could have profound consequences for the nation’s politics.