Posts Tagged ‘Dictionary’
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There are as many definitions of politics as there are politically oriented websites and dictionaries. The words associated with these definitions are as important as the definition itself.
The Merriam-Webster Dictionary provides several variations on what defines politics. Their definition classifies politics as an “art or science.” In fact, politics is often referred to as the “art of compromise” and in a bipartisan political environment, compromise is an important element in getting things done. Merriam-Webster also includes “influencing policy, “competition between competing groups for power and leadership,” “politics as a “profession” and “activities characterized by artful or dishonest practices.” All of these words form a good working definition of politics. Other recognized dictionaries define politics in pretty much the same way,
Definitions are as accurate as the source and objectivity is important. The website BrainyQuote.com takes a more active approach and starts by defining politics as a science and adds three important points. The website’s definition includes, “the part of ethics that has to do with regulation and government,” “management of a political party” and “advancement of candidates to office.” Once again, the other side of politics is cited as, “artful or dishonest management to secure success of candidates.”
There are clearly several dimensions to politics. In a historially sense, politics in a democracy has always been about two goals: promoting the will of all the governed and building political power. Unfortunately, these two goals often work at odds because gaining power can come at the expense of the governed. Politicians need to remember that the governed – the electorate – are particularly mindful of this fact.