The Definition of Politics

In his seminal work, “Congress:  The Electoral Connection”, David R. Mayhew says among things that “…politics is best studied as a struggle among men and women to gain and maintain power and the consequences of that struggle.”  Do you agree with Mayhew’s assessment of politics?

10 responses to “The Definition of Politics

  1. Unfortunately that’s what politics IS, but it isn’t what politics SHOULD be. Different parties are supposed to represent their people, but at the end of the day try to make the country better as a whole. Now they just seem to be worried about winning more elections than actually getting things done while in office.

  2. Yes, I agree with Mayhew’s statement, because I feel a lot of people in politics are more worried about keeping there spot in office than fixing problems. There are a lot of broken promises that people in politics will cover up by saying they need more time. The struggle shouldn’t be in the power amongst the men, but in helping the country.

  3. Laura Pasciak

    I absolutely agree with this statement. That being said, I don’t think that’s how it should be. These members of Congress are supposed to work for a represent the people that vote them back into office but they seem to take care of their own needs. This leaves a lot of issues unresolved and possibly a lot of unhappy people.

  4. I wouldn’t say that it is the technical definition of politics. There’s a lot more to politics than just getting power and trying to keep it. In my opinion “a struggle among men and women to gain and maintain power and the consequences of that struggle” sounds more like a competition than politics. Politics is something else. Politics is supposed to be people with great power helping their country, state, etc.

  5. Peter Wisniewski

    While Mayhew’s statement does have truth to it, I think it oversimplifies things. For one thing, many of the people who try to make it in politics (third party candidates usually) may have genuine desire to help. Although they may have little impact on the political scene, they still affect politics somehow. Even among he more influential politicians, this seems like a hasty generalization for all politicians (even if most of them fit the rule).

  6. It is basically the definition of politics. There are always people who truely do want to help and fix problems in society today, but they are not the ones getting elected into office. The ones in office are just trying to stay there in office, saying that they will fix the problems of today to get re-elected, but then not going through with them.

  7. Daniel Gutierrez

    I agree with this statement. It seems like those who get elected often make decision to better themselves. They say attractive things to the people to ensure re-election. It’s almost like an obsession of having that power. The members of Congress should thrive on representing the people, not themselves.

  8. Maria Vilarete

    I agree somewhat with mayhew’s definition of politics. It has truth to it because that’s how politics seems to be defined in the eyes of some americans. That isn’t the book definition but the interpreted definition of what politics is now a days.

  9. I believe this statement is very true. While agreeing with this, I also believe that there is more to politics than this simple statement. People in politics are sometimes more worried about their spot than actually helping the country.

  10. Absolutely, this is what makes America, America. Its a process of an election, “the struggle among men and women”. To gain power, as in the democrats and republicans each trying to gain the power in the executive level, the House level and the Senate level. Also to gain the consequences of that struggle, the win!

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