Politics they say is the “art of the possible”. Despite this, people all over the world seem to hold politicians, the people who are trying to make things possible, in low regard. “They never do anything” is a universal complaint about them or “they are only in it for themselves” is another often heard comment. I do not doubt that some politicians “do nothing” (well nothing good anyway) and some others are only interested in enriching themselves. Still, the vast majority of our public representatives are involved in their communities and stand for election because they want to get things done. They believe in the art of the possible.
That doesn’t mean that we give them a pass and just let them do what they want. For politics to work, there have to be ideas. People obviously have different views, and it is a good thing for democracy and for our countries that people challenge each other’s ideas. The great thing about living in a democracy is we can listen to different ideas about how to govern our county. We can elect people whose ideas we agree with. We can disagree with other people, and If we don’t like how we are being ruled, then we can change our government. Better still, we can put forward our ideas, and we can stand for election ourselves.
I think if the Founding Fathers of the United States of America, or, the Irish patriots who fought for Irish Independence, were to return to their countries today they would be shocked — and astonished. Both countries are very different now compared to when they got independence from Britain. Socially, culturally, technologically and economically both countries would be unrecognisable to their founding fathers. All these changes happened because people had ideas and were free to try and implement their ideas. Not all ideas are good ideas. Every change is not, necessarily, progress. Were some things better in the old days? Possibly. Would many people like to go back to living as the people did back at the beginning of independence? I doubt it. It is undeniable that enormous change has occurred. The change doesn’t happen by chance, and nothing is inevitable. The ideas and laws passed by our politicians have a huge impact on our lives.
Neither the US nor Ireland is a perfect utopia. Far from it. Both societies have a lot of problems and challenges to overcome before they can claim to have satisfied the ideals of their founding patriots. However, a large majority of people are living lives unimaginable at the time of their nation’s birth. Things like life expectancy, dental hygiene, central heating, air conditioning, motor cars, technology, aeroplanes, electricity, wifi, leisure time and entertainment make our lives today so much better, easier and more enjoyable than the lives of our founding generations.
In this section of the website, I have two separate pages- one page for US politics and one page for Irish politics. I will examine all the major talking points in both countries from the US Elections to Brexit. It is a bugbear of mine that people think and say that politics is boring. It’s not. It has a major impact on our lives. Politics is the art of getting things done, of making change happen and of making things possible.