Politics the term used to describe the way that groups of people come to decisions about the actions they will undertake collaboratively. Politics is derived from the Greek word politika. The Greek is taken from the name of a book of theory by Aristotle of the same name. It is used to mean “affairs of state.” Although the word is generally used to refer to the actions and the forces involved in civil governments, religious, social, corporate, and academic institutions all employ tactics that are political in nature.
Politics involves the attempts of different sides in a debate to convince other members of government to pass laws which suit their preference. These sides are often organized into different political parties. While the United States has only two dominant parties, the Republican party and the Democratic party, politics in other countries may consist of many political parties. There are two major conflicts between political theories. The first is the conflict between the left and the right. The left is generally seen as more progressive and seeking to eradicate social inequalities, while the right is generally conservative and sees social inequalities and an intrinsic part of human existence. The other major arguments in politics take place between libertarians and authoritarians. Libertarians value a strong individual and a weak state. Authoritarian politics support a weak individual and an empowered state. Libertarian politics support as great a reduction in the size, scope and authority of the government as feasible, while authoritarian politics support a further consolidation of governmental control. There are various degrees of left, right, libertarian, and authoritarian view. Often with in a single political party different members may espouse libertarian and authoritarian beliefs. It is rare, however for a political party to contain approaches that are liberal, conservative, libertarian, and authoritative within a single unified political party. Political parties which are pulled in so many different directions often fracture before very long.
Current Republican politics are generally considered to be libertarian and conservative. It is rare to encounter a Republican espousing authoritarian view on any issue not related to law enforcement. The libertarian trend in Republican politics was advocated by Ronald Reagan, whose presidency has set off a conservative Republican revolution lasting more than thirty years. Republican politics as expressed in the Republican presidential platforms in recent years have been supportive of a free market in the economy. Some critics accuse Republican relaxation of financial regulation of bearing responsibility for the recent woes on Wall Street. Republican politics have been slow to accept the idea of global warming, support overturning abortion, are in favor of increased gun ownership, and critical of affirmative action. Obstructionist Republican politics in the Congress have caused leading political analysts to wonder what, if any, price Republican may be forced to pay during the mid-term elections. Republicans point to the 2009 elections of Chris Christie in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell in Virginia, and the election of Scott Brown to the seat previously held by Ted Kennedy, as proof that Republican politics are as popular as ever.