Politics is so central to the human experience that, like humanity, it’s far too complicated to describe with just one theory. We do well to find a way to keep competing definitions in mind and this one, offered by Glenn Greenwald, is very compelling:
Why would anyone think that “common ground,” on any consistent basis, can be found with people like this, or that it would be beneficial to eliminate real differences in order to accommodate their views? People in this country — like most countries — have radically different views of things, and politics is about having those ideas compete with one another for persuasive supremacy. This compulsion to eliminate differences and disharmony in pursuit of some feel-good, trans-partisan consensus is not only futile but also destructive. Why would it be a good idea to mold one’s beliefs and actions to induce the assent of the Dick Armeys and the Texas GOPs, even if that could be done?