Politics Is Part of the Process in Tri-Cities
Byline: Chris Cudworth
'Politics simply means the ongoing and constant art of persuasion we practice in order to get anything we want from this world.'
"Everything that's ever been done has been accomplished through politics, and everything that never got done was prevented through politics."
Those are the words of my longtime associate Fran Kaus, a part-time local political activist who owns his own business in Geneva, "Search For Excellence," a job-placement firm.
I called Fran as part of my survey of Tri-Cities residents about what the words "political" or "politics" mean because those words keep cropping up in topics of interest to the Tri-Cities. No one I've ever met took an earlier interest in politics than Fran Kaus. As teenagers, when most of us were into more traditional interests, Fran was studying national and international politics, and learning from it.
"Everything we do in life is political," Fran now maintains. "Just knowing someone is political, because we often need people to get what we want. That's certainly true when you're looking for a job.
"And remember how some kids in high school would cause all kinds of problems but never got into trouble? If you were in with the teachers, they liked you, and it was a political thing whether you were punished or not."
"Politics is both the saint and the devil," Fran asserts. "It enables and prevents us from doing what we want to do."
I also asked an attorney friend of mine, Greg Andrews of Wessels & Pautsch in St. Charles, to take a whack at explaining the word "political" - especially as it fits into our everyday lives:
"More often than not, I hear the word spoken with distaste," Andrews wrote. "As in, 'So and so got the job - it was all politics.' The way in which most everyone uses the word 'politics' seems to have drifted away from any neutral understanding so as to leave the word mired in a swamp of imagined, unseemly back-room deal making. …