Politics is the art of possibility

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Politics is an art of improbabilities and impossibilities.

Politics is an art of improbabilities and impossibilities. The twists and turns occur due to several unforeseen circumstances and many times, the trigger comes from the most unexpected quarters. The "art of the possible" is the idea that politics is a matter of pragmatism, instead of idealism. According to this worldview, politics is a matter of creating achievable goals and implementing them in the real world.

Well, the twists and turns AP politics is taking proves the point.

Three years into the rule following a popular mandate, the YSRCP government has almost decimated the Opposition with its deft and zeal and is said to be happily galloping towards its 175/175 goal of 2024. It preferred to persist with its three capitals issue, having realised, perhaps, that with Polavaram remaining a pipe dream it needed to divert public attention to a more emotive one to seek a tangible result in the next general elections. So, it ignited the politics with sub-regional aspirations and attempted to infuse an anti-Amaravati sentiment. The result was unexpected. It landed Pawan Kalyan once again into the vortex of it and he, for a change, delivered the expected kind of talk to the liking of his frenzied followers.

"Cometh the hour, cometh the man," it is said and the main Opposition leader, N Chandrababu Naidu, parachuted on to the scene without wasting much time to join hands with Pawan Kalyan "moved by the plight of the Power Star." The 19th century German statesman Otto von Bismarck, who reunified Germany had famously said that "politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best." Of course, economist Kenneth Galbraith expressed a more negative view of political pragmatism when he said, "politics is not the art of the possible. It consists in choosing between the disastrous and the unpalatable."

Our politicians are good at all these things anyway. Politicians generally use the "art of the possible" as a positive phrase. The term suggests intelligence, common sense, and an ability to work within the system. President Biden used the phrase "art of the possible" during his first presidential press conference, at the start of 2021. A reporter asked the President whether he planned to abolish the filibuster, and Biden responded: "Successful electoral politics is the art of the possible. Let's figure out how we can get this done and move in the direction of significantly changing the abuse of even the filibuster rule first. It's been abused from the time it came into being — by an extreme way in the last 20 years. Let's deal with the abuse first."

Not that Pawan Kalyan and Naidu are best friends. They could never be and they would never be. They had an arrangement in the past and they could do so now. We talk of "the art of the possible" when we want to explain why a politician seems to be contradicting himself. When a leader acts against his or her own stated principles, it's because he is being pragmatic and seeking out the art of the possible. Well, that is what AP is witnessing now.

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