by Sungtae Park (뉴잉글랜드 시민협회 정치인턴)
A common assumption about American politics or politics in any democratic country is that it merely involves proper elections, lively debates, voting, and executive action. That is what I learned in my middle school social studies class. Sure, there may be frictions here and there but overall it is an ideal, proper, and flowing process: It is not.In addition to the proper procedure, many other factors, easily spotted or well hidden, are in play. Whether it is internal party struggle, lobbying by different special interests groups, personal connections, personal interests, or election prospects, one thing is for sure: Democratic politics is just not what it appears to be.
I have always known that politics is a convoluted process. I have also known that a political process sometimes involves things that might run contrary to what moral idealists envision proper democracy to be. Every system has its flaws ? including advanced democracy, such as the one in the United States. Yet, it is the best system humanity has invented so far. I am not an idealist of any sort or a liberal myself. I consider myself to be a realist, who strives to understand the two sides of every issue. As a single major, who specializes in politics, I have learned a lot about politics. Nonetheless, of all things, politics is simply not something you can just learn in a classroom setting. You must experience it, and during my time as an intern for the Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, I was indeed able to learn about and fully experience the political process of the United States and all it entails.
I was delighted when I first learned that I was accepted as an intern. At that time, I was already accepted as an intern by a private institution in Washington D.C. and was planning to go down to the capital. Not only did the institution expect me to work forty-hours a week, I was worried about the cost and all other complications of temporarily moving to Washington. Furthermore, I was studying for the GRE, which I had to take by the end of the summer. Therefore, being accepted by the Government of Massachusetts, much closer to home, was quite a relief.
At the State House, I was placed to work in the office of the Governor