What an honor it is to be asked to write an opinion piece for the great Huffington Post.
We all have passionate beliefs and opinions, don't we? In fact, there's a famous saying: "Opinions are like a private part of your anatomy - everyone's got one!"
And some of these opinions, these beliefs, become absolutely central to who you are. As much a part of you as your heart, your eyes or your scalp.
I hold just such a fundamental belief, and it's this: politics is about people.
It really is. Politics is about people.
Some might say that's simplistic, meaningless even. Surely just about everything is about people, isn't it? Supermarkets are about people. Miniature golf is about people. Boats and ships are about people. Ceramics classes are about people. Smoke alarms are about people. And so on. So what exactly do I mean when I say politics is about people?
Maybe I should ask, or rather maybe I should imagine you, the reader, are asking me, what don't I mean when I say politics is about people?
What I don't mean is that politics is just about people going out every couple of years and voting. (Although I'm very glad people do; otherwise, I wouldn't have a job!)
No -- politics is more than that. It's inclusive. It's social. It's everyday.
Sure, we all know politics can be about the big picture -- war, economics, trade deficits and so forth. You just need to turn on the TV news, or read this website, to see that.
But most of the time, politics is about the smaller picture. Like the picture you put next to your name on Twitter -- small, yet personal and meaningful. But of course, when you click on it, it becomes a bigger picture.
Everyday politics is all about clicking on that little picture because, to the person whose little picture it is, it's actually the big picture.
Politics is about people and I, as a politician, want people to enjoy the everyday benefits that politics can provide. We all need clean water, fresh air and a sustainable environment, but at the same time we also need money, jobs to make us that money, and sensitively regulated industries that can supply us with those jobs. Providing all these things at the same time is a tricky balancing act, but it's my task as Vice President to walk that high wire and, God willing, never stumble or fall.
When people tell me they're not interested in politics, that politics doesn't matter, I ask them this: Do you eat food? Do you drive on roads? Do you send your children to school? Do you need to maintain a core body temperature of 98.6 degrees? Do you use the toilet?
In short, I'm asking them whether they're human beings. Because if they are, then politics affects everything they do.
As Vice President of the United States of America it's my enormous privilege to serve the people of this great nation. But what I never forget, even when I'm in my very large office in the Eisenhower Building, or in a meeting room with heads of state at the UN, or in the Situation Room in the White House helping the President deal with major events, is that I am here to help the ordinary people of this country.
I always remember to think about these people doing the very things I mentioned above: eating a simple meal, driving to work, sending their children to school, keeping their houses warm and using the gifts that God gave them to make a decent life for themselves and their families.
Did you know that the word politics comes from the Greek politikos meaning "of, for, or relating to citizens"? That's right; even the ancient Greeks were saying it: Politics is about people.
But in my job it's not the Greeks I'm serving - although I love their country and wish them well with their economic problems. No, I serve the greatest people on our planet: the American people. And I'm so lucky, and so happy, to do so.
Thank you for reading, and God bless America.
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