I love politics! Its what makes organizations, and ultimately society, run, both down and up.
Politics gets a bad wrap because of its capricious and selfish use by too many, as well as a lack of political skill & will on the part of too many others. What happens is the under political malign politics because they are taken advantage of by some of the the over political, while discounting the advantages they have in life because of the appropriate politics that have been used in their favor by others.
The fact is that politics, or the use of power in relationships, is as neutral as a hammer in the hand of a vandal or a carpenter. When we say we dislike politics, what we might better say is that we dislike how "x" person uses politics. I am always concerned when I hear the well intentioned say, I won't play politics because that statement leaves the field to those that would misuse politics. It is for this reasons that we who are under political should commit to getting skilled so we can counterbalance those that are are the politically ill-intentioned.
One of the best books I have ever read on (Ethical) Politics, I know, you think this an oxymoron, is Brandon & Seldman's, Survival of the Savvy. I encourage you to take a look at it and remember that its not politics that is bad but the wielder of politics. Remember also that every good thing done in the world is by way of politics, same as every unfortunate thing. If the world is going to be better, it is going to be so to the degree that we engage, versus abdicate, when it comes to being ethical, politically-savvy leaders and influencers.
Effective politicking to you!