Does character matter in a political leader?

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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Lomax on January 11th, 2017, 8:18 am 

BadgerJelly » January 11th, 2017, 7:09 am wrote:Biv -

It may be worth considering a mechanic. Do you choose a mechanic based on ability or moral disposition? To get the job done you would not trust a liar to fix your car no matter how accomplished he was right?

This analogy reminds me of a point made about altruism and character by Bertrand Russell. A faith healer may have the best intentions for his patients, while a doctor may only be in it for the money; nevertheless, the doctor does far more good than a faith healer.

That said, I would not go to Doctor Harold Shipman.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Lomax on January 11th, 2017, 8:23 am 

wolfhnd » January 11th, 2017, 10:18 am wrote:I think Badger Jelly hit on the head, judging politicians by the standards we apply to our friends is counter productive. I don't care that JFK, Clinton, and now Trump are misogynists, I care if I can trust them to act in the public arena in the way they promised.

JFK was not merely misogynistic, but promiscuous, both sexually and politically. We know from Dallek's work that as a consequence of JFK's syphilis he was regularly on a concoction of drugs which made it harder for him to, ahem, "perform" in the public sphere.

He had an affair with Judith Campbell Exner, girlfriend of Mafia boss Sam Giancana, who in turn Kennedy was relying on to attempt the murder of Castro. And Miss Exner knew all the private telephone numbers for contacting the president out of hours. All of which constitutes a somewhat precarious and compromising situation for a president to find himself in. "Look at this tangle of thorns."

Meanwhile, Seymour Hersh tells us:

Even aboard Air Force One, the President was forced to wear a stiff brace that stretched from his shoulders to his crotch – the aftermath of an errant poolside grab while he was on a campaign trip to the West Coast. Two months before the end, Hugh Sidey, Time magazine’s White House correspondent, recalled in an interview for this book, a woman acquaintance of Sidey’s ‘came to me and told me how Kennedy tried to put the make on her at the pool. She wrenched away and [the President] fell into the pool, hurting his back.’ The brace would keep the President upright for the bullets of Lee Harvey Oswald.


someguy1 repeats the rumour that JFK was having an affair with Ellen Rometsch, a Russian spy. We don't know this to be true, but given all the rest, it's not hard to believe, is it?
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby wolfhnd on January 11th, 2017, 10:06 am 

Two words for why the media is relevant to this discussion. Golden Shower

http://www.newsweek.com/trump-russian-s ... mos-541315

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2017-01-1 ... eport-hoax
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Forest_Dump on January 11th, 2017, 10:53 am 

I would say that the answer will depend on what areas or spheres we are talking about. On some things the character of Trump or any other significant leader may not matter because it is the people who actually enact the policies, etc., who make the difference. But in other areas or spheres it clearly does matter if the position is not, and is not seen to be in relevant circles, purely symbolic. By way of example, one could look at the Queen of England, an almost entirely symbolic position but still great care is taken to ensure the Queen and others in the line of succession don't do or say anything that could embarrass the actual working government. So, I think it is silly to try to argue that either the actual character or the PORTRAYED character of POTUS (or FLOTUS, etc.) doesn't matter. And just as obviously the impacts and dangers, etc., are not just relevant with regard to what decisions might be made in times of crisis but also in seemingly routine matters domestically and internationally. No matter how isolationist Trump might wish the US to become, he is going to have to work with other international leaders on some issues and those leaders will not have the time or luxury to get to know the real Trump, let alone sell the reality to their people. So real or not, deserved or not, etc., the fact that a lot of people in the world believe, wrongly or not, that Trump is a crazy clown WILL have an impact on what happens in the world for the next four years at least.

Hey I am one who does say that there is no denying that Trump is now the President and detractors are just going to have to hold their noses, get over it and switch to thinking about perhaps minimizing the damage he will do and prepare for the next relevant elections and, in the meantime, just wait and see what happens next. But there is also, I don't think, any denying that in at least some quarters, Trump is seen to be as crazy as Rob Ford but as unstable and perhaps more dangerous than the North Korean leadership. That too is part of the reality we are looking at.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Braininvat on January 11th, 2017, 11:15 am 

wolfhnd » January 11th, 2017, 1:40 am wrote:
Braininvat » Wed Jan 11, 2017 5:54 am wrote:Guess it's impossible to keep any political topic from derailing if Trump is used as an example. Mea culpa, I should have led with Kennedy and Harding. Ron, your post with the partisan rant is off topic. The media conspiracy thing, ditto. I should just dump the last half dozen posts.


I disagree that the media rant is off topic because the information you use to judge character comes from the media.


I don't think specific media transgressions that are documented are off topic. Just asking a poster who always injects the same general media bias comment to refrain....you don't get to discredit every bit of news you don't like with a vague accusation. Mainstream papers get sued if they print false statements, it's called libel. Reporters get fired for making things up or altering quotes or not getting proof. None of this is to say the editorial page, i. e. the opinion page, is not going to reflect the bias of the paper's owners. It's important to distinguish between these two parts of a newspaper.

Badger, your mechanic analogy, and comments on Duterte, were very helpful to the discussion. Sometimes, if you want to make an omelet, you have to break eggs, as the saying goes.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Braininvat on January 11th, 2017, 11:24 am 



Wolf, you know that the hoax claim is based on a posting on 4chan, right? Call me picky, but I think that's not a terribly reliable source. Indeed, posts on 4chan aren't rising to the level of evidence, let alone a solid journalistic expose.

This whole story may be a strawman, in any case, so far as media veracity is concerned. Kind of a sensational allegation to keep people amused, more than actual news about demonstrable foreign influence.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Lomax on January 11th, 2017, 11:32 am 

Braininvat » January 11th, 2017, 4:24 pm wrote:This whole story may be a strawman, in any case, so far as media veracity is concerned. Kind of a sensational allegation to keep people amused, more than actual news about demonstrable foreign influence.

It was the English, anyway. A post on SPCF said so.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Serpent on January 11th, 2017, 11:53 am 

BadgerJelly » January 11th, 2017, 12:59 am wrote:I have to comment on Philippines. From the outside it looks like Duterte is a maniac. To set the same standards for the Philippines as for western countries is not fair.


I didn't call him anything nor set any standard. I merely noted that each country throws up the leader that most strongly illustrates its own character at a given time. That's why he's popular. Good or bad, harsh or gentle, erudite or violent, diplomatic or aggressive, optimistic or fearful, outward- or inward-looking, progressive or regressive. It's the face the country needs to or wants to wear at that moment in its history.

Of course, we are all products of our time and culture. But every culture and age produces more than one kind of personality: there are always men of letters as well as men at arms; bridge-builders as well as wall-builders. What kind of leader a nation chooses to put at its head shows what that nation predominantly [that is, the currently most empowered faction] feels that it needs....
....Except when the head was put there by a previous power-structure. Then, only a successful revolution can cut it off. That may take several attempts and have a very high cost. This is the second greatest danger of selecting a "strong man" to lead: he won't step aside when his job is done and will foist a less competent successor on the office. The greatest danger is that he'll go on a protracted ego-trip and drive the country into war and economic ruin.

On the other hand, I see no reason for double or multiple standards for different parts of the world. All peoples are subject to the same problems, the same dangers, the same impulses, the same emotions.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby wolfhnd on January 12th, 2017, 5:29 am 

Forest_Dump » Wed Jan 11, 2017 2:53 pm wrote:I would say that the answer will depend on what areas or spheres we are talking about. On some things the character of Trump or any other significant leader may not matter because it is the people who actually enact the policies, etc., who make the difference. But in other areas or spheres it clearly does matter if the position is not, and is not seen to be in relevant circles, purely symbolic. By way of example, one could look at the Queen of England, an almost entirely symbolic position but still great care is taken to ensure the Queen and others in the line of succession don't do or say anything that could embarrass the actual working government. So, I think it is silly to try to argue that either the actual character or the PORTRAYED character of POTUS (or FLOTUS, etc.) doesn't matter. And just as obviously the impacts and dangers, etc., are not just relevant with regard to what decisions might be made in times of crisis but also in seemingly routine matters domestically and internationally. No matter how isolationist Trump might wish the US to become, he is going to have to work with other international leaders on some issues and those leaders will not have the time or luxury to get to know the real Trump, let alone sell the reality to their people. So real or not, deserved or not, etc., the fact that a lot of people in the world believe, wrongly or not, that Trump is a crazy clown WILL have an impact on what happens in the world for the next four years at least.

Hey I am one who does say that there is no denying that Trump is now the President and detractors are just going to have to hold their noses, get over it and switch to thinking about perhaps minimizing the damage he will do and prepare for the next relevant elections and, in the meantime, just wait and see what happens next. But there is also, I don't think, any denying that in at least some quarters, Trump is seen to be as crazy as Rob Ford but as unstable and perhaps more dangerous than the North Korean leadership. That too is part of the reality we are looking at.


It the case of Trump what happens is that his flaws seem to expose the pettiness and hypocrisy of the "elite", personally I'm enjoying it. Take Meryl Streep for example she condemns Trump but openly celebrates a child abuser in the form of Roman Polanski. The cognitive dissonance is remarkable.

Trump is just one man but Clinton and the media represent an extended system of corruption. I would have rather that people within the system would have exposed it's flaws but only a court jester can often get away with telling the king he has no clothes.

I don't see Trump's character as being any worse than the people that oppose him. It is simply a matter of different flaws. That is why I brought up British royalty. The flaws present in all people is why investing too much power in any individual has proven foolish. I do see Trump as kind of a clown but I see the pomp and ceremony of royalty to be equally clownish. Dressing up an ape doesn't make them a God nor does being the head of the church of England give me additional respect for the British crown. Some people confuse being proper with being virtuous but I reject the protestant declaration that works are dead without faith. I judge people by their work not their beliefs or position.

We are all likely to have our own definition of character. It's importantly we understand that an excess of a virtue can be a vice. For example empathy can be pathological and do more harm than good. Pride in one's self is considered a deadly sin but it can be a remedy for slouch.

Politics brings out the best and worst of our tribal instincts and like religion clouds are views.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Lomax on January 12th, 2017, 8:48 am 

wolfhnd » January 12th, 2017, 10:29 am wrote:I judge people by their work not their beliefs or position.

Quite so, but what we (who claim character matters) contend is that a leader's character is a significant indicator of what their work will be. Like JFK, Trump is narcissistic, paranoid, self-pitying, and determined to look tough. Like JFK, he has nuclear control.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Forest_Dump on January 12th, 2017, 9:30 am 

Lomax wrote:Quite so, but what we (who claim character matters) contend is that a leader's character is a significant indicator of what their work will be. Like JFK, Trump is narcissistic, paranoid, self-pitying, and determined to look tough. Like JFK, he has nuclear control.


Of course, given the assertions of political bias in media reporting from all sides, I wonder if we could ever have any confidence in knowing what his work will be. The news I was listening to this morning was full of "innuendo" about Trump possibly being blackmailed by Russia but obviously Trump was denying that and of course I have no doubt many will fervently believe he can do no wrong so this must all be some kind of conspiracy. Post-modernist nihilism does appear to be reigning supreme on both sides of the political spectrum. I think I am going to start the theory that there never really was an election and the Illuminati really do run the show.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Lomax on January 12th, 2017, 9:42 am 

Forest_Dump » January 12th, 2017, 2:30 pm wrote:Of course, given the assertions of political bias in media reporting from all sides, I wonder if we could ever have any confidence in knowing what his work will be.

I don't think we can have confidence. I certainly don't blame the entirety of the electorate for JFK's behaviour. But knowledge is the direction we should be struggling in, of course.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Forest_Dump on January 12th, 2017, 10:00 am 

Well it seems to me that some form of denial of what others see as reality is about the only thing every one has in common. So I have decided that it was too bizarre that Trump could have won the election so my theory is going to be that Trump lost but, to keep his lunatic supporters happy, Trump TV was launched and given a monopoly of the air so everyone is being deluded to believe Trump won but it is really just a big reality TV show and most of you are just living in the bubble. Welcome to the Matrix.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Serpent on January 12th, 2017, 11:08 am 

I'd like to raise two small matters:

The mechanic. Yes, it matters very much whether he's honest enough to tell you what's wrong and what it will cost, rather than tr...sorry... invent expensive malfunctions.

JFK's party and family went to considerable trouble to keep his sexual proclivities secret from the electorate. Americans did not choose him for those character traits, or even in spite of.

You should not have to decide on a doctor, a lover, a mechanic or a political leader based on whether they're
either decent or competent; you really should be looking for both. Yes, it exists, and we all know exactly why most people who qualify stay the hell out of politics.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby SciameriKen on January 12th, 2017, 11:17 am 

Lomax » Wed Jan 11, 2017 12:12 pm wrote:
wolfhnd » January 11th, 2017, 9:34 am wrote:I totally disagree who did it is irrelevant if it is easily done.

Putin could have intervened to reveal information about either candidate but he did so (if the unclassified cross-intelligence report is true) only in favour of his preferred candidate. That's why it matters. He may be able to sway future elections, even if he did not this one, by this biased technique.

I must say I find your argument rather analogous to "it doesn't matter who stabbed who; what matters is how easy it is to put a knife in somebody"..



Could it also be said that Sweden, Saudi Arabia and China could have donated to the Trump foundation but decided to only favor Clinton? International influence of our election system is ever present - though it is rightly called out that Russia crossed a line in its methods (allegedly). I feel the press is mostly pushing this to create the narrative that it was not them and the Clinton Machine that lost the election, but these evil evil Russians. Therefore, nothing has to change and they just keep doing what they are doing. Progressive America has to wake up and demand better. On one hand they rail against the bias that is FOX news and on the other gleefully accept anything coming from CNN, the Times and the Post.

Meanwhile the progressives are eating this Russia issue up. But how much influence did it really have on the election? When an unknown hacker was providing this information to us, obviously this is a person who wants to sway the election against Clinton. For the most part the leaked information did not reveal any new concepts, but just confirmed the suspected aspects of Clinton dishonesty held by Bernie supporters. With so many other factors involved, particularly anti-establishment, the ACA, and globalization to name a few, to me it is just a ridiculous notion that Russian involvement was the deciding factor in this election.

To pull this back toward the topic of this thread - does character matter? I believe it does. Trump's character is clearly questionable - but it is action that we judge upon. At the moment there has not been much to judge Trump on in terms of actions that have direct effects on people's lives. To middle class American's the action they see so far he that he has broken the chain of establishment control and this is endearing. However, because his character is flawed, if he does not deliver in improving people's lives I believe the leash will be shorter with him, and the turn will be quicker than with someone with higher moral fiber.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Braininvat on January 12th, 2017, 11:17 am 

Take Meryl Streep for example she condemns Trump but openly celebrates a child abuser in the form of Roman Polanski. The cognitive dissonance is remarkable.

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Wolf, I wouldn't use this example for the reason that many celebrate Polanski as a great film director (me included) while recognizing that he had some form of inappropriate sexual contact with a sexually developed 14 year old. A 14 year old who, years later, went on record as saying that Polanski was foolish but not abusive, and she forgave him. So, it is possible to acknowledge he did something bad once in his life but is still a great artist, and not experience cognitive dissonance.

Also, I don't know in what realm of imagination we could compare Trump's treatment of people with Streep's. Unless some massive Matrix-like conspiracy (as Forrest conjured) is concealing a Meryl Streep life of bigotry, sexual harassment, gross lying, narcissistic rage fits, vicious defamation, tax evasion, housing discrimination, and shady business deals. Then, sure, they're like two peas in a pod! :-)

It's sad that people have become so partisan that they can no longer acknowledge their "team" has selected a terrible person. Even Paul Ryan, himself rather a clean-cut Boy Scout, stood against Trump only for a few months before having his spine removed for the sake of partisan politics. In essence, he shrugged and said character was of lesser importance than a hypothetical party unity. Trump, who makes Richard Nixon look decent and virtuous, is carried off on the shoulders of people who publicly condemned him before the convention. Team loyalty is everything!
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Serpent on January 12th, 2017, 12:11 pm 

Braininvat » January 12th, 2017, 10:17 am wrote:Also, I don't know in what realm of imagination we could compare Trump's treatment of people with Streep's. Unless some massive Matrix-like conspiracy (as Forrest conjured) is concealing a Meryl Streep life of bigotry, sexual harassment, gross lying, narcissistic rage fits, vicious defamation, tax evasion, housing discrimination, and shady business deals. Then, sure, they're like two peas in a pod! :-)

Right after she's fought tweet-and-mail-and-fortune for, and won, the title "Leader of the Free World". Until then, she's just an entertainer expressing an opinion.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Lomax on January 12th, 2017, 12:19 pm 

SciameriKen » January 12th, 2017, 4:17 pm wrote:Could it also be said that Sweden, Saudi Arabia and China could have donated to the Trump foundation but decided to only favor Clinton?

Of course.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Serpent on January 12th, 2017, 12:40 pm 

Are we really going to make a fact-by-fact comparison of the two foundations?
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby SciameriKen on January 12th, 2017, 12:45 pm 

Serpent » Thu Jan 12, 2017 4:40 pm wrote:Are we really going to make a fact-by-fact comparison of the two foundations?


Not the point of my post
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Paul Anthony on January 12th, 2017, 1:07 pm 

Character does matter to me. It is why I couldn't vote for Trump OR Clinton. It is unfortunate that we were presented with two unsavory choices.

Most people create a facade designed to hide their genuine character. I've met many people who appeared "proper" and socially acceptable but who were actually terrible people. I'm sure the rest of you have encountered similar people.

We cannot always determine a person's character by how they act in public. Adolf Hitler did not rise to power by displaying his true character from day one. Machiavelli was, from all reports, charming.

Fortunately (or unfortunately) Trump offers us a clear view of his character, or lack thereof. But, is he worse than someone who is adept at hiding his/her true self?
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Braininvat on January 12th, 2017, 1:19 pm 

To pull this back toward the topic of this thread - does character matter? I believe it does. Trump's character is clearly questionable - but it is action that we judge upon. At the moment there has not been much to judge Trump on in terms of actions that have direct effects on people's lives.
- Sci Ken

Well, I would disagree about "not much to judge," but I don't think any media really focused sufficiently on Trump's past actions, as businessman and real estate mogul, that did quite directly effect people. Just ask the thousands of people swindled by Trump University, or the thousands of U.S. citizens that Trump refused to employ in casinos and other holdings so that he could hire cheaper foreign labor, or the creditors that got pennies on the dollar from Trump debts that went through bankruptcy court, or black residents of NY in the 70s who were turned away from Trump rentals. Plenty of evidence, plenty of paper trail, but the public was too caught up in the flashier and more lurid stories, and all the mudslinging between candidates.

But I see what you're saying. In terms of being a POTUS, he does have the clean slate to draw on. No matter who he was before, no matter how he got into office, the only extrapolation we can make is based so far on his cabinet appointees and such. Could he end up like the Phillippine's Duterte (as Badger exampled) and actually do some kind of cleaning up that benefits the country? Well, sure. No president in our history has been completely void of good works - except William Henry Harrison, who spent his one month in office mostly unconscious and dying. (And perhaps that was a contribution to the general welfare, given that he was apparently too stupid to wear an overcoat while being inaugurated during a storm.) Nixon reached out to China, successfully, and started the EPA. Huey Long, famous demagogue of Louisiana, built good roads, distributed free school textbooks to children, created public works projects that helped the poor, improved voting access....heck, why am I even remotely comparing him to Trump? Long actually cared about his constituents, even as he transformed into a tyrant and megalomaniac. He was similar to Trump in that all his faults were highly visible. Which can be a useful thing, as Paul A. points out. Too bad his tax returns weren't as visible as his character flaws. Heh.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Lomax on January 12th, 2017, 1:24 pm 

Paul Anthony » January 12th, 2017, 6:07 pm wrote:Adolf Hitler did not rise to power by displaying his true character from day one. Machiavelli was, from all reports, charming.

You couldn't have picked two worse examples. Adolf Hitler wrote a book in 1925 arguing for the annexation of Austria, the restoration of the German empire, the racial inferiority of Bolsheviks, Slavs, and Jews, and the need to do something serious about the foregoing. He comes across in the book as paranoid, megalomaniacal, monomaniacal, and completely lacking in empathy, let alone sympathy. Machievelli's The Prince is not prescriptive - that is, it doesn't enjoin you to be ruthless; it only tells you how you would go about being so - and it describes the political behaviour of his persecutors better than his own. His other books, before and after, make it clear he does not condone such behaviour. And The Prince is considered by many modern scholars as satire.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Paul Anthony on January 12th, 2017, 1:53 pm 

Lomax » Thu Jan 12, 2017 10:24 am wrote:
Paul Anthony » January 12th, 2017, 6:07 pm wrote:Adolf Hitler did not rise to power by displaying his true character from day one. Machiavelli was, from all reports, charming.

You couldn't have picked two worse examples. Adolf Hitler wrote a book in 1925 arguing for the annexation of Austria, the restoration of the German empire, the racial inferiority of Bolsheviks, Slavs, and Jews, and the need to do something serious about the foregoing. He comes across in the book as paranoid, megalomaniacal, monomaniacal, and completely lacking in empathy, let alone sympathy. Machievelli's The Prince is not prescriptive - that is, it doesn't enjoin you to be ruthless; it only tells you how you would go about being so - and it describes the political behaviour of his persecutors better than his own. His other books, before and after, make it clear he does not condone such behaviour. And The Prince is considered by many modern scholars as satire.


That's one view...

Hitler told the people what they wanted to hear. I doubt most who voted for him ever read his book.

Machiavelli's entire career was accomplished by gaining favor through deceit. Like Hitler, his books became popular after he himself became popular.

In both cases, their rise was the result of the persona they presented to the world - in person - not what they wrote.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Lomax on January 12th, 2017, 2:15 pm 

Paul,

Hitler committed a campaign of intimidation against the people during each election. He took power at the Reichstag by force, by surrounding it with SS soldiers. At no point was Nazi propaganda, in any stage of the party's rise, anything other than antisemitic, anti-Bolshevik and highly nationalist and imperialist. As for your claim about Machiavelli, I challenge you to support it.

I have to applaud: you have done very well to pick the only two politicians in history who do not support your thesis.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Serpent on January 12th, 2017, 2:25 pm 

SciameriKen » January 12th, 2017, 4:17 pm wrote:
Could it also be said that Sweden, Saudi Arabia and China could have donated to the Trump foundation but decided to only favor Clinton?

Should we make a fact-by-fact comparison of the two foundations?
Not the point of my post.

Okay. Should we make a point-by-point comparison of why each donor, including but not restricted to the above-mentioned, chose to donate to the fund they did choose and what they intended to achieve thereby?

Paul Anthony - Hitler and Machiavelli -
If published books don't count, posters, slogans and political strategies don't count, and we consider only the personality that was presented to the electorate, then what changed between the campaign and the presiding in either example?
One acted like a madman on and off stage; one acted like a cool, ruthless strategist on and off stage.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Paul Anthony on January 12th, 2017, 2:45 pm 

Serpent » Thu Jan 12, 2017 11:25 am wrote:
Paul Anthony » January 12th, 2017, 12:07 pm wrote:We cannot always determine a person's character by how they act in public. Adolf Hitler did not rise to power by displaying his true character from day one.

He published a big fat frickin book, almost ten years before he went into politics.

Machiavelli was, from all reports, charming.

He never claimed that social graces were a drawback to effective governance. Nor made any mystery of his policies. A slim, graceful book, in this instance.

Do we know of any prominent personage who was outwardly brutal but secretly nice?


Some say Trump is nice in private conversations, but that may be a ploy used in negotiations. Then again, couldn't that be said of every successful politician...and used car salesman?

Although known for The Prince, Machiavelli wrote many books on politics as well as a few purely fictional works and poems. But his success can still be attributed to his polite facade. Although The Prince is his best-known work, it is not an example of his rise to influence but rather a last-ditch attempt to regain his social and political status which he had lost due to the shifting of political winds.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Forest_Dump on January 12th, 2017, 3:10 pm 

Paul Anthony wrote:Most people create a facade designed to hide their genuine character. I've met many people who appeared "proper" and socially acceptable but who were actually terrible people. I'm sure the rest of you have encountered similar people.


I may actually be one of those people - deep down inside, an A__HOLE! But I do try to hide that and be nice to people even if I don't particularly like them. But truth be told, that in part was how I was raised, to follow the golden rule, treat people nicely no matter what I might secretly think of them, give people the benefit of a doubt, try to listen to them and really hear what they have to say even when I already have made up my mind that I am right and they are full of it, etc. And sure I know a lot of people have said to get ahead in politics or business it helps to be at least a bit of a sociopath but I was always taught we should try to suppress and hide our darker sides while being polite and friendly in public even when it didn't feel right. It seems now that that as just being dishonest since Trump is being lauded for things like being open and honest and true to his nature even when he denies saying things that he said openly on national TV.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby wolfhnd on January 12th, 2017, 3:18 pm 

You are really comparing apples and oranges when you talk about someone who spent their entire life in politics or entertainment and a business man.

I look at the evidence and I see Clinton as having less character than Trump. That thread has been done of course so we don't need to rehash it here. The important thing for me is not Trump in any case but the obvious bias of the media. Most of the stories regarding Trump's character would never have been published if he had a D behind his name. I also don't think past reference are very relevant because this is a recent development at least partially in reaction to the growing power of "fake news".

The truth is we will just have to wait and see if Trump's "character flaws" are a problem.
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Re: Does character matter in a political leader?

Postby Forest_Dump on January 12th, 2017, 3:35 pm 

wolfhnd wrote:The important thing for me is not Trump in any case but the obvious bias of the media. Most of the stories regarding Trump's character would never have been published if he had a D behind his name. I also don't think past reference are very relevant because this is a recent development at least partially in reaction to the growing power of "fake news".

The truth is we will just have to wait and see if Trump's "character flaws" are a problem.


Given all of that, what makes you think the news you have listened to in the past, are listening to now or will listen to in the future is any more accurate? How will you know what Trump actually does?
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