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Machavelli Essay, Research Paper

Machiavelli and the President

Lately, the president of the United States Bill Clinton, has pursued

some policies that have been very unpopular not only with the general public

but the electorate as well. Besides the whole Monica ordeal he feels that

these unpopular policies will effect the results of the next election. The

presidential advisors have formulated countless plans but no plan has seemed

to work. One idea would be to leave the unpopular policies as they are

because of the president and advisors belief that they are the best for the

country. Another option would be to just present the unpopular policies in a

new way to maybe change public opinion on them. Still another would be to

just ignore the policies and concentrate on the election. No matter what

option , if any, should be chosen one must be thought up quick and it must not

only address the problem but solve it and fast.

Since I have recently learned about Machiavelli and his work titled The

Prince I feel his opinions would help to influence some decisions for the

president and his advisors. A first and very important view of Machiavelli

would be his view of the prince and his advisors. ?It is an infallible rule that

a prince who is not wise himself cannot be well advised.?(p.117) As it is up

to the prince to be well advised it is also up to the president to be well

advised as well. The president?s advisors, as well as the president, are not

sure what actions to take, which in Machiavelli?s view would not be a good

characteristic of a leader and as a result would not help gain friendship of the

people. Good relationship with the people is one of his greatest points

because without the people there is no leader.

The leader, the president, must have the support of the people and if

not he will not stay in power long. The president is not doing a good job of

this because of his very unpopular policies. Machiavelli would never choose

to just continue on the same path and peruse unpopular policies. ?It is

necessary for a prince to possess the friendship; otherwise he has no recourse

in times of adversity.?(p.65) In response to this he would abandon the

unpopular policies and concentrate on winning the election, keeping the

people happy.

Not only should the leader concentrate on the present and the future

but consider the past. ? The prince ought to read history and study the

actions of eminent men, examine the causes of their victories and defeat in

order to imitate the former and avoid the latter.?(p.82) History is bound to

repeat itself if not watched very carefully. The leader must avoid repeating

the blunders of the past and take note of the victories preceding him.

Another view that would help the president out in his policies would be

Machiavelli?s view on boldness. The leader is far better of to be bold instead

of cautious. If you expect for the worse and be prepared for bad times even if

its not the best strategy you will be better off in the long run. ?For if it

happens that time and circumstances are favourable to one who acts with

caution and prudence he will be successful, but if time and

circumstances change he will be ruined, because he does not change his mode

of procedure.?(p. 121) The leader must at all times be prepared for the worst

so he does not get caught off guard and make the people mad.

If these views of Machiavelli seem straight forward or to direct maybe

Leo Strauss or J.G.A. Pocock could explain these methods of leadership to

the president. Pocock would elaborate on the subject of historical awareness.

He could help the president understand that we have to look to our past to

help better ourselves for the future. Strauss on the hand would compare

Machiavelli to the greeks and thier writtings. He would go in depth though

about how the greeks, Mr. T in particular, were kings in understatements

while Machiavelli was very straightforward in his writtings.

After presenting these views to the president I hope my knowledge of

Machiavelli and his way of thinking could help influence the policies in place

and maybe help the president win the up coming election. Maybe after my

essay is read and I graduate Southwest Texas with a Political Science degree

maybe I could get a job at the White House and someday take over his job.


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