bureaucracybusters

Posts Tagged ‘REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL NOMINATION’

MACHIAVELLI WARNED AMERICA ABOUT TRUMP

In Bureaucracy, History, Military, Politics, Social commentary on March 29, 2018 at 3:36 pm

As a Presidential candidate, Donald Trump was fiercely attacked by Democrats and his fellow Republicans. But one of his sharpest critics lived more than 500 years ago

He was Niccolo Machiavelli, the 16th-century Florentine statesmen and father of modern politics. 

For openers: Trump had drawn heavy criticism for his angry and brutal attacks on a wide range of persons and organizations—including his fellow Republicans, journalists, news organizations, other countries and even celebrities who have nothing to do with politics.

Related image

Donald Trump

Now consider Machiavelli’s advice on gratuitously handing out insults and threats:  

  • “I hold it to be a proof of great prudence for men to abstain from threats and insulting words towards any one.”
  • “For neither the one nor the other in any way diminishes the strength of the enemy–but the one makes him more cautious, and the other increases his hatred of you, and makes him more persevering in his efforts to injure you.”

Trump, in turn, casually dismissed the criticism he had received:

“I can be Presidential, but if I was Presidential I would only have–about 20% of you would be here because it would be boring as hell, I will say,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Superior, Wisconsin.

Trump admitted that his wife, Melania, and daughter, Ivanka, had urged him to be more Presidential.  And he promised that he would. 

“But I gotta knock off the final two [Republican candidates—Ohio Governor John Kasich and Texas U.S. Senator Rafael Cruz] first, if you don’t mind.”

For those who expected Trump to shed his propensity for constantly picking fights, Machiavelli offered a stern warning:

  • “…If it happens that time and circumstances are favorable 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 the mode of his procedure.”
  • “No man can be found so prudent as to be able to adopt himself to this, either because he cannot deviate from that to which his nature disposes him, or else because, having always prospered by walking in one path, he cannot persuade himself that it is well to leave it…”
  • “For if one could change one’s nature with time and circumstances, fortune would never change.”

Niccolo Machiavelli

Then there was Trump’s approach to consulting advisers:

Asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” who he consults about foreign policy, Trump replied; “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.”

This totally contrasted with the advice given by Machiavelli:

  • “A prudent prince must [choose] for his counsel wise men, and [give] them alone full liberty to speak the truth to him, but only of those things that he asks and of nothing else.”  
  • “But he must be a great asker about everything and hear their opinions, and afterwards deliberate by himself in his own way, and in these counsels…comport himself so that every one may see that the more freely he speaks, the more he will be acceptable.”

And Machiavelli gave a related warning on the advising of rulers: Unwise princes cannot be wisely advised.

During the fifth GOP debate in the Presidential sweepstakes, host Hugh Hewitt asked Trump this question:

“Mr. Trump, Dr. [Ben] Carson just referenced the single most important job of the president, the command and the care of our nuclear forces. And he mentioned the triad.

“The B-52s are older than I am. The missiles are old. The submarines are aging out. It’s an executive order. It’s a commander-in-chief decision.

“What’s your priority among our nuclear triad?”

[The triad refers to America’s land-, sea- and air-based systems for delivering nuclear missiles and bombs.]

Nuclear missile in silo

Trump’s reply: “Well, first of all, I think we need somebody absolutely that we can trust, who is totally responsible, who really knows what he or she is doing.  That is so powerful and so important.”

He then digressed to his having called the Iraq invasion a mistake in 2003 and 2004. Finally he came back on topic:

“But we have to be extremely vigilant and extremely careful when it comes to nuclear.

“Nuclear changes the whole ballgame.  The biggest problem we have today is nuclear–nuclear proliferation and having some maniac, having some madman go out and get a nuclear weapon.

“I think to me, nuclear, is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.”

Which brings us back to Machiavelli:

  • “…Some think that a prince who gains the reputation of being prudent [owes this to] the good counselors he has about him; they are undoubtedly deceived.”
  • “It is an infallible rule that a prince who is not wise himself cannot be well advised, unless by chance he leaves himself entirely in the hands of one man who rules him in everything, and happens to be a very prudent man. In this case, he may doubtless be well governed, but it would not last long, for the governor would in a short time deprive him of the state.”

All of which led Niccolo Machiavelli to warn: “This bodes ill for your Republic.”

TRUMP VS. MACHIAVELLI: PART TWO (END)

In History, Military, Politics, Social commentary on May 10, 2016 at 12:01 am

Donald Trump is riding high, the almost certain Republican nominee for President when that party holds its convention in Cleveland during the week of July 18. 

But Niccolo Machiavelli, the 16th-century Florentine statesmen and father of modern politics, has more than a few timely warnings to offer him–and voters inclined to vote for him.

For openers: Trump has drawn heavy criticism for his angry and brutal attacks on a wide range of persons and organizations–including his fellow Republicans, journalists, news organizations, other countries and even celebrities who have nothing to do with politics.

Related image

Donald Trump

Now consider Machiavelli’s advice on gratuitously handing out insults and threats:

  • “I hold it to be a proof of great prudence for men to abstain from threats and insulting words towards any one.
  • “For neither the one nor the other in any way diminishes the strength of the enemy–but the one makes him more cautious, and the other increases his hatred of you, and makes him more persevering in his efforts to injure you.”

And Trump’s reaction to the criticism he’s received?

“I can be Presidential, but if I was Presidential I would only have–about 20% of you would be here because it would be boring as hell, I will say,” Trump told supporters at a rally in Superior, Wisconsin.

Trump admitted that his wife, Melania, and daughter, Ivanka, had urged him to be more Presidential.  And he promised that he would. 

“But I gotta knock off the final two [Republican candidates–Ohio Governor John Kasich and Texas U.S. Senator Rafael Cruz] first, if you don’t mind.”

For those who expect Trump to shed his propensity for constantly picking fights, Machiavelli has a stern warning:

  • “…If it happens that time and circumstances are favorable 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 the mode of his procedure.
  • “No man can be found so prudent as to be able to adopt himself to this, either because he cannot deviate from that to which his nature disposes him, or else because, having always prospered by walking in one path, he cannot persuade himself that it is well to leave it…
  • “For if one could change one’s nature with time and circumstances, fortune would never change.”

Related image

Niccolo Machiavelli

Then there is Trump’s approach to consulting advisers:

Asked on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” who he consults about foreign policy, Trump replied; “I’m speaking with myself, number one, because I have a very good brain and I’ve said a lot of things.”

This totally contrasts the advice given by Machiavelli:

  • “A prudent prince must [choose] for his counsel wise men, and [give] them alone full liberty to speak the truth to him, but only of those things that he asks and of nothing else.
  • “But he must be a great asker about everything and hear their opinions, and afterwards deliberate by himself in his own way, and in these counsels…comport himself so that every one may see that the more freely he speaks, the more he will be acceptable.”

And Machiavelli offers a related warning on the advising of rulers: Unwise princes cannot be wisely advised.

During the fifth GOP debate in the Presidential sweepstakes, host Hugh Hewitt asked Trump this question:

“Mr. Trump, Dr. [Ben] Carson just referenced the single most important job of the president, the command and the care of our nuclear forces. And he mentioned the triad.

“The B-52s are older than I am. The missiles are old. The submarines are aging out. It’s an executive order. It’s a commander-in-chief decision.

“What’s your priority among our nuclear triad?”

[The triad refers to America’s land-, sea- and air-based systems for delivering nuclear missiles and bombs.]

Nuclear missile in silo

Trump’s reply: “Well, first of all, I think we need somebody absolutely that we can trust, who is totally responsible, who really knows what he or she is doing.  That is so powerful and so important.”

He then digressed to his having called the Iraq invasion a mistake in 2003 and 2004. Finally he came back on topic:

“But we have to be extremely vigilant and extremely careful when it comes to nuclear.

“Nuclear changes the whole ballgame.  The biggest problem we have today is nuclear–nuclear proliferation and having some maniac, having some madman go out and get a nuclear weapon.

“I think to me, nuclear, is just the power, the devastation is very important to me.”

Which brings us back to Machiavelli:

  • “…Some think that a prince who gains the reputation of being prudent [owes this to] the good counselors he has about him; they are undoubtedly deceived.
  • “It is an infallible rule that a prince who is not wise himself cannot be well advised, unless by chance he leaves himself entirely in the hands of one man who rules him in everything, and happens to be a very prudent man. In this case, he may doubtless be well governed, but it would not last long, for the governor would in a short time deprive him of the state.”

All of which would lead Niccolo Machiavelli to warn, if he could witness American politics today: “This bodes ill for your Republic.”

 

TRUMP VS. MACHIAVELLI: PART ONE (OF TWO)

In History, Military, Politics, Social commentary on May 9, 2016 at 12:37 am

Donald Trump has swept the field of his political rivals. The Republican nomination for President now stands within his reach.

The “Anybody-But-Trump” coalition no longer has a champion. Its last two–Ohio Governor John Kasich and Texas U.S. Senator Rafael Cruz–have bowed out of the race. 

On May 3, Trump captured 53.3% of the votes in the Indiana primary, compared to 36.7% for Cruz and 7.5% for Kasich.  

That night, Cruz threw in the towel.  

“Together we left it all on the field in Indiana,” Cruz told his disappointed supporters in Indianapolis. “We gave it everything we’ve got.  But the voters chose another path.”  

Ted Cruz, official portrait, 113th Congress.jpg

Rafael “Ted” Cruz

The next day–May 4–so did Kasich, the only candidate who had dared compare Trump to Adolf Hitler.

All that Trump need do, from here on, is wait until the Republican convention assembles in Cleveland during the week of July 18.

Even so, Trump gets poor marks as a man and a candidate from many of his fellow conservatives.  

One of these is New York Times political columnist David Brooks.

DavidBrooks.jpg

David Brooks

Appearing on the May 25 edition of The PBS Newshour, Brooks offered some highly disturbing assessments about the man who seeks to control the most powerful nation in the world.

  • “The odd thing about [Trump’s] whole career and his whole language, his whole world view is there is no room for love in it. You get a sense of a man who has received no love, can give no love, so his relationship with women, it has no love in it. It’s trophy.”
  • “And [Trump’s] relationship toward the world is one of competition and beating, and as if he’s going to win by competition what other people get by love.”
  • “And so you really are seeing someone who just has an odd psychology unleavened by kindness and charity, but where it’s all winners and losers, beating and being beat. And that’s part of the authoritarian personality….”

An even more damning assessment comes from Niccolo Machiavelli, the 16th-century Florentine statesman whose two great works on politics–The Prince and The Discourses–remain textbooks for successful politicians more than 500 years later.  

Related image

Niccolo Machiavelli

Consider Trump’s notoriety for hurling insults at virtually everyone, including:  

  • Latinos
  • Asians
  • Muslims
  • Blacks
  • The Disabled
  • Women
  • Prisoners-of-War

These insults delight his white, under-educated followers. But they have alienated millions of other Americans who might have voted for him.

Among those groups–and the insults Trump has leveled at them:

  • Mexicans: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” He’s also promised to “build a great, great wall on our southern border and I will have Mexico pay for that wall.”
  • Prisoners-of-War: Speaking of Arizona U.S. Senator John McCain, a Vietnam POW for seven years: “He’s not a war hero. He’s a war hero because he was captured. I like people that weren’t captured.”
  • Blacks: At a Trump rally in Birmingham, Alabama, he was interrupted by black activist Mercutio Southall, who repeatedly shouted: “Black lives matter!” Trump ordered his removal, and several of his supporters beat and kicked Southall. Later, Trump said: “Maybe he should have been roughed up, because it was absolutely disgusting what he was doing.”
  • Trump retweeted an image of a masked, dark-skinned man with a handgun and a series of alleged crime statistics, including: “Blacks killed by whites – 2%”; “Whites killed by blacks – 81%.” The image cites the “Crime Statistics Bureau – San Francisco”–an agency that doesn’t exist.
  • Muslims: Trump has boasted he would require Muslims to register with the Federal Government. And he would close “some mosques” if he felt they were being used by Islamic terrorists.  
  • Women: “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband, what makes her think she can satisfy America?”
  • “Twenty-six thousand unreported sexual assaults in the military–only 238 convictions.  What did these geniuses expect when they put men and women together?”  
  • Asians: “Negotiating with Japan, negotiating with China, when these people walk into the room, they don’t say, ‘Oh hello, how’s the weather? So beautiful outside, isn’t it lovely? How are the Yankees doing? Oh, they are doing wonderful, great.’ They say, ‘We want deal!’” 

Machiavelli, on the other hand, advises leaders to refrain from gratuitous insults:

  • “It is not necessary for a prince to have all the above-named qualities [mercy, faith, humanity, integrity and religion] but it is very necessary to seem to have them….”  
  • “A prince must take care that nothing goes out of his mouth which is not full of the above-named five qualities, and he should seem to be all mercy, faith, integrity, humanity and religion.”
  • “And nothing is more necessary than to seem to have this last quality, for men in general judge more by the eyes than by the hands, for every one can see, but very few have to feel.  Everyone seems what you appear to be, few feel what you are….”  
  • “…[The Roman Emperor Commodus]…by not maintaining his dignity, by often descending into the theater to fight with gladiators and committing other contemptible actions…became despicable in the eyes of the soldiers. And being hated on the one hand and despised on the other, he was conspired against and killed.”
%d bloggers like this: