Machavelli


     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 presidentís advisors, as well as
the president, are not sure what actions to take, which in Machiavelliís 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 Machiavelliís 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.