What is it that makes a good politician? Rather, what character traits make it possible for someone to be elected?
It would be nice to think that integrity is what impresses voters.
However, one does not need to look too far in the past to see how easily and quickly elected officials forget about the promises they make, such as promising not to engage in nation-building, or that they plan on immediately leaving any unnecessary wars the military is currently involved in and not to start any new ones.
Integrity is not requisite for being a successful politician.
More generally, what does it take to be accepted by other people?
People come from such varying ideological, cultural, and social backgrounds that it is impossible to ever truly share commonalities with every person at all times.
One can either choose to recognize his personal desires, ideals and interests and befriend those who share in them, or he can be a social chameleon and merely adapt to those around him, eventually proving himself to be an annoyance.
The trait that allows politicians to be successful is the same that causes these chameleons to appear devoid of personality: the willingness to compromise.
Compromise is a sign of weakness.
It is a way of someone admitting “given the right circumstances, I will renege on what I once claimed to hold dear”.
Compromise is the act of prostituting one’s moral self. It is when a politician alters his stance on the abortion issue in order to accrue more support.
If he is so readily able to change his opinions, how can we know what his beliefs truly are? Or does he have no standards and merely wants power by any means necessary?
In a more trite context, compromise is when someone lies about their tastes in order to be liked or when they disregard their prior choice to abstain from substance use in order to be accepted.
There can be no compromise between two things that are diametrically opposed.
If someone threatens you with death, you cannot compromise a halfway deal between being allowed to live and being made to die.
More practically, it is impossible to compromise between the two opinions that people should have personal responsibility and that the government should cater to their every purported need or desire.
There can be no compromise between sobriety and inebriety. You are either not drunk or you are drunk.
Compromise is only acceptable in situations where both parties have a sort of mutual understanding already and aren’t sacrificing any of their values in agreeing.
For the sake of semantics, let us call this “resolution” and differentiate between this and compromise.
An example of resolution is when a buyer and a seller mutually agree on a certain price for a good for the benefit of both parties.
Contrarily, a compromise would be handing over one’s wallet to a mugger so as not to be physically harmed.
This is the key difference between resolution and compromise: in resolution, both parties benefit while in compromise only one party at the most appears to win but truly neither benefit.
There is something to be said about being malleable, to an extent.
wwwwwRecognizing when one is wrong or has wronged someone and expressing the willingness to fix it is an admirable and desirable trait.
This is not compromise, however. This is self-awareness. This is being rational.
What is the opposite of compromise? Integrity. Consider this allegory: when speaking of a castle, it would probably be surrounded by a stone wall. The stone wall has integrity so long as it has not been damaged.
During a war, enemies of those in the castle would try to breech the wall. If they succeed, the wall has been compromised.
Integrity is choosing not to act on fervor and invade a country that had nothing to do with a terrorist attack carried out by a rogue group.
Integrity is sticking to one’s personal code of ethics despite his circumstances.
Integrity is defending one’s right to his property by resisting a mugging, even if that means matching deadly force with deadly force.
Those who keep their integrity, despite whatever happens to them, prove that they are unconquerable. Those who compromise are forever slaves to the whims of others.
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