Nicolo Machiavelli was a diplomat, historian and a political theorist writer whose works on the life of a politician were not revealed to the world until 1532, five years after his death. This is when majority of his work were printed under the permission of Medici pope Clement VII. His study was majorly focused on practical politics, hence he offered insight into the practices of a politician in order to excel in politics. Arguments and counterarguments have however been presented on his theories, with majority on governments being vehemently rejected by the early leaders who viewed his ideas as impractical. Present day leaders have however taken a different view, choosing to apply his theories in order to survive politically.
Machiavelli's study has been often compared with the Chinese legalist doctrines Han Fei Tzu and Kautilya's Arthasastra, (Zastrow, 2009). Machiavelli in his writings tried to explain the qualities of a good leader from the onset of a Prince. He captured situations that make leaders revolutionary and more conventional than taking either of the sides. But most leaders argued that Machiavelli's ideas were more satirical than advocating the same. Thus he proposed the following as been the qualities of a good politician.
He said that a good politician should mind to keep with the truth of his words. He should also learn to live with integrity without any manipulation in the rulings. By doing these, the people whom He is leading will be in a better position of gaining trustworthy in Him. They will praise him and provide him with humble environment to rule them. He cited some instances in which some politicians have gained a lot of success without maintaining their solemn promises. According to him such leaders are able to use wits to trick the wicked mind of men.
They are able to counter the other politicians whose actions are built in honesty and integrity. A very good example is that of the United States of America president Barrack Obama. During his campaign time to White House, he used a very good strategy of crossing down the Guantanamo bay prison in Cuba within a very short time of his ruling. The American people gained trust of his strong words and gave him the power to rule them. But it has taken a quit a number of years before the prison getting crossed completely. The president is still in power since the mankind mind is wicked and full of forgetfulness. They cannot remember to remind him to fulfill his campaign pledges. Thus the president's wit has outdone other people in country.
Machiavelli also argued that a good politician must be able to apply law and not force, which he likened to beast. He insisted that the use of law is more palatable to mankind but it is sometimes inadequate to make everything possible for a good politician. This is why it becomes inevitable to apply force .A good example is the application of force in Iraq and Afghanistan in order to eject and get rid of bad governance at the same time to arrest the so called world terrorists. Use of force was inevitable as negotiations had already hit a snag. The former United States president George w. Bush and his alias had no otherwise but to use force.
It's very important for a politician to know the extent by which to use law and force in order to facilitate good governance in a country. Machiavelli argued that it's necessary to apply force (beast).Using animals; he said that one need to learn to imitate the fox and the lion. On this basis he said that the lion cannot be able to defend itself from the snares as the fox can do while the fox cannot defend itself from the wolves as the lion can do. Zastrow (2009).By this he was trying to tell us that a good politician should to observe the behavior of his people. This will enable him to design good situation to enforce law and bad situations as well which dictates the use of force.
Therefore his argument stipulates that a good leader should not and must not keep his solemn promises. This is under the provision that if the solemn promises works against him and at the same time they are invalid since not all men are good .As a leader you should not keep all you words with them. In his argument he says that this will not decrease the people's faith towards their leaders as the leaders knows how to use the ways of the fox to outwit them. Such kind of politicians succeeds in life. They often know how to hide the character of the fox and foreshow the good characters before the people. Machiavelli observes that human mind is wicked and forgetful, thus people are able to concentrate on the present without bearing in mind about the past. Hence a good politician gets out easily by stimulating the better present and avoiding the dirty past.
A good politician must not necessarily have all the above qualities, but should at least appear before the public to have some. As a good politician, he should appear before the people that he is completely faithful, religious, human and honest all the above, he should appear more religious than the other three qualities. This is because human beings judges more on what they see in a leader than what they feel. As a result majority of the people will be able to support the ideas of the politician and facilitate his ruling than working against him. This shows that a good politician should concentrate more on state affairs and the loyalty of the people.
Evidently, Machiavelli was designing qualities that would make up an ideal political leader. A leader who could have more command and gain more respect from the people he ruled. Although his ideas were rejected by earlier leaders, they are still in use in the contemporary society. All the same Machiavelli's work marked the end of the regime in which writers felt that they had no obligation to the state affairs.