Politics and personalities

by Peter Rose 18 days ago in politicians

Does the personality of a leader govern their fitness to lead?

Politics and personalities

Politics and personalities.

Does the personality of a politician decide if they are fit to govern?

Personality definition; the sum total of all the behavioural and mental characteristics by means of which an individual is recognised as being unique.--- an alternative definition is -- a remarkable person but this is usually used within the context of they are a personality, rather than; their personality is such and such. It should be noticed that the definition is non judgmental.

The definition suggests that personality is a unique, individual thing, but the media is fond of labeling people with some form of personality grouping. Forget about nationalities and genders; what are the things that divide up personality groups? What personality does a political leader of a nation need?

Most people have an unconscious need to control their own immediate environment. This appears most obviously in “city personality” people. This may be because “country personality” people know that nature and the seasons will change anything anyway. Or it may be that country people have a larger view of what is their immediate environment.

The problems start when city people move to live in the country. They choose to live there, then expect to change it, which to country people is simply daft. Why consciously choose to spend good money in order to live some place; that you dislike so much you seek to alter it?

On a smaller and directly personal level, there are those people who put salt and pepper on food before tasting it. Is this acting as city personality people, determined to control and alter things, even if not understand the possibilities of what they are altering them to?

The political conflict that arises from either of these basic personality types gaining control of a government can be dangerous. City personality people are born into and grow up, in a human controlled environment. Naturally they assume this is the correct and proper way to live, to have everything controlled and subservient to people. The concept of wildness does not sit well. They may demand green space but it is controlled green space and furthermore it is strictly controlled green space with a purpose to “serve” people. The very existence of a wild space that they personally can not benefit from, or control, is totally alien to them. It is paradoxical but while urban dwellers jealously guard ownership of their particular bit of urban property, they think rural property should not be owned but should be a free recreational park for themselves. All the laws about right to roam etc. are forced through to benefit urban dwellers, who visit but do not live or work in the areas they claim a right to roam in.

This attitude, that urban dwellers have a right to force rural dwellers and land owners to “give” the general population rights, is bad enough but when this type of attitude and thinking pervades a whole political governance, then things become really problematic. Hypocrisy starts to become the accepted normality. Once government leaders and their bureaucratic systems that run everything, take the attitude that others must give freely but they can retain their own private holding, then trouble start to brew. Some times it is not the political leaders but the senior bureaucrats that cause the problem. Often these are recruited from university to government officialdom and rise through the ranks to become the unaccountable controllers of everyone's lives. They have never worked the land, they have never risen at 2am to tend the birth of a calf, they have no understanding of the rural codes and ambient thought processes. They are so urban that they consider the city bred concept, that all is controlled and all serves a purpose dictated by themselves, is the only possible way of life. This is so ingrained that they can not understand opposition. This leads to conflict.

So the personality of the leader of a nation should not be city. There would also be problems if a rural personalty governed, since they would seek to stop all development, to resist change and to seek always the maintain the “status quo.”

What is left? a calm unshakable person who is open to change and improvement yet with the clarity of mind that allows rational differentiation between, change as improvement and change just for the sake of change. A leader should be able to mentally judge when self interest is being put above the national interest, even in their own thought processes. The political party system, which ensures one or another political doctrine wins the vote, is not conducive to finding leaders with this sort of calm personality. The party desires a personality that appears charismatic in media presentations. This does not have to be real charisma, it just has to be apparent. This immediately moves us away from a personality that would govern with calm, reasoned rationality. A hundred years ago political persuasion was through the written word. Clarity was essential, especially in the published version of a policy statement. The politicians had time to rewrite and edit their own words before the public became aware of them. This obviously give better calmness and better reasoned responses but was also open to abuse. Publication of words claimed to be by a person, could not be refuted and wiped from public memory even if found to be false. We still have this abuse in our modern times but the public has been so drenched in fake news and misleading innuendo that they tend to discount most of what is presented to them, even when accurate. We have voters deciding who to vote for, based on impressions of character, rather than policy. This is not going to be a surprise since a huge percentage of electoral policy promises, are discarded once the election is over.

Personality should matter, especially in a nationals leader but we live in a time when seeing the real personality of a politician, is very difficult. Spin doctors, media managers, public relationship experts, even down to manipulation of which photograph appears in which publication, are all so micromanaged that knowing the real person is limited to very few. May be this is why President Trump and Prime Minister Johnson won their respective elections, they appear far more genuine, far more real, than any of their opponents. They also have “majority” policies rather than trendy politically correct, fashionable ones. This brings us back to the basic question does personality matter in a modern leader. The answer has to be yes but only to a degree. The interaction between the leader and those who actually come into direct personal contact with them, will be affected by the leaders personality but the interaction outside of this small number of people, can be managed and processed, so it is not so important.

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Peter Rose
Peter Rose
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