A Machiavellian Terminator

December 20, 2016 Politics

Though the views in Machiavelli??™s The Prince may seem extreme, even for the time period in which they were written, they can be relatable to the political leaders of the past, present, and possibility even the future. The presumptions expressed in The Prince describe methods that an aspiring prince can use to obtain the throne, or an existing prince can use to maintain his position on the throne. Machiavelli states that the greatest moral good is an honorable and established state, and actions to protect the country are therefore justified even if they are cruel. This piece of literature served and will serve as a guide to many leaders on how to become involved or stay in politics.
With the news of Arnold Schwarzenegger??™s announcement of his candidacy to run for governor of California on The Tonight show with Jay Leno on August 6th 2003, the news traveled fast and was easily one of the most talked about topics of the month. Within the crowded field of candidates, Arnold??™s name was the most recognized and his reputation was one of the most well-known. With his notable careers consisting of the winning of Mr. Universe and his repetitive lead roles in action movies, such as the Terminator and The Rundown, Arnold Schwarzenegger looked like he had beat the competition since he announced his candidacy. As an actor, his political views as a Republican were very well known since they contrasted with many other Hollywood stars, who were generally liberal or democrat leaning.
Machiavelli set up a list of qualities and strategies within his principalities that make up a good leader. Some such principalities dealt with hereditary, honesty, popularity, and flattery and generosity. He states that the greatest princes in history tended to be the ones who rose to power through their own effort and shrewdness rather than depending on luck. The only thing they owe to luck is that initial opportunity that allowed them to begin their rise to politics. Throughout Arnold??™s career he worked hard and let nothing get in his way in order to achieve all of the obstacles he had to face, though it did help to be famous and then run for governor of California.
Arnold has some qualities in which would make him a Machiavellian leader and those that go against the ways of a Machiavellian leader. Some qualities that make him an avid candidate in becoming a leader and maintaining his role in politics, described in The Prince, are elaborated on in the chapters that describe civil principality, how to gain honor, and avoiding being despised and hated. According to Machiavelli, one way to become a prince is to have the citizens and nobles support him. He who comes to power only through the nobles is less secure than one who comes to power through both the nobles and the people because some nobles consider themselves equal to the prince, while the people seek only to be protected from oppression. Since many people already knew Arnold Schwarzenegger and his views on social issues such as the environment and other popular views such as being prochoice and supporting taxpayer funded embryonic stem cell research, the voters of California had a good image of who they were voting for. Though the election was issue to a recall, Arnold still received his position as governor. Arnold appealed to the public by the usage of his humor to win over many of his voters by making use of his one-liners, saying that he was going to ???pump up??? Sacramento, California, and saying ???Hasta la vista??? to Gray Davis, the former governor of California.
Machiavelli stated that in terms of gaining honor, a prince should have a wise group of counselors that can speak truthfully. This lessens the chances of being flattered and losing the public??™s respect. Also, a prince should not have a change of mind; if this is so then his reputation will suffer. A prince truly earns honor by completing great feats that will gain him respect and supporters. As a leader, Arnold has gained his publics honor and respect not only by his accomplishments as a model, body builder and actor but also as a face in politics and what he has achieved in his position. As for issues on the environment he signed a bill creating a nation??™s cap on greenhouse gas emissions where industries will be allocated allowances limiting them to a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions each year. Arnold has also signed a second global warming bill that prohibits large utilities and corporations in California form making long term contracts with suppliers who do not meet the greenhouse gas emissions standards. He has shown great enthusiasm toward the earth and has even installed solar panels to heat his house and adapted one of his Hummers to run on bio-fuels and the other hydrogen. With these great accomplishments, Arnold has gained generous support and honors especially from his home town that sought to construct a large statue for him, but though he was flattered he thought the money would be better spent on projects for the Special Olympics.
No leader can rule efficiently and with complete support if he is hated or despised because a prince that is highly respected by his people is unlikely to face internal conflict. Though Arnold??™s political ideas were different from the vast majority of other Hollywood stars, it has been seen that he has moved away from his Republican ways and towards the Democratic side. He is able to relate to both parties and this allows him to serve as a very insightful political leader. It has been to Arnold??™s advantage that he had a reputable start in becoming famous before he ran for any political office and though he had many ruthless acting roles that are characterized by their mottos of killing without fear, without love and without mercy he has proven himself as a compassionate political stature. Another piece of information that adds to the liable quality of Arnold Schwarzenegger is that he is so abstemious that he did not accept his governor??™s salary of $175,000 because of his own personal wealth from his acting career. In order to survive in politics one of the most important qualities to political success is the ability to communicate. This trait leads to the ability to connect with an audience and in gaining support and followers of the cause. Being able to speak in front of an audience was not a problem for Arnold and so it came easy to him when he had to persuade people to support him, which is why not many people despise or hate him.
There have been many Machiavellian leaders in the past, such as Adolf Hitler, Castro, Saddam Hussein, and Hugo Chavez, but when it comes to historical political leaders in the United States I believe that there have not been many leaders that have had a motto of being feared. I believe Arnold has Machiavellian qualities that make him a better leader and he does not fall in with the famous saying ???It is better to be feared than loved, if not b


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