The Character Of Trump In Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince

1543 Words 7 Pages
The current 2016 presidential election season is one that has been marked by controversy and unconventional politics. Donald Trump, the Republican candidate, is not a politician, nor has he used the traditional practices of politicians during his campaign. Trump’s unlikely road to the Republican nomination has been questioned by common folk and political analysts alike. Some call Trump “insane,” some call him “brilliant,” but among the words tossed around to describe Trump, “Machiavellian” comes up quite a bit. Machiavellian refers to ideologies suggested in Niccolò Machiavelli’s The Prince. In The Prince, Machiavelli describes what he thinks are the best ways to acquire and maintain political power. While Trump has often times been described …show more content…
Machiavelli states, “those private citizens who become princes through Fortune alone do so with little effort, but to maintain their position they need a great deal” (23). Meaning, when someone easily becomes ruler through mostly luck or good fortune, they will have a hard time maintaining their position as a ruler. This is because their ability to rule effectively depends on the same fortune that helped them to become ruler. Because Trump is a business man and has no prior experience as a politician, nor does he have an extensive knowledge about the political process, some believe that Trump’s success is a result of good fortune working in his favor. If this is true, Machiavelli would warn Trump about the problems he might face if he does become president. Because Trump lived his life as a “private citizen,” rather than a politician, Trump would not “know how to hold [his] state,” “since if men are not of great intelligence and virtue, it is not reasonable that they should know how to command…” (24). Machiavelli then gives an example of a ruler who came to power through virtue and fortune, rather than experience and skill. Cesare Borgia “acquired the state through the luck of his father,” but since he was not equip to rule, he was unable to maintain control of his state. Machiavelli would therefore warn Trump that although his …show more content…
Machiavelli states, “A Prince, therefore, must not have any other object nor any other thought, nor must he adopt anything as his art but war, it’s institutions, and its discipline; because that is the only art befitting of one who commands” (50). Meaning, Machiavelli believes that the main focus of a leader should be war, for war is the only art that belongs to a ruler. Throughout Trump’s campaign, he has addressed fighting two wars. First, Trump plans to birth a “war” on the border of Mexico, done by a tough immigration and border control message (McConnell). Secondly, Trump has plans to first ISIS, stating that “all we got from Iraq—and our adventures in the Middle East—was death, destruction and tremendous financial loss” (CNN Wire). This indicates that Trump would like to end the wars in the Middle East and put an end to ISIS. While this may be true, many have criticized Trump for using “broad stoke, without specifics, to address the suffering ISIS has inflicted,” when talking about what his wartime policy would be (CNN Wire). Machiavelli would criticize Trump’s approach towards war, specifically citing his lack of aggressiveness. Machiavelli would warn that if Trump has given “more thought to delicate refinements than to military concerns,” he may “lose his state” (50). In this case, meaning Trump will lose control of his state and of his people (if he is elected).

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