Tuesday, November 12, 2013

An Obama Twopher

Two notes about our President.  One, go and read the shrewd profile by Todd Purdum.    The Browser, endorsing Purdum, says "Nobody loves him; nobody fears him"--i.e., the President, not the profiler.  I think that is spot on and I wonder if the blurber understood that he was tracking a great predecessor:
Nasce da questo una disputa: s’elli è meglio essere amato che temuto, o e converso. Respondesi, che si vorrebbe essere l’uno e l’altro; ma, perché elli è difficile accozzarli insieme, è molto piú sicuro essere temuto che amato, quando si abbia a mancare dell’uno de’ dua.

And here comes in the question whether it is better to be loved rather than feared, or feared rather than loved. It might perhaps be answered that we should wish to be both; but since love and fear can hardly exist together, if we must choose between them, it is far safer to be feared than loved.
Machiavelli, of course, The Prince, Il Principe, Ch XVII, link, link.  So, we have a null set.

And two--I was idling through a back copy of Time Magazine the other day when I happened on the profile of another world luminary who put me in mind of our President.  The comparison is not exact, but what if I told you he is instinctively civil, well-intentioned by his own lights, seemingly eager to make the world a better place, yet emotionally paralytic.  Would you think our President?  Or would you think this guy?

1 comment:

The New York Crank said...

When you click on the link, scroll down until you find a likeness of the person Buce is talking about photoengraved on a souvenir olive oil bottle. Tackiness has no bottom.

Very crankily yours,
The New York Crank