Of Politics and Morals

Governor Chris Christie has been quick to say that he is embarrassed and outraged at the role some his advisers played in the "bridgegate" scandal. In assessing Christie's credibility it is well to muse over something which Niccolo Machiavelli said centuries ago:

The first method for estimating the intelligence of a ruler is to look at the men he has around him.

Apologies for the misguided ventures of subordinates is not enough. At the very least, a Christie must make it clear that "the buck stops here" and the electorate has every right to assess his abilitity to lead by the caliber of personnel with which he surrounds himself.

Before expressing shock over political scandals, it is also well to remember another quote from Machiavelli's writings:

Politics have no relation to morals.

Given that politics will always be with us, we have not seen the last of scandals such as Watergate, Bridgegate, Benghazi and Iran-Contra. Neither have we seen the last of misguided wars such as Afghanistan and Iraq.

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