These are excerpts for an article entitled “The 4 Qualities of a True Statesman”
It starts by identifying the 4 qualities which are:
Bedrock of principles
A moral compass
The ability to build a consensus to achieve that vision
Let us now explore these four criteria of a democratic statesman in greater depth.
1. A Bedrock of Principles
The statesman builds his platform on a foundation of firm, unchanging, fundamental truths. These are the things he believes at his very core, his overarching philosophy. Just as in the foundation of a house, storms may buffet the structure, opposition and challenges may arise, times will change, but the foundation remains. A statesman may change the details of his policies and his methods for achieving those policies, but only inasmuch as those short-term tactics of expediency serve the purpose of furthering his bedrock of principles in the long run.
2. A Moral Compass
The modern politician makes decisions by using “antennae.” He puts his feelers out there to gauge the public mood. Once he figures out which way the wind is blowing, he then shapes himself and his message to give the people exactly what they want. A statesman does not govern by public opinion polls.
No, the true statesman makes his decisions by following the dictates of his own moral compass. He is not a relativist; he believes in absolute truths, and his moral compass is rooted in a sense of absolute right and absolute wrong. When something is wrong, he plainly says it is wrong and does everything in his power to fight against it. When something is right, he is willing to overcome any opposition to preserve and spread it. The statesman is ambitious—he must be to obtain a position of power—but there are things he simply will and will not do to get to the top. He is a man of integrity; he speaks the truth. He leads by moral authority and represents all that is best in his countrymen.
3. A Vision
A statesman has a clear vision of what his country and his people can become. He knows where he wants to take them and what it will take to get there.
A statesman’s foresight is one of his most important qualities, as he must be able to recognize problems on the horizon and be able to come up with solutions that are good not only for the short-term, but for the long-term as well. The statesman keeps in mind not only the here and now, but the world future generations will inherit.
4. The Ability to Build a Consensus to Achieve That Vision
A politician may have bedrock of principles, a moral compass, and a vision, but if he lacks the ability to build a consensus around his vision, his efforts to change policies, laws, and the course of history will largely be in vain.
A statesman, who again is a free leader of a free people, must enlist those who serve with him in the government to support his initiatives, and their willingness to do so rests on the pressure they feel from their constituents to align themselves with the statesman’s vision. Thus, a statesman’s success in building a consensus ultimately hinges on his ability to convince his countrymen of the soundness of his philosophy.
To win their hearts, the statesman does not use slick advertisements and PR campaigns. Ads and propaganda are the tools of the despot. Rather, the statesman harnesses the power of the written, and especially the spoken word. He is a master orator. His lifelong study of great books and the lessons of history allow him to speak to the people in intelligent, potent, well-reasoned arguments.