Reputation is the Key to Sucess
Upon reading Machiavelli’s “The Prince” I came across a statement about how citizens become rulers. What they do is, “build up the reputation of one of their number and make him sole ruler in order that his authority may be employed in their defense”. What struck me about this passage was the way in which a simple citizen becomes an authority figure. Machiavelli says that his reputation is what will carry the citizen to become a person of power. This made me think of how I vote in elections and how people campaign. I certainly did not know the Obama or John McCain personally, so I was simply voting based on what I had heard about them. It also made me consider how I did decide which candidate to vote for. I assessed the reputations of people, news broadcasting sources, and others running with the two presidential candidates to help me make my decision. I considered the economic, social biases and previous decisions made by each source to help me decide whether I should trust what he or she was saying. After all this, I realized that I went through many layers of sources, each with personal biases, in order to “get to know” Obama and McCain, and it made me wonder how I could trust my decision.
I concluded two things from this. One being that people campaigning need to reach as many people directly as possible. The other being the importance of my own reputation. It made me assess how I wanted to be known, and what qualities I found important. Also, it made me consider how to express these qualities so that people receive them how I want.