The Nature of Statesmanship

A statesman (or stateswoman), unlike typical politicians, provides leadership by inspiring confidence, offering well-considered policies and demonstrating the willingness and capacity to work with those who oppose his/her positions.  Rather than ridiculing opponents by questioning their motives or competence, the statesman relies on personal skills and persuasive ideas to attract supporters.

Generally calm, thoughtful and well-informed, the statesman shuns brash comments and avoids bombastic arguments.  Inclined to think before she speaks and drawing on long-held beliefs, the statesman does not readily change her position but remains receptive to new, evidence-based information.  Neither is he likely to ignore or ridicule data that is derived from scientific research; mysticism does not inspire or influence a statesman's judgment.

While a few of our current Presidential Candidates have demonstrated moments of statesmanship, most fall back on the traditional tools of American politicians: deception, misplaced criticism and party loyalty.  Of course, at least two (we know who they are) are neither inclined nor equipped to assume the role of statesmen.