chapter  3
Political Leadership and the Problem of Principle: A Classical Response to Postmodernism
ByRichard Myers
Pages 14

There is an important problem in contemporary thinking about leadership: what is the proper relationship between leadership and principle? For all sorts of good reasons, people naturally expect principle to be central to good leadership. To the extent that leaders are expected to be people of vision, for instance, principles would seem to be essential to leadership; for what does a vision express if not one or more noble principles? Principle also appears to be inextricably intertwined with another key element of leadership: character. People of sound character are generally thought to be those who act in accordance with principle rather than selfinterest, partisan interest or ad hoc opportunism. We therefore naturally expect our leaders to be principled people and take particular interest in learning what their principles are: pro-life? Pro-choice? For or against same-sex marriage? For or against defensive war to prevent nuclear proliferation?