American Politics in a Public Arena – Nu Leadership Series

Men cease to interest us when we find their limitations. The sin is limitations. As soon as you once come up to a man’s limitations, it is all over with him.

Today most average Americans are reluctant to discuss politics. Some are disgusted with politics in general. Unfortunately, this disgust is not without merit. American politics are rooted in American political culture that promotes that government ought to work in accordance with a higher standard of right and wrong. It believes that the political system ought to operate in accordance with popular sovereignty.

It concept is a value that relates to the belief that the only legitimate basis of political authority is the consent of the govern. However, the American political system stands different. Nelson, author of Why Americans hate Politics and Politicians, acknowledged that politics and politicians are imperfect; Americans are growing weary and taking actions. Antiopolitics constitutional amendments are surfacing in a hope of providing term limits of members of Congress and a proposal to require a balanced budget.

Unfortunately, Americans are now cynical of political figures as it relates to personal values. Postmodern influences have create an atmosphere of untrust of traditional institutions. Kouzer and Posner, authors of Credibility, admit that three-fourths of employees view top executives do pretty much what they want no matter what people think.

They argue that the increase in cynicism in the workplace is due the decline of credibility among executives. This cynicism is quickly found in the political arena. As each party tries to either take advantage of this “hot button” issue or do damage control, followers grow increasingly cynical about government leadership.

Nelson, a political guru, argued that American cynicism have evolved for many reasons. The government has been caught in various lies and half-truths, including Vietnam War, Watergate, and Iran-Contra Deal. Some argue that the political office is so time consuming that only people who are willing to become a full-time politician can do it. However, Americans have never really been pro-politics or pro-politicians. With the incoming of new politicians to Congress this year, many individuals wonder if US politicians can regain public trust. Only time will tell.


Ciulla, J.B. (1998). Ethics: The Heart of Leadership. Westport, CT: Praeger.

Harris, J. (April 12, 2005). In recent scandals, a rethinking of capital’s conventional wisdom. Washington Post.

Heuser, B. (2005). The Ethics of Social Cohesion. Peabody Journal of Education. 80(4), pp.8-15.

Kern, C. (2003). Creating and Sustaining an Ethical Workplace Culture, Pepperdine University.

Nelson, M. (1994). Why Americans hate Politics and Politicians. Virginia Quarterly Review. 70(4), p.636, 18p.

© 2007 by Daryl D. Green