272. The transition, or decadence, from statesmanship to brinkmanship

Statesmanship. A word invented to summarise the range of qualities XIX and XX century democracies expected from their leaders. It means many things, depending on who you ask (I’ve been conducting just this experiment the last few days). Seriousness. Respectability. Concern for the nation and its peoples. Integrity. Steadfastness. Grit. Virtue. Capacity to sacrifice. Responsibility. All those answers, and many more, are correct, they all contribute in different measure to the statesmanship pot. In the past, statesmanship was directly proportional to political success, meaning the higher a politician scored in perceived statesmanship, the better his or her acceptance by the electorate. However, this may be changing and, judging by some electoral results of late, some alternative adjectives, not included in the statesmanship concept, may be correlating to political success, at least in some countries. Brashness. Sleaziness. Goofiness. Dishonesty. We need a collective noun to summarise them

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