15th-century Italian statesman and political philosopher Niccolò di Bernardo dei Machiavelli advised the ruling class of his day that the acquisition and effective use of power may necessitate unethical methods.
In a post-election-results article written for CNN, Paul Waldman reflects on a political strategy that Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) talked about in 2010. The idea was to intentionally throw a wrench into any bi-partisanship because, eventually, President Obama would take the heat.
Machiavelli's political philosophy has legs.
Republican, Democrat, Independent, Libertarian, Green. American. Every citizen has a right to his or her own voice and a right to voice it. This is the beauty of the American brand: E pluribus unum (out of many, one). Yet if elected officials truly want to speak for—as they're fond of saying—"the American people," the surest path to making it so is to act and speak atop the universally loved platform of integrity.