Manliness vs the Executive Power

Mutually exclusive, according to Harvey Mansfield. Money quote:

MANSFIELD: Well, I talk about this in my book on executive power, which looks at the influence of Machiavelli on modern politics. I argue that executive power is power that exercised in the name of someone other than yourself, so it's a kind of indirect government. It's a way of acting without taking responsibility for your actions. In that sense, executive power is something weak or it’s something that you present as, "I'm sorry, I would like to help you, but the law says I can’t" or "I'm sorry, we need to do this because the people have spoken." You always find some other authority besides yourself in which to supply clothing for your own actions. This is something that had not been thought of or invented by the ancients, by Plato and Aristotle, it's a modern idea.

COLE: This discussion seems to be heading towards manliness. That's the title of your most recent book, right?


COLE: At first sight, Manliness seems to be a departure from your earlier work, but it really isn't, though.

MANSFIELD: Manliness, you could say, is the opposite of executive power. Manliness, instead of being indirect, is very direct. It's frank and open, and, therefore, somewhat oblivious to one's surroundings and not, as we say today, sensitive. I’d say the present day opposite of a manly man is a sensitive male.

But a president has to be acutely sensitive to the will of the people, and the other branches of government.