This is the whole quote: "Power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Great men are almost always bad men."
Bill Clinton was in some ways a great man. He came out of nowhere and became President. He was also a pretty bad man – corrupt in his lust for money, and a chronic liar, not to mention a sexual pervert (his wife is exactly the same way). And both think they should be immune from what they did. Don’t all politicians think they should be immune from their crimes?
Donald Trump has the potential to be a great President. He’s clearly a flawed man but in some ways is heroic with what he’s done so far – he’s done more in a month than Obama did in eight years.
A lot of people already think Trump (“He’s not my President!”) is a bad man – a liar and a con man who hates women. And a fascist! It’s leftists who always think these things. It’s why they were babbling about moving to Canada (but not Mexico – never Mexico). They were hallucinating about “Trump’s America” – which these people think comprises all those ignorant stupid inbred hillbillies in “Flyover Land.”
Even Hitler was a great man – half-genius, half-insane. He was also a very bad man. At first he was praised by Winston Churchill and Franklin Roosevelt (themselves both bad men), although that didn’t last long.
Throughout history men who’ve done great things – for good or bad – really have often been bad men. Why this is so I don’t really know, but I have ideas.
Ambition? Certainly. And what is ambition but the desire for power and attention and respect? Not just power, but domination and control. Over people. Who really aren’t human to those intoxicated by power and domination and control. Like children (whom they resemble in so many ways) they can’t handle any power.
The biggest problem is when these people want to do great things politically. Politics, when it turns into laws, are based on forcing people to do things they don’t necessarily want to do – though fraud and force (Dante, in his Inferno, put people used fraud in a lower level of Hell than people who used force – because politically you have to use fraud first before you use force).
In fact, the worst of men are notorious for using immense amounts of fraud and force against other people.
The Founding Fathers knew their history and understood – and wrote often – about what having power does to many people. It’s why they had the separation of powers and wanted a weak government.
Some great men are not bad men – Akbar the Great, Marcus Aurelius. But for every one of them there are twenty bad men who couldn’t handle power.
The good guys you can put into a thimble. The bad guys – an Olympic-sized swimming pool.