Personality Test
George Washington - Guardian Supervisor (ESTJ) Mother Teresa - Guardian Protector (ISFJ) Albert Einstein - Rational Architect (INTP) Margaret Thatcher - Rational Fieldmarshal (ENTJ) Mikhail Gorbachev - Idealist Teacher (ENFJ) Eleanor Roosevelt - Idealist Counselor (INFJ) Elvis Presley - Artisan Performer (ESFP) Jacqueline Onasis - Artisan Composer (ISFP) Dolley Madison - Guardian Provider (ESFJ) Queen Victoria - Guardian Inspector (ISTJ) Walt Disney - Rational Inventor (ENTP) Dwight David Eisenhower - Rational Mastermind (INTJ) Thomas Paine - Idealist Champion (ENFP) Princess Diana - Idealist Healer (INFP) Charles Lindberg - Artisan Crafter (ISTP) George S. Patton - Artisan Promoter (ESTP)
Personality Test

Back around the turn of the century three Americans, William James, John Dewey, and Charles Peirce, made up a distinctly American brand of philosophy, best known today as "pragmatism." They were less interested in traditional questions of truth than in "heuristics," the study of methods that work. The pragmatists postulated that as we grow up we acquire a repertoire of means, a sort of toolkit of useful things to do. Having acquired our tool kit, we look around for things that we can fix with it. They said that we do not first look for problems to tackle and then come up with solutions, but rather we have solutions and we look for problems we can use them on. In this sense, temperament determines which of the four toolkits we will pick up; character is the toolkit to which temperament has led us.

As Harry Stack Sullivan once said, "people are more simply human than anything else." The Presidents, all of them, were and are simply human, just like the rest of us. Just as we all do, the Presidents of the United States continue after they become President to do what they were good at doing before they entered the presidency. They come to the office equipped with their repertoire of useful methods, and they are inclined to apply them to whatever problems those methods fit. And they tend not to notice the problems, of which there are always many, that they are not equipped to handle. As they must, whether Presidents or plumbers, people will always act in character.

Given that there are four temperaments, then it is possible that each of the four is better suited than the other three to deal with some particular kind of situation, that each character toolkit is best suited for a certain type of problem. When it is time for long-range planning, for a sea change in the political architecture or course of a nation, we might expect that a Rational would make the most fitting candidate for office. When it is time for fast and vigorous action rather than reflection, when a political or military gunslinger is needed to respond quickly to immediately pressing challenges, then it would appear that an Artisan is the most suitable selection. When matters are moving in a productive direction and it is important to stabilize and regulate social interactions at home and abroad, it would seem to be time to elect a Guardian.

It might also be that an Idealist president would be most suitable when the relationships between people of different countries, especially face-to-face diplomatic relationships, are critical. For example, what might have happened to Wilson's Fourteen-Point plan had it been presented by a benevolent Idealist such as Eleanor Roosevelt or Mohandas Gandhi instead of the uncompromising Guardian Wilson? And what might have been possible if a talented Idealist had been able to talk with Northern and Southern hotheads in the middle 1800s? Perhaps a half million lives would have been saved.

Of course one assumption of the democratic process is that the electorate will usually choose the candidate best equipped to deal with current problems. Washington, for example, was a wonderful presidential choice for the earliest days of the nation, and Lincoln's presidency 72 years later was something of a gift from heaven for a nation doomed to civil war. Harry Truman was an unusually steadfast character, just the type to tackle Stalin's aggressive moves, and the brash John Kennedy may have been just the man to outwit the rash Nikita Khrushchev. Perhaps the electorate recognizes in some way the differences in character, and responds, however instinctively, to these differences in its choice of presidents. Is this in fact what has happened? Has the electorate tended to choose Artisans when there was need for quick and decisive action, or Guardians during times when stability was most important, or Rationals when it seemed time to consider the direction the nation was moving?

Presidential Character and the Character of the Times


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