The evolution of modern politics is strongly influenced by Machiavelli's tactics in The Prince. The fast nature, smooth talking, and lack of original thought seen in modern politics is evident in Machiavelli's work. It is a small but powerful thing to gain favor in politics, and Machiavelli accomplishes this well throughout The Prince. In applying his brain to assume a logical means to keep the status quo a political roadmap is created. Giving this work to the reigning Medici family gains their favor thus granting Machiavelli's release from prison. Machiavelli's work is a political piece written as a simple means to an end, another chance to live as a free subject.
The Prince is fast talking politics describing itself, a small treatise acting as a well written guide. As a result of playing favor to both sides of a turbulent political conflict Machiavelli, with no specific powers, finds himself in prison at the beginning of the Medici Rule. By his own rules and examples set forth in The Prince he should, at the very least, be imprisoned for the rest of his life if not sentenced to death. While suffering in prison it is Machiavelli's overwhelming desire to be free. Calmly collecting his thoughts and employing logic he prepares a treatise for the ruling hand and sets himself free in the process. Using very specific language Machiavelli creates a work which begs to be read.
The Prince is fast, easy, and pleasing read in which he presents himself as "humble and Lowly" (2) looking "to win approval" (2). What Machiavelli accomplishes is setting a standard for supplication in a political sense. It is not in the Body of his work, but in the introduction, where he seemingly releases himself from bondage. Throughout the entire passage he exists for the ruler's betterment, all the while vouching for himself as a loyal subject. The introduction presents the offer of reciprocation, and Medici takes it. Machiavelli has won his second chance at life.
Language is often a strong tool in manipulating one's situation. Using words to remove himself from sticky situations, former president Bill Clinton serves as Machiavelli's modern counterpart. Although married, former president Clinton was involved in numerous adulterous affairs which were made very public during his time as president. Adultery was not a short term character trait of Clinton; he managed to keep his problem of infidelity discreet until late in his political career. Clinton was accused, reelected, investigated, impeached, and yet he remained in office -- -talking his way out of situations just as Machiavelli talks his was out of prison. The investigation into the former president's affairs did not harm his career.
Bill Clinton was very forward and simple when he came out of the woodwork and announced in a televised address "I did not have sex with that woman" referring to Whitehouse intern Monica Lewinsky. While the statement was essentially true, it added fuel into his impeachment experience, but was not fatal. As it turns out, he did have "sexual relations", but no "Sex." His powerful statements smoothed the waters, blurring the battle lines about his testimony, and saved him from being thrown out of office. Modern politics has clear roots in Machiavelli's prince. The Smooth, fast talk seen Clinton's impeachment trial deals directly with how language is introduced.
It is a small subtle art which Machiavelli achieves well throughout The Prince. Machiavelli gets the Medici's to swallow his work as a gift, just as Bill Clinton persuades the American public that he didn't have sex. Machiavelli sets the precedent for smooth talk, and it has made an easy transition into modern thought.