Vladimir Putin and Benjamin Netanyahu in the top 10 most admired in U.S. Why?

From Reuters, a reminder that pragmatic decisiveness is an important characteristic of leadership:

“So how did Putin and Netanyahu wind up with enough admirers in this country to place them on the list? The simple answer may be that they exude certitude in an age that reveres it, and views it as strength.

This is the opposite of what we are taught in sophisticated college humanities courses — that certainty is the dominion of fools and knaves. There is no absolute truth, scholars insist, and even if there were, no one could claim a monopoly on it. We are taught to believe in ambiguity, accommodation and a certain kind of intellectual modesty — that just because we may feel something doesn’t make it true or right. This sort of modesty is regularly cited as one hallmark of great thinkers and great people. They understand their limitations.

But in the real world, people do not necessarily find intellectual modesty admirable. What the hurly-burly of life seems to teach is that the one thing we can admire is a person’s sense of certitude — honoring deep conviction and an unwillingness to countenance doubt.”

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