Politics, Te, Fe, Se?

Which of those functions is best suited for politics, and in what way? How does it help to understand the functions themselves? Looking at Frank Underwood from House of Cards, what does he use to gain power? 

To get that out of the way, House of Cards is not the most accurate way to look at the actual reality of politics. But it works as a good contrast and base for the following discussion. And while I do think Frank Underwood is an LIE/ENTJ, his use of functions is not quite as simple.

Let’s start with what politics is. First, it’s important to differ between policy (a course or principle of action adopted or proposed by an organization or individual) and politics (the activities associated with the governance of a country or area, especially the debate between parties having power). To put this simple, politics is the process in which power is used, elections, constitutions, the political game, while policy is the substance, what you want to achieve.

Looking at the functions and their use in politics, they all play different roles. The game of politics consists of several, mainly extraverted functions, the four most obvious ones being Te, Se, Fe and Ni. Fe, we can see through charismatic presidents and leaders, such as Martin Luther King. They lead through charisma and are great at making people like them. In the political game of power, their strength is still the same, to make people like them. To understand a person and how to motivate that person to do what they want. On the other hand, Te is maybe the function that most people associate to politics and House of Cards, but in reality, Te only holds a small portion of this. The economical part, the factual arguments and efficiency, that’s Te. But it stops there. What plays the biggest role in Frank Underwood’s road to power, is Se and Ni. Those two, in combination, measures how and when a move should be made for the biggest effect. Ni, with its focus on timing and bending time to their advantage, and Se with its ability to see exactly what has to be done, and to take action. He has the ability to see what and how something has to be done, focuses on the best timing for this, and executes it.

Looking at Frank Underwood as a character, he embodies the caricature of power, with immense skill in all of those functions. And while this makes him hard to type through his strong functions alone, he does fit gamma extravert very well, and LIE does seem to fit him.

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