Oh No, She Didn’t: Political Personalities – The Sheep

Oh yes I DID!….and WHY? Personalities are great tool for understanding politicians and identifying statesmen.

OK, so I may loose some followers with this series . . . after all, isn’t politics one of those subjects that momma told us to stay away from along with religion and finances? News flash, I don’t stay away from any of those topics when personalities are involved. Well, if you’ll hang with me, my intent is NOT to disparage one side or the other, but to provide (as best as I can) unbiased insights into the political world using personalities.


Before jumping into this topic, let me share what made me decide to tackle it in the first place. I’ve been watching a political mini series and found it intriguing. It depicts the seedier side of political life, but we all know there are good guys and bad guys in all governments…and our definitions of good and bad may vary, but that is another post for a different website. My interest swirls around personalities. Anyhow, after watching and analyzing season one, I came up with three categories for those claiming to lead our country. Some of you may not agree with my assessment, but there is much to be learned from looking at the personality breakdown in each category. So, with that, let’s jump in.

My observations tell me that there are three categories of people in American politics: sheep, wolves, and shepherds. Today we will look at the political sheep and their personalities.

In order to fully dig into this concept we must know about sheep. Here are a few facts I found and have personally experienced as a result of my granddad raising sheep on occasion:

Sheep . . .

  • have a herd mentality.
  • are gullible.
  • need a leader, not good at thinking on their own (hence they tend NOT to be leaders).
  • are helpless (example: flipped over on their back, unable to right themselves and will die of starvation if not turned over by shepherd)
  • don’t like to be sheared or cleaned.
  • need a pre-determined plan.
  • are stubborn and insist on their own way.

One character in the mini-series, Peter, exhibited the “sheep” mentality and clarified what we see in Washington DC today. Poor guy. . . he was probably an extreme, but then again, Peter’s story probably does happen to some extent within our governing body. He was a very likable character who truly wanted to do good, but he became a sheep and did what he was told instead of following through on why he was elected into office by his constituency. Long story short, he became a drug addict, a pawn for the aspirations of another politician, and a murder victim at the hands of the politician who played him like a fiddle.

Always the Personality Mechanic, I pondered what part personalities play in politics. Taking into consideration my own observation of today’s politicians, Peter the “sheep” character from the show, and the characteristics of sheep, here is my personality assessment:

Although EVERY personality can fail as a politician or succeed as a statesman, there are two personality types that may find the fall into the sheep category more easily than the others — the sanguine and phlegmatic. Using the above list of sheep ways, let’s break it down.

Herd Mentality

Sanguine personalities yearn for approval and itch to belong to a group. A sanguine politician may stray from his/her values in order to establish a place within the “herd”. Phlegmatic people tend to be indecisive and avoid conflict. This makes them especially vulnerable to follow the crowd and, like the sanguine, stray from their core beliefs in order to fit in with the status quo or the “cool” people. Sanguine and phlegmatic personalities often turn into the politicians blown in whatever direction the wind dictates.


Knowing personalities and observing people for most of my life, I’d have to say that, although there are some very astute sanguine people in our population, they tend to be the most gullible temperament. Peter, once again, fell into this category. The wolves (who we will discuss in the next post) were the ones who influenced him and they did NOT have his best interests in mind. They were out for their own political gain and used Peter the Sheep as a pawn. They promised him the world, but offered him up as a corpse.

Need a Leader

Sheep don’t do well on their own. They require the most supervision of all livestock. Phlegmatics tend to fall in this category, and since I’m a phleg I can related. This personality (including me) prefers not to be in charge. It doesn’t mean that they are not capable, they would rather assist and operate behind the scenes. If a sanguine or phlegmatic politician doesn’t dig deep, stand up for what they believe, or becomes a doormat, others run all over them.  They join the ranks of Washington fluff ‘n stuff sheep while others do the dictating.

Don’t Like to be Sheared or Cleaned

Where egos reign supreme (and this can be ANY personality), there isn’t much “shearing” or cleaning going on. Where there is no desire to clean up dirty hearts or minds, filth rules the day! Am I being harsh? Maybe, but I’m probably not the only one who suspects that there is an underbelly in our nation’s capitol. The political sheep get dirty blowing around in the dust devil that is Washington.

Need a Pre-Determined Plan

Sheep don’t think on their own. They go wherever the farmer/shepherd/leader (bad or good) tells them to go. This is what happened to Peter in the show. He wanted to do right, but easily succumbed to the pre-determined plan of another. Did he feel bad? Yes. Did he pay for it? Yes. Did he devise his own path? No. He became a political sheep lead to the slaughter. Again, any personality can become such a victim, but the sanguine and phlegmatic tend to be more susceptible. I truly liked Peter and have him pegged as a sanguine/phlegmatic combination… deemed as everyone’s favorite personality. But, in the end, this wonderful blend was a sheep.

Stubborn, Insist on Own Way

Depending on one’s passions, every personality can fall prey to these attitudes. No one can be more stubborn than a phlegmatic who decides to dig their heels in. However, the choleric and melancholy get a little mention in this category. Both of those personalities are notorious for not backing down. Whether this is a good or bad thing in DC probably depends on which side of the aisle you come down on politically, but we won’t go there since this is about political personalities and not pure politics.

Sanguines and Phlegmatics: Desine to Join the Flock?

Not all sanguine and phlegmatic personalities become political sheep. A well-balanced sanguine or phlegmatic operating in their strength as opposed to their weaknesses, can become a statesmen instead of political sheep. Sanguines are motivators! They have creative minds and lots of energy. Those are wonderful traits for leaders who use those tools effectively. Phlegmatics are movers and shakers when their passions arise. They are the natural diplomats, steady, and reliable. Balanced personality traits are an asset to any leader when used well.

©2013 Shona Neff



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This entry was posted on Sunday, March 24th, 2013 at 8:16 pm and is filed under Personalities - Did You Know?, Personality Stories - Phlegmatic, Personality Stories - Sanguine. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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