Tuesday, March 20th is Illinois’ turn in the saga known as Election Day. I’ve been told that it’s been a really long time in which the results of the election would actually decide anything in national races such as the current GOP race for President. However, 50+ delegates are up-for-grabs on Tuesday, so every vote counts!!
I’ve made my decision but it took a process…a process that took some time to develop. More or less, it’s a process of elimination. Let me go down the list of reasons some people use to decide that I didn’t lean on to make my choice.
1) Race. This should be a no brainer, but ever since our current President was running for office and eventually won it’s been an issue (don’t believe me? How many times did you hear after the election that he was the 1st African-American elected President instead of the 44th President of the United States?). For some, because Barack Obama is African-American, that was all the information they needed to vote one way or the other (yes, for OR against him). I imagine many heard about how other caucasian voters voted AGAINST him based on that reason alone, but I’m sure they didn’t hear that it was the main reason some people voted FOR him. Apparently, other African-Americans voted for Barack Obama as though they shared a unique bond with him…similar to how Americans unify with one another and cheer on other Americans during the Olympics. Rather than looking at the inside of the man, they saw the outside and deemed him worthy to be our President.
2) Religion. This is a tougher reason to justify a political decision, as one of the GOP candidates is very public that he’s a Mormon. As I’ve stated in a previous post, Mormonism is not the same as Christianity. Many have heard that said of Mitt Romney and have tuned out anything he has to say after that. Please hear me, while I would prefer that the leader of our nation bows his knee to Jesus Christ and makes his tough decisions based on the perfect Word of God, it shouldn’t be the determining factor in the decision making process.
3) Record. Sometimes I wonder about the political ads that are on TV & radio. I HATE…repeat…HATE negative ads. Why? Because they have 30 seconds to force-feed you some truth (or someone else’s version of the truth) down your throat and fail to mention something: people are different. Whoa…shocking, right? It’s because of this that we have two very different political parties that rarely see eye-to-eye on issues. So what happens when a bill goes through congress?? Compromise. I have yet to hear about a bill that’s been passed through Congress that deals with one…and only one topic. In order to pay for a homeless shelter, you may have to also fund Planned Parenthood to appease those on the other side of the aisle. Unfortunately, by doing so (if you’re a Republican), you’re seen as helping fund Planned Parenthood (a no-no if you’re running on a pro-life platform) by voting FOR the bill or seen as heartless for voting AGAINST funding a homeless shelter. It happens all the time and I wish people would be wise to it and the tricks that are played in these ads.
4) Promises. When you think of a corrupt person, what line of work comes to mind? A used car salesman…sure. A lawyer…ok. A politician…um, yeah!!! Tons of promises are made during the campaign and hardly any actually get done. As an example, check out all the promises that President Obama made that he hasn’t lived up to. Politicians promise the world and somehow we’re shocked that they don’t deliver on that promise!! And we fall for it: hook, line and sinker…every time. When will we wise up?
So what types of things do I factor in to the decision making process? I think that if people looked at the office of the Presidency as one would for hiring an empty position at their workplace, we might be able to weed out the potentials quicker…possibly easier too. The Constitution has a list of prerequisites that a candidate must have and (up until the last Presidential election) there wasn’t even a question that the candidates met these requirements. So besides these, what do I look for?
1) Experience. Yes, I know that the office of the President has a maximum of two term limits, so I don’t mean experience as President of the United States. What I do mean is experience in the decision-making process. Fact is, the President doesn’t have to be the smartest guy in the room…but he’d be wise to surround himself with some of the smartest people and be able to make a decision based off the wise counsel of others. Governors of individual states typically have this experience (on a much smaller scale than that of the President however).
1a) Military experience. One of the titles of the President of the United States is “Commander-in-chief of the armed forces”. Although not essential, I believe that our President should have some experience in the military…if not from some time already served, then in some form of boot camp training after he/she’s elected President, so that they can fully grasp what chain-of-command truly means, as well as to put a face to the troops that he/she can send to defend our & our allies’ nation.
2) Leadership. The fact of the matter is that the office of the Presidency is a draining task. I’ve seen before/after photos of previous Presidents and let me tell you…it ain’t pretty. These guys have aged, at seemingly twice the pace that normal people do. I’m sure that there are multiple reasons for this, but I believe that one of the reasons why they appear to have aged so much is that they didn’t know how to lead a nation, government and ultimately the world (at least economically)…to the point where stress was maxed out everyday.
3) Integrity/Morals/Character. Ultimately, don’t you want to respect our President? To be proud that he’s the guy in charge? That you wished he was there longer than the maximum of two terms? To be the guy that the next generation looks to and says that our next President should be like him? I think that we all desire that…and that comes when we get the person that registers high in the integrity/morals/character area. Let me be clear here though…besides Christ, there is no else that is perfect. So please, stop looking for the “perfect candidate” because none exits. And please…stop getting surprised when so-and-so elected official is “caught” doing something wrong. Guess what…they’re human.
For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.
Romans 3:23 ESV
I saw a video the other day that I want to share. Don’t get me wrong, just because Santorum mentions character in this interview doesn’t mean that it’s the reason I want to cast my ballot in favor of him. Any of the candidates could’ve said this but I applaud him for saying it.
I think that this last point is one of the harder points to distinguish between candidates. But I do think that it’s displayed by the type of campaign that they ultimately run. Are you running a smear campaign where your objective is to make the opponent look so bad that they’ll vote for you instead? Or are you running a campaign that lists your accomplishments and your plan for the future of this country if elected. I personally think that the latter is the moral high ground…one that would earn you respect…and my vote. The last week or so, my house has been bombarded with negative telephone robo-calls…all of the national ones have been attacking Santorum, yet claiming to support Romney (without promoting any of his accomplishments/plans for the future). It’s gotten to the point where Romney appears to be a bully, and not a Presidential candidate. Nobody like a bully Mitt.
When this race started, I was pulling for Herman Cain. He had the leadership qualities that I thought this country could really use, especially economically. Since he is out of the race however, my vote is for Rick Santorum for President of the United States. If he’s ultimately not the Republican nominee, then my vote will be AGAINST Barack Obama.