As we enter the next election cycle (and each time the campaigning seems to start earlier), and the discussions begin about who would be the best person to serve as president of the United States. I’ve given a lot of serious thought and prayer about that issue (and listened to a lot of opinions on the subject). People offering their name for consideration on the Republican side abound. Names on the Democratic side seem to be increasing.
This morning during “Coffee with the Lord” I spent a significant amount of time reflecting on that subject, praying about it, and reading my Bible (I read Daniel 4 – an “open letter” from a pagan king… you ought to read it!). I guess the tone of the recent Republican debate also sparked my thinking… Here’s some personal perspective (and I want to keep names out of my consideration today).
We all want someone who is “electable” because in our form of government those who serve must be able to attract the support of large numbers of people. I’d of course prefer someone who is “a born-again, Bible believing, “Christian values embracing” person, but I know that is not always possible (and even in the Bible some great leaders did not fit that profile).
But if I have a choice (and I do as an American) here are some voter guidelines and principles for me…
• I want the person I vote for as much as is possible to share my basic Judeo-Christian values. (And a big one for me is they must not be a “liar” – I want someone who shoots straight, tells the truth, doesn’t shift blame and accepts responsibility for their actions and decisions).
• I want someone who is “conservative” (not only fiscally conservative – even more important to me, they must be a social conservative).
• Any candidate I would vote for must be anti-abortion and pro-protection of the unborn in the womb. They must also be pro-traditional marriage and oppose same sex marriage. These are litmus tests for me.
• But I want compassion too – In fact, in the last election cycle I really liked the term “compassionate conservative!” (In fact, I wish we’d hear and see more of that!)
• For me, arrogance, rude behavior, and the misrepresentation of other candidate’s positions and records are disqualifying characteristics in a candidate. “Speaking out” must never morph into “meanness!” It’s possible to be “steel under velvet.”
• On defense, they must understand that one of their greatest responsibilities is “keeping America safe.”
• I want someone who defends “religious freedom” as the framers of our constitution would have understood it… not freedom FROM religion, but freedom OF religion.
• And finally, when we face a national crisis of any kind, I want a candidate who would not hesitate to call the nation to prayer and personally lead the way by bending their knee to Almighty God.
This is NOT a complete list of my principles… but it is where I ended up this morning. Perhaps it will be helpful to you as we move toward electing our next president.