Well, here we are in an election year. Many of the
same old things that happen in election years are beginning
to happen again. Candidates showing up on your
doorstep asking for money; positioning by party
regulars around candidates they think will get them the biggest piece of the pie if elected; an elevated number of
political newspaper ads and editorials are running; the hopes of new candidates as high as they will ever be; and the drudgery of the campaign trail for incumbants.
There are many things that we have learned from being
through this process so many times. We know that
somebody is going to be misquoted. We know that
somebody is going to run a strong, well managed
campaign, and somebody will make a poor choice or be caught in some regretable situation. We know that there are those
that research their candidates and vote based on
principle and there are those that listen to the shallow,
irrelevent suggestions by the unresearched.
So what have we learned when it comes to being
educated about who our candidates are and who we should cast
our all important, valued vote in favor of?
The most basic is principle. If we have learned
anything, we have learned that the basic fundamentals
of our world view should direct us first and foremost. If we believe life begins at conception and that life is one
of the unalienable rights granted by God and recognized
in the Declaration of Independence, then we should look for
a candidate that will follow those ideals. If we
believe the tales of shrinking ice caps and man being able to alter the course of God's creation, we should find a
candidate that agrees.
But there is more than principle when it comes to
choosing who will represent us. Principle is first but we
must look at the complete package. We must look at the
candidates personality. We must look at how that
candidate reacts in situations of stress and
discomfort. We must look at the way the candidate
reacts in situations they have faced in the past in
order to predict their reactions in the future. If, under
stress, that candidate remained cool and reserves
emotional judgement until the appropriate time and makes a
logical choice based on sound judgement, then that person has what it takes to represent.
On the other hand, if a candidate is confronted,
countered, or rebuffed, and reacts with anger and emotion and lack of judgement, we know that when sent to Washington, for example, they will more than likely not be able to handle the pressure and in turn, embarrass their
constituants. Telltale signs of these kinds of
candidates are those who spend all their time on
attack mode, not attacking the issues, but vehemently
attacking their opponent. They can be identified by strong,
rash language, including cursing. They have a tendancy
to blame others for everything that might not go their
way and puff up when they do go their way.
As we progress into this season of posturing and
pontifications, accusations and denials, espionage
and subterfuge, it can not be underestimated how important
it is to make sure we have researched the candidates. We
must strive to not be confused by verbal smoke
screens, deceived by election year promises, and temporarily
motivated by emotional outbursts from the uneducated
or inexperienced candidate.