Monday, December 31, 2007
We need to determine which candidates are honorable and say what they mean and mean what they say; which candidates know how to make a promise and keep it, no matter what.
I remember back in 1992, as I looked at Bill Clinton, saying to anyone who would listen: If he can't keep his promises to his wife, why should we believe any of the promises he makes to us? And, sure enough, he was in office about 20 minutes before he was breaking promises to almost everyone.
(The only exception was his stand in favor of limitless abortion – which is what won him the silence of the so-called women's movement when he was committing perjury to conceal his exploitation of powerless women.)
His life already revealed his moral character, and we got the president we paid for.
In an election year, we can't possibly guess what future the president will be presiding over. But we can decide what kind of person will lead us through that future, and what moral principles will guide him.
Will it be the person who obviously took bribes but simply denies it?
The person who used public money to conceal an adulterous relationship?
The person who uses religious bigotry as a tool to bring down a front-runner, even as he claims to stand for constitutional values?
The person who claims to champion the poor, but treats ordinary people with disdain when he happens to run into them?
The person who kind of wants to be president but doesn't want to do any of the work required to actually get the office?
I remember commentators nodding wisely and saying that the "character issue" doesn't really matter. I shook my head in despair. If a candidate's character is bad, if they can't be trusted, what does it matter what he or she might promise us?
Look at their life, at their past, at what they actually do. That's how you find out the kind of person you're going to have in charge.