As you may be aware, there's a presidential election next year, and there are a few people who are interested in the job. I am aware of some of them, being somewhat involved with the Republican party here in Michigan. There also happen to be a couple democrats, including the junior senator from NY and the junior senator from IL and a few others who would like George W. Bush's job.
I have already been asked, "Which one do you like?" "Do you support any of them?" And I have to this point made no allegiances. I prefer to choose who will receive my vote by looking at several criteria and seeing who matches them best.
Here are some of my criteria:
- What is their stand on basic moral issues? Do they support traditional marriage—and only traditional marriage? What is their stand on abortion? If a candidate favors the legalization of this wicked practice, he or she is highly unlikely to receive my vote. After all, if one cannot be trusted to protect the right to life, what confidence should we have that the same will protect our rights to liberty, the pursuit of happiness, or anything else?
- Does the candidate support the Constitution and what it upholds? This would include those pesky issues like freedom of speech and religion, right to bear arms, un-twisted interpretations of "the equal protection of the laws," and so forth.
- Does the candidate support the Bible, both in principle and in his or her own lifestyle and speech?
- Is the candidate consistent? Do they support the same things today that they supported yesterday, or ten years ago, or that they will support when they visit their next target demographic? In a related issue, does the candidate better resemble an unflinching eagle, standing on principle, or a slinking chameleon, changing colors in the prevailing winds (i.e., the junior senator from NY on various Iraq-related votes)?
- Has the candidate done a good job at whatever he or she was doing before? Was the candidate a good representative, senator, governor, businessman, or bus driver? Hard worker, or slacker? Someone you're proud to know, or someone who brings embarrassment?
- What does the candidate want to do with my tax money? How much of my money does he or she want? I prefer candidates who want as little of my money as is reasonable, who want to spent it frugally, and who want to eliminate the mass of useless, foolish, wasteful, or flat-out unconstitutional programs our state and federal governments spawn.
So how does the current Republican field look from here?
- Giuliani: He's OK with abortion and weak on family issues, so he's not too OK with me. This saddens me, because despite his persona, I kind of like the guy...as the mayor of the city in which I was born.
- McCain: Today, he's the second coming of Ronald Reagan. Seven years ago, he was no friend of the Religious Right [Aside: Does anyone remember his disdain for Bob Jones University in 2000?] and was openly pandering to moderates and independents. And then there was that whole McCain-Feingold thing—perhaps the only piece of legislation in the last decade Republicans caved on that was worse than No Child Left Behind. I would have a hard time voting for him to be my president.
- Romney: He's popular here in Michigan, because his daddy was the governor way back when and he grew up an hour north of my house. One wife, several kids, family man. But his record as governor of Massachusetts gives me great pause. Do I believe what I know he was then, or what he says he is now? Of the "top three," I'd pick him. That Mormon angle, though, is problematic.
- The Rest of the Field: Do any of them have a chance? Probably. I haven't studied them enough yet. A couple, like Ron Paul and Chuck Hagel, are already scratched off. Duncan Hunter and Tommy Thompson and Mike Huckabee and Sam Brownback and Jim Gilmore and Tom Tancredo are all possibilities that will merit more attention in the days to come.
- The Not-Yet-In-The-Field crowd: If it weren't for the three marriages and that nasty affair/divorce a few years back, I'd already be ordering "Newt Gingrich for President" paraphrenalia. I like him. I like Fred Thompson, too. His record as Tennessee senator was a good one. They're both going to run, by the way. Mark my words.
- For the record, I have not yet announced my own candidacy for the office of the president, nor have I formed an exploratory committee at this time.
- He thinks like I do.
- He thinks like God does.