Wednesday, June 04, 2008

How To Pick A President

The June issue of Christianity Today has a wonderful article titled, How To Pick A President: Why Virtue Trumps Policy. I'll not spoil the article for those of you who have not read it yet (if you do not subscribe, the article is online now), but the basic premise behind the article is that a virtuous man (or woman) is much more capable of leading than one defined by certain policy decisions. We may not be able to determine why a person holds certain political positions (is it for the vote or out of conviction), but the lifestyle of a person will tell the true story of who that person is.

The virtues argument by the authors is built from the Greek and Judeo-Christian combination of 7 virtues. The article presents a great argument for the investigation of a candidates personal life and not only public life because the same failures that exist in private will eventually show themselves publicly in different incarnations. At the end of the day, Christians must necessarily look beyond the policy issues of candidates to the man or woman behind the policies.

Often times leaders (which is what presidents should be) are called to make the tough decisions that will not be popular (Reagan, for instance, was cautioned by most of his advisors to not say, "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall," but we are all glad that he took the unpopular risk and brought new and added security to our world). Unpopular decisions may affect negatively upon re-election campaigns, but doing the right thing is always right even if it is not appreciated.

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