My wife told me that she wasn't yet sure who she would vote for in the upcoming election. This did not entirely surprise me. Her family background has been entirely Democratic. Her parents are both in education at the university level. And she grew up in the south. And then she marries a Republican husband.
She and I have watched the campaign, we even watched the debates together. And so I tried to think about how I could persuade her that President Bush is the better candidate. I decided (while in the shower) that there are two primary issues on which she should make her decision: 1) character, and 2) job description.
Character is supremely important. I've heard it said that character is who you are when the lights are out and no one else is around. The reason why I support George W. Bush is because I know that when the lights are out and no one else is around George W. will be praying. Because I've seen the expression of President Bush's faith in his public life, I know that he will exhibit this same (or even deeper) faith when no one is around. The source of the vitality of a seed comes from within — a seed grows, from within, into a plant. A house is strong only because it has a firm foundation and the walls are straight, true and strong. In the same fashion, George Bush’s strong character is built on an even stronger faith. The “house” of Bush’s character stands strong on its principles and will not be shaken by the changing winds (of campaigning, international opinion, special interests, the power of the office of the president, etc.).
When it comes to Sen. John Kerry, I know very little about his character. What I do know, I do not like. Sen. Kerry has a long and undistinguished career in the U.S. Senate. His campaign statements seem to indicate the inability to make a firm stand on certain (or even most) issues. Only most recently have his positions “firmed up.” This says to me that he thinks he knows which way the political winds are blowing. Kerry has been characterized as "the most liberal member of the U.S. Senate." The Senator owns seven million-dollars houses and is married to a woman who seems to have little love for the U.S. and often makes disparaging comments without much forethought. I cannot see the basis for Sen. Kerry’s professed Catholic faith. The Senator has said that he cannot allow his personal beliefs to influence his public life because, to do so, would be to either forcing his faith on to others. So, if Sen. Kerry’s faith does not influence his public life, what does? It seems to me that his public life is driven by his desire to maintain his Senate office, or to trade up to the Presidency. What will he do to become the President? What would he do once elected to the Presidency?
The other major consideration for selecting a President is the job description of the Presidency. According to the Constitution of the United States, the President is the chief executive for the U.S. Government, commander-in-chief of the military, and responsible for conducting the foreign policy of the United States (with the advice and consent of the Senate). In the 1920s, the President was given the responsibility of formulating and submitting a budget for the U.S. Government to Congress. Of all of the responsibilities of the President, this last item is the only responsibility that has bearing on domestic policy. It is fair to say that, constitutionally speaking, the President is primarily concerned with the foreign policy of the U.S. President Bush has shown that he will proactively pursue the foreign policy of the U.S. regardless of what others may think about him. Sen. Kerry has recently (and consistently throughout his Senate career) said that he would conduct the foreign policy of the U.S. with the advice and consent of the United Nations. If a policy position were not popular in the world or the U.N., “President Kerry” would not pursue such a policy. I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to turn responsibility for American foreign relations over to an international body that has so dubious a track record in conducting its own relations (Oil for Food, anti-Israel votes, ignoring the genocide in Sudan, etc.).
Of these two issues — character and presidential job description — the most important is character. So, for any of you who are still undecided (listen up, honey), please consider these vitally important factors.