Friday, June 6, 2008

How to Pick a President

Why virtue trumps policy

This is the title of a very good article in today's issue of Christianity Today.

I highly recommend it. It goes completely against how we usually vote and shows where we make a huge mistake. Here are two paragraphs I especially like:

We make the same mistake as one recent grumpy CNN commentator: "What we need from these candidates are details of how they are going to solve our problems. How are they going to stop the slide of the dollar? How are they going to get the troops home from Iraq? How are they going to fix Social Security? That's what we need to know." Grumpy and wrong. There's value in hearing a candidate's plans and proposals, but it's of secondary or even lesser importance. Few if any of those plans and proposals will survive the political process intact. Voting for Obama's health plan or Hillary's economic scheme or McCain's immigration policy is virtual-reality voting, positing an intriguing alternate world, but having little to do with this one. When it comes to picking a President, Gandhi had it right: "The obligation of accepting a position of power is to be, above all else, a good human being."

"You've got to be kidding," one hears our CNN commentator saying. "'Good human being'? Who's to say what constitutes a 'good human being'? I want someone competent to run the country." Wrong again. Competence without virtue is poisonous. It simply makes one more effective at doing wrong. Furthermore, being virtuous is, in itself, an expression of competence. Since virtue is a requirement for leadership, a lack of virtue in a leader is a sign of incompetence and grounds enough for rejecting that leadership. Virtue is a personal matter, but it is never wholly a private one, certainly not in a President.


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1 comments:

Mairs said...

Amen. You just nailed my own thoughts on the matter and I didn't even know it...Thanks!