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|Choosing a Future||
The campaign season is in full swing. Candidates stump across the country. Political ads canvass the airwaves. Operatives make their case and pundits make their predictions.
But what should we, the ones who make the final decision, consider most in this election? First and foremost, we should realize that when we vote, we are not simply choosing a candidate. We are choosing a future.
In order to make wise decisions, the voters must wade through the misrepresentations and mischaracterizations made by the media and special interest groups mounting their attack ads. We must read between the lines and discern the truth about the candidates.
One telltale way to measure the character of a candidate is to study their response to things they don't like. It has been said that in order to determine if a grape is sweet or sour, one simply needs to squeeze it. As the candidates, both on a national and local level, come under fire from their opponents and third-party groups, watch their reaction to criticism and even false allegations. The world we live in demands grace under pressure from our leaders, even when confronted with distortions and lies.
For those seeking reelection or a promotion from one office to another, examine their voting record. Though it's easy to get caught up in the campaign rhetoric, the proof lies not in what they say, but what they do. In the race for the oval office, take the time to look at the voting records of President Bush and Senator Kerry. Both have a lengthy track record of decision-making that reveals much more about their character and concerns than any speech or debate will show.
Finally, weigh the issues that are most important to you. Who will help create a safer world for our children and grandchildren? Should the government be the caretaker of its citizens? Is an unborn child worthy of basic human rights? Should we amend the legal definition of marriage? Does morality matter in the lives of our leaders, or should we simply evaluate them "on the job"? Will our next president temper judicial activism or allow legislation from the bench?
Does the candidate have the strength of character and resolve to stay the course required to protect and preserve the blessing of freedom? Is he or she steady, steadfast and clear concerning their core beliefs? Can they weather the coming storms?
These questions, and others, are far more important than the personalities on the ballot. Long after Bush and Kerry retire, the next generation will continue to struggle with these issues. That's why we must carefully consider the decisions we will make this November. Otherwise, we risk leaving a legacy of tumult and pain.
May God help us make a wise choice. The future depends on it.