Sunday, December 30, 2007

Time To Elect A President

Awhile back I did an article regarding the political system and the upcoming elections. I have been following the elections and decided to post an article regarding candidates I am looking at. On this topic, I am not one who says we shouldn’t be involved in the political system. What I say is that for people of faith who claim to be followers of Jesus Christ, or any other religious system, don’t compromise your beliefs. Your service and commitment to your faith is far more important in my opinion than your commitment to country.

For me, to measure an individual involved in the political system to my faith, or my God, always has the individual falling short. It will become obvious that I am picking a wide diversity of people, two Republicans, and 2 Democrats. This gets me away from the “endorsement” of any candidate, although I am not opposed to that.

Now I love politics, and have been involved in the political process since I came of age to vote. I have come full circle in my political beliefs, and suspect they will change between now and the next election. I have been extremely liberal, actually a delegate for Jesse Jackson back in the 1980’s, a supporter and delegate of Al Gore, a presenter at the Greenville County, SC Democratic Convention in the 1990’s, I voted for George W. Bush, (the only presidential candidate vote I ever “won”) and I was a Democratic candidate for a house seat in South Carolina, where I lost 52% to 46% against a retired postman. I was endorsed by the National Right to Life, The State Educators Association, The State Nurses Association, and the NAACP. In recent years I have voted more for Republicans, but as of this election, I am not certain who I will vote for.

Now to the political system and especially this upcoming election:

Let me say here and now, from the get go, I am disappointed not in the candidates, but in some of the candidates, and certainly both political parties. I know from personal experience, both parties, on a national level are out of touch with the American public. I will touch on part of that in my mention of the candidates.

In the early process, on my My Space page, I had all political candidates that had a My Space page. I subscribed to all of their blogs and followed those blogs, comments, and policies. It is from a lot of reading that I have come to my conclusions.

Let’s start first with the two candidates that are in my final two that I am considering from the Democratic Party.

The first is a dark horse, a candidate who doesn’t have much of a chance, but I will admit, I like this guy. I like the majority of his policies, and he is a candidate I would consider voting for if in the general election. That candidate is Dennis Kucinich.

I honestly think Dennis Kucinich is right on target on a number of key issues. I especially like his position on a National Center for Peace, and believe he has a good grasp on what I would call Christian responsibility on issues such as social justice. I wish he were more consistent on certain issues regarding what I would consider Christian Worldview issues. While he is solid on several social justice positions, I disagree with his positions on other areas like abortion. While using Biblical supports to support certain views and positions, I don’t think he does that on all positions. That doesn’t take away from my view of Senator Kucinich. I respect him, and believe him to be a solid individual. One I would say, if you haven’t looked at up to this point, look at him, check out his web page, subscribe to his articles, and blogs, then let our conscious help you decide about the validity of this candidate.

The next Democratic candidate I like is Barack Obama. In a political world where there has been a lot of hatred expressed by the opposing parties, Democrats of Republicans, and Republicans of Democrats, I think that Senator Obama has an ability to bring people together. He is balanced on a majority of positions and I find myself agreeing with much of what he has said. Of course, me being the pro life individual I am, I am concerned about his or any candidates’ position on this issue. I have to say though, I feel as if in the last few elections I was duped by the Republican Party to do something about this issue.

I believe Obama is the most electable candidate among the Democrats; one I could vote for and one who could draw in votes from other middle of the road voters, especially if the Republican nominee is a candidate who is not a strong pro life candidate.

I believe Senator Obama has been misrepresented by not only Republicans but many Democrats. He is a candidate I decided to do a lot of research on and was a candidate I would not have considered voting for. After doing my research, after checking the facts, I found Obama to be a man of character, and one who could do this country good.

Now to the Republican side of the candidates. Let me state clearly, right off the bat, I am very disappointed with the political efforts of the Republican Party in this election. Their willingness to redefine what is, and is not a Republican is sickening. At one time the party that preached inclusion is now practicing exclusion. That will be obvious in my two finalists in the Republican Party.

First I would ask you to consider the candidate, Ron Paul. I have to admit, a lot of what Ron Paul speaks about appeals and challenges me. I admire this man; I admire his willingness to be the preverbal black sheep in this election. While I agree with much of what Ron Paul stands for, many of his followers, the 9/11 Truthers for example, scare me. There is no doubt; there is a massive ground swelling of individuals who has brought about an impressive grass roots movement. From raising millions, to getting conservatives, and liberals together, Paul has hit a nerve in the Republican Party. Their efforts to keep him out of the debate process, their continued attacks on him as a person, offend me.

The willingness to attack Senator Paul isn’t the only thing that has molded my recent views of the Republican Party, I see the attack happening with another candidate I like.

The other Republican Party candidate that I find myself liking more and more is Mike Huckabee. Governor Huckabee, to listen to all of the higher ups within the Republican Party is no where near qualified to be the Republican Candidate for President of the United States. To hear the attacks from the conservative talk shows, and the pundits within the party, of Governor Huckabee, and Senator Paul, is at the point of being obvious. I am now willing to vote for anyone, other than a candidate from the “establishment” of the party.

Regarding Governor Huckabee, I see what I, as a Christian would consider to be a “Compassionate Conservative.” We have all heard the term before, one only has to associate that with the last two elections, but Governor Huckabee has a track record that seems to show a side of compassion for the poor, plus a solid position on various issues that people of faith will be concerned about. While some are concerned that Governor Huckabee is a former pastor, I am not. I don’t know how he would blend the concepts of politician and Christian, but I do believe he will act on his convictions as opposed to a political party agenda.

I know many will have issues with my top 4, that is okay, but at least think about the candidates and their positions. Check out their positions on various issues, but beyond that, check their track record. I am frankly tired of being promised the moon and getting nothing more than a moon pie. On the other hand, I am tired of being told who to vote for by the suits who have been involved in the political system for many years. I look at our world, at our willingness to care for and help those in need, and then wonder, why I would listen to any of these people with the world being in the state of affairs it is in.

During the last election, it was rather hard to come up with 4 candidates I could support in an election. This time, there are about 6 I could support. If I was to add another Democrat, it would be John Edwards, and the other Republican would be John McCain. I don’t know who I will vote for as of yet. I can tell you 4 or 5 I won’t vote for; hopefully two of those aren’t running against each other. Not only Americans, but the rest of the world deserves better than an election where we elect the lesser of two evils. We all have a responsibility, at least those of us in America have a responsibility to be informed and educated in this process. Hopefully we take that responsibility seriously in the next days, weeks, and months ahead. Realize during that time frame, your responsibility and allegiance is not to The United States of America, but to the Kingdom of God, that is if you are a Christian. If not, then at least become as informed as possible on the issues. The truth is, our next President will have a strong influence on the world, either good or bad, the decision needs to be made by the people, not some political party who has their own agenda that may, or may not really care about the people they are commissioned to serve.

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This one is one that will offend some, but I still laughed. It is Chris Rock from Saturday Night Live on the 2008 Elections.

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