What a crazy ride this election campaign has been… And I'm sure we have much more to look forward to. (Help!!!) Sometimes I can't decide if I'm watching a comedy or a horror movie.
This year has been full of corruption, power plays, mudslinging and narcissism. This is true to some extent in every election. But this time the attacks have been lowered to a junior high level of playground name calling and irrelevant verbal garbage. Maybe junior high is a little too advanced for this crowd, actually.
One of the media commentators recently accused a candidate of not being "presidential." So, what does that really mean?
When I think about what I want in a president, I think in terms that would align with great leadership, moral character, and principled values. Here is my checklist to determine who I will vote for. If no one running meets these principles, then I just might write your name in. See if you pass the test.
You are presidential if you have...
Technically, everyone operates their life and decision-making out of their value system, whether good, bad, righteous, or evil. So if you are a candidate, I want to know, "What are your basic core values?" You don't have to give me a list of what you believe - just start talking. Your core values will come out in what you say, how you say it, and how you react to what someone else says. Your past behavior will tell me a lot, though I give you the right to prove that you have changed where needed.
What do I mean by "principled" values? The Christian way of saying it would be "godly values.” But I am not necessarily looking for you to be an outspoken, church talkin' Christian. I do want your values, however, to be founded on Judaeo-Christian values of righteousness and human dignity. I think it helps if you are a believer in Christ, since that is where these values originate. But I would rather have a non-Christian who possesses these same values and great leadership skills, than a strong believer who has no leadership skills or experience to be president.
I need to know that if you are going to be my president, then you have a level of successful leadership experience that will not make the jump to the Oval Office too much of a stretch. Once you are there, you will have many hats of responsibility - whether you fit into them or not. Life and death issues are at stake. Staying sharp when all hell breaks loose is required. You will have to have done more than build a successful business, or have enough good lawyer skills to win an argument. "Presidential" implies a broad level of proven experience that has been validated in the trenches prior to taking the highest office in the land. I don't mind that you are a business man, a lawyer, or an actor, for all that matters; as long as your acting career is not the only thing I have to measure you by.
I need for you to have vision big enough to get us back on a positive track to health, strength, growth, and righteousness. Can you give me the big picture? One that looks right, sounds believable, and captivates my attention? It's one thing to have the vision, but can you also communicate it well enough for all to understand and want to follow? Ben Carson - someone I was greatly interested in - seemed to have everything necessary to be president except for the single quality of communicating vision. If you listened long enough, you might have agreed with everything he said, but he could not communicate it powerfully enough to keep momentum his way.
Will you be able to make courageous political decisions? Will you be able to push proper political causes that are not popular with other politicians, but do reflect the person we thought we were electing? Please be who you said you were and do it boldly!
If you don't have followers, then I am not interested. You are evidently not a leader. And I'm not talking about how many people you might have on a payroll. Of course, they will follow. And if your followers are simply loud, angry, mouth throttling big talkers who are following because you are a brazen bigwig, a great entertainer, or know how to effectively use social media, then I'm still not interested.
I'm looking at the people who follow you and asking myself, "Are these people the productive people in our culture? Are they motivated enough to volunteer and work with you to accomplish your vision and sensible enough to be motivated for the right reasons?” If you have that, then I am not only impressed, I might even join your cause.
You might look at my list and say, "Well, nobody is perfect. How can anyone meet all of those standards?"
I'm not looking for perfection… Far from it. But I am looking for "presidential," which requires not just anyone, but someone who at least meets the qualifications above. Don't just give me a leader. Give me a great leader, a seasoned and respected leader - a righteous leader.
I want my president to be PRESIDENTIAL!