By Holly L. Meade
"In a president, character is everything. A president doesn't have to be brilliant... He doesn't have to be clever; you can hire clever... But you can't buy courage and decency, you can't rent a strong moral sense. A president must bring those things with him... A vision is worth little if a president doesn't have the character-- the courage and heart-- to see it through." - Peggy Noonan, columnist for the Wall Street Journal
Throughout American history, the qualities of good character always have been esteemed in leaders: Those who take the moral and ethical high road. Those who recognize when they have done something wrong and do what is necessary to correct it. Those who possess integrity, courage, honor, honesty, and fortitude.
Unfortunately, there appears to be a general inconsistency in this nation between what people say they value and what they actually allow. This is exemplified by the current candidates for the highest office of America. In fact, it appears that “character counts is out” in the race for the presidency.
A recent poll taken by Morning Consult found Clinton’s “56 percent unfavorable rating is driven by the fact that 39 percent of Democrats and 47 percent of independents say she can’t be trusted,” and that many of those who view her unfavorably also say she’s blatantly corrupt. When her mishandling of classified information first came to light, Clinton lied about it early and often, indicating clearly that she knew what she’d done was wrong and felt the need to cover it up. According to the FBI, no “reasonable person” in her position would have handled state secrets the way she did.
Regarding Trump, a recent Gallup poll found just 33 percent say he is honest and trustworthy. Among Republicans, Trump has three themes that appear most problematic for his potential defectors: "lacks the experience it takes to be president" at 87 percent, "not likeable" at 82 percent, and "would display good judgment in a crisis" at 74 percent.
Conservative Christian leaders who have decided to back Trump often say their endorsement is more for his pledges to defund Planned Parenthood, champion religious liberty, and appoint Supreme Court justices opposed to abortion than for the messenger. When asked about Trump’s history of divorces and affairs and the unflattering comments he’s made about women, Tami Fitzgerald, executive director of the Raleigh-based North Carolina Values Coalition, echoed other evangelicals who have settled on Trump: “We’re not electing a pastor, we’re electing a president.”
Fitgerald’s statement was also repeated by evangelist Anne Graham Lotz. “My faith is not in a person, my faith is in God. If God can use Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel’s day, and at the end, Nebuchadnezzar professed faith in the God of Daniel, then He can use Trump too,” said Lotz.
“I don’t know any evangelicals who are wild with enthusiasm for Donald Trump or for whom Donald Trump was their first choice, or their second choice, or their third choice,” said Richard Land, president of Southern Evangelical Seminary in Matthews. “But the situation now is: The next president of the United States is going to be Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton. That tends to focus one’s attention. To quote Ronald Reagan: ‘Trust, but verify,’” said Land.
So it seems that the state of this nation has sunk so low that voters no longer expect honesty, integrity, and character to factor in deciding for whom they will vote. Otherwise, they would not be faced with these current presidential candidates. Yet, isn’t trustworthiness essential when purchasing a house or car, closing a business deal, or getting married? Then why does it matter less in selecting the highest office in the nation?
Throughout the Bible, God emphasizes the importance of good character as expressed through the fruit of the Spirit which are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control that represent the character of Christ. (Galatians 5:22-23) Therefore, those who belong to Christ no longer live for themselves and produce fruit that is contrary to the works of the sinful nature. It seems now is the time for Christians to not only demonstrate those attributes, but expect them from this nation’s leaders.
Holly L. Meade has a master’s degree and 20 years experience teaching Journalism, Mass Communications and developing content for the media, including radio and television.
Pray the Vote is a nationwide movement to “encourage informed prayer” for the 2016 Presidential elections.
It is based on the belief that, when God’s people cry out to Him in earnest and heartfelt prayer, He will bless our nation in ways we cannot foresee. Our prayers open a window for God to work across our land.
Your prayers will change the world.
25 (Week of) Democrat National Convention in Philadelphia
2 Kansas State Primary
Michigan State Primary
Missouri State Primary
Washington State Primary
4 Tennessee State Primary
6 Virgin Islands Territorial Primary
9 Connecticut State Primary
Minnesota State Primary
Vermont State Primary
Wisconsin State Primary
13 Hawaii State Primary
16 Alaska State Primary
Wyoming State Primary
23 Oklahoma Primary Runoff
27 Guam Territorial Primary
30 Arizona State Primary
Florida State Primary
8 Massachusetts State Primary
13 Delaware State Primary
New Hampshire State Primary
New York State Offices Primary
Rhode Island State Primary
30 Because state registration deadlines are so variable, suggest everyone be registered to vote in the General Election by this date.
3 ELECTION DAY