Character, Campaigns, & Candidates
Based in Iowa, we possess front row seats for the 2016 political parade. Candidates from both
major parties march into Iowa all of the time and beg for our votes. Politicians stop in cafes, walk in formal parades, tour
farms and businesses, and speak at special events.
Certain ones especially
try to act like they're one of us. But we can often detect it if they're playing the "I'm rural just like you" game.
we Iowans find it entertaining, but we also deem it an important responsibility: Most of us take our role very seriously to
select the right candidate to support.
However, some candidates' campaign trails need to be labeled
"ego trips" instead. America needs more than leaders who can talk at length. America needs leaders of integrity
and strength! It's not about the suit or the coolest ad. It's about knowing right from wrong, saying what it is, and doing
it...no matter what. Period.
President Abraham Lincoln wisely said, "Nearly all
men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man's character, give him power." Sadly, there are several candidates
in the race who have failed that test.
We all need to learn about the candidates'
character and study their records. Pay attention to it just as you pay attention to your bills: If you don't pay now, you'll
pay worse for it later.
It is not politically correct, but it is correct: We
must earnestly ask the Lord to guide us in choosing the right candidate to support. With that said, we hope that you contemplate
this poignant article by Kathi Macias called Character Matters.
all, our nation needs spiritual revival through Jesus Christ. We must pray for changed hearts and a healed land. Amen?
God bless America and may America bless God!
I often find myself sounding like my mother, and yesterday was no exception. I was
watching a video where a little boy was "hamming it up" and performing for anyone who would watch him. As I laughed
at his antics, I exclaimed, "What a character," a comment I heard my mother make on many occasions.
Then I went from watching a
humorous video to a news channel that featured the latest antics of a presidential candidate, someone vying for the position
of Commander-in-Chief of our country. And suddenly I wasn't laughing anymore.
I'm not naïve enough to believe that everything a candidate says actually reflects his/her true character. I do believe,
however, that candidates for public office at any level should remember that people are watching-not just their 30-second
soundbites but their entire lives-and then behave accordingly. I also believe that those of us who are privileged to cast
votes to elect our leaders have a responsibility to know as much about our candidate's character as possible.
So what does that mean? The
dictionary defines character as "the aggregate of features and traits that form the individual nature of some person
or thing." It also denotes "moral or ethical quality."[i] Quite obviously, then, the word "character" means more than someone
"hamming it up" for attention.
My greatest concern as we move closer to election time is that many of us who will be voting haven't
yet realized that character really does matter. And yes, that applies to those of us who are Christians and therefore have
an even greater responsibility to learn as much as we can about a candidate's character before throwing our support behind
that individual. Yet I hear so many people saying things like, "Well, I may not like so-and-so, but I sure do like what
My father's family is from Germany, and though my dad came to America in 1929 and became a citizen as quickly as possible,
the rest of his family was still in the "old country" when World War II broke out. My dad chose to fight for his
new country, while his two younger brothers were conscripted into the German army. (One eventually became disillusioned with
the Nazi cause and went AWOL, and the other was sent to the Russian front, never to be seen or heard from again.) After the
war, my father sponsored what was left of his family and brought them all to this country. And, oh, the stories I have heard
over the years!
Aunt Gertrude told me more than once about what it was like to be a child/pre-teen in pre-war Germany. She recalled hearing
about this particular leader who had recently appeared on the scene and seemed to be gaining a lot of popularity. As she listened
to his powerful speeches, she realized why he was becoming so popular: the man said what the people wanted to hear.
Germany hadn't had much national pride or prosperity since they were defeated in World War I, and suddenly someone had burst
onto the scene, declaring things that once again gave them hope and made them feel good about themselves.
Aunt Gertrude was no exception. She was quickly
enamored of this new political figure and danced in the streets when he was swept into office by the votes of those who believed
he was just what their country needed. From then on, when this newly elected leader spoke, she joined everyone else in hailing
him with "Heil Hitler" and a straight-armed salute. Like so many other young people in Germany who had been indoctrinated
at a young and impressionable age, even as the war drew to a close and the Allied soldiers marched through the German streets
in victory, Aunt Gertrude believed it was all part of a ploy, brilliantly engineered by Hitler and his cohorts to draw the
enemy into their lair before springing the trap. It took my aunt-and many others-quite a while to finally acknowledge that
Germany had lost the war and that Hitler and his hideous dream were indeed dead.
It's simple in retrospect to look back on that time and wonder how anyone could have
been so easily duped by an egomaniac-madman. And yet, as my aunt said many times, "He said what we wanted to hear, and
he was passionate about it. It didn't take long for us to buy into his plan."
Decades later, we in the United States are at a place where many of us no longer feel
good or hopeful about our country. In the last few years, we've experienced wars and riots and a seeming paralysis in Washington
DC when it comes to fulfilling campaign promises and restoring our sense of national pride and hope. So where does that leave
The word vulnerable
seems to sum it up. We are understandably disgusted and disillusioned with politics as usual, and we're looking for something
new. But if we are to avoid the mistake of the German people in voting for certain candidates simply because they say what
we want to hear, then we must take the time to learn about their character. In this day and age of easily accessible Internet
information, we cannot afford to be purposely naïve. We have little excuse if we don't take the time to find out about
a candidate's life choices. What does the candidate's personal life/family look like? What causes or issues has the candidate
supported or fought against in the past? Is he/she respected for past performance, whether in the political arena or elsewhere?
When that candidate speaks, regardless of what's being said, does he/she come across as an intelligent, humble, truthful,
and well-spoken adult-or more like a sneaky person whose word can't be trusted, or a petulant child who throws tantrums when challenged?
I pray we will all take our responsibility as citizens seriously as we approach what
I believe is one of the most critical elections our nation has ever seen. If we will humbly and honestly approach God in prayer
for our country and its leaders (see 2 Chronicles 7:14), I believe He will answer accordingly.
But we have to do our part...because character really
This Month's Bible Verse
"Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings,
knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces
hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God's love has been poured into
our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us." Romans
is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to
get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught." -J. C. Watts
In God We Still Trust Video
needs to turn to Jesus. Listen to "In God We Still Trust"
for inspiration to keep "fighting the good fight". For hope
and encouragement, listen to Stacie Ruth and Carrie Beth sing "In God We Still Trust".
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored more than 50 books and ghostwritten
several others. A former newspaper columnist and string reporter, Kathi has taught creative and business writing in various
venues and has been a guest on many radio and television programs. Kathi is a popular speaker at churches, women's clubs and
retreats, and writers' conferences. She won the 2008 Member of the Year award from AWSA and was the 2011 Author of the Year
from BooksandAuthors.net. Her novel set in China, Red Ink, was named Golden Scrolls 2011 Novel of the Year and was
also a Carol Award Finalist; her October 2012 release, Unexpected Christmas Hero, was named 2012 Book of the Year
by BookandAuthors.net. Kathi "Easy Writer" Macias lives in Homeland, CA, with her husband.
Featured Founding Father
Father Jared Ingersoll (October 24, 1749 - October 31, 1822) is remembered as being a lawyer, a Pennsylvania
delegate to the Continental Congress, and a signer of the U.S. Constitution. In addition, he also served as the Pennsylvania
state attorney general, 1791-1800 and 1811-1816 and as the United States Attorney for Pennsylvania, 1800-1801.
the USA: Discover the ABCs of Patriotism is a new book by Stacie Ruth
and Carrie Beth Stoelting. It's a
book that empowers patriots to make a big difference in the land we love. With 100+ ways
to make a positive difference in America, Unite the USA is
a must-have tool for patriots. Unite the USA will
inspire and educate
Americans to defend faith and freedom. (Important
Note: All proceeds go to fund the mission of
UnitetheUSA.org.) Order it here today!
Celebrate the true spirit of America with Carrie Beth and Stacie Ruth. Book Stacie and Carrie for concert
or conference! E-mail email@example.com
for more information.
In God We Still Trust
A CD by Stacie and Carrie Stoelting
|Per request from veterans who love patriotic and inspiring music sung by Stacie and Carrie, In God We Still Trust was recorded. From the National Anthem to "God Bless America" you will be inspired and uplifted
about our God-given freedoms. All proceeds go
to Unite the USA. Help promote faith and freedom in
America. Your support is important and appreciated. Buy or download a copy today.God bless you as you celebrate the red, white, and blue!
Share and Sign Up
|Be sure to share
this edition with your friends. Sign up for Unite the USA's free monthy e-mail here!