Two weeks ago I wrote about character and how we define our own reputations. Our reputations are based on the shadow cast by our character, but the size and depth of that shadow depends on our own actions, the hardships we’ve faced, and the destiny we forge for ourselves.
We are experts when it comes to our own character and we alone make the choices by which our reputation takes shape. By what measure do we judge another person’s character? What if things are a bit clouded and we can’t see their shadow too clearly? How do we judge their character?
Do we judge another person’s character by their words, actions, and accomplishments? Do we consider their opinions, thoughts, experiences and values? How long does it take to learn the true nature of someone’s character?
I’m sure the answer varies with most people. Sometimes you can judge a person’s character the moment they walk up to you, with others it can take much longer. Character plays a large part in how we interact with each other everyday. From the teenager working at the coffee shop to the seasoned business executive, we interact with people differently based on our perception of their character. You would most likely hesitate doing business with someone who had a bad reputation, and you would probably avoid taking stock tips from a bum sitting on a park bench.
Shouldn’t we take character into account when choosing the next President of the United States?
During 2007 so many names had been tossed into the ring for the Presidential election that there were enough candidates in the race to field an entire baseball game between the Democrats and the Republicans. The number of names was staggering, and the lineups included some major players from both parties. By the end of 2007, this election cycle promised to be quite exciting, if anything because of the sheer number of people involved.
It was no surprise that so many names would be tossed around, as this is the first presidential election since 1952 where neither the incumbent nor the vice-president were the presumptive nominee from their respective party. Everyone was looking for a horse in the race.
The Democrat menagerie included Hillary Clinton, John Edwards, Al Gore, Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Joseph Biden, Christopher Dodd, Tom Vilsack, Dennis Kucinich, and Mike Gravel. The herd of Republicans included Rudy Giuliani, Mitt Romney, Fred Thompson, Newt Gingrich, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, Tommy Thompson, Tom Tancredo, Duncan Hunter and Jim Gilmore.
Some of these players never announced they were running in the first place (like Al Gore and Newt Gingrich) and most of the others dropped out before the American people even had a chance to vote for them. It’s safe to say that in the beginning of this election cycle, the names were plentiful but our choices were indeed few.
Politics can make people do crazy things. Just look at the events of the past year and you have all the evidence you need that you have to be out of your ever-loving mind to seek the office of President of the United States.
Running for office makes you say things you would otherwise never say, it makes you do things you would never dream of doing, and it makes you wish you could remember all the bad things you have done before the press finds out about them.
It all starts with the primaries, where things start out quite civil but turn nasty real quick. Then, before too long, you find yourself praising the very people you were denouncing as satan worshippers just a few months earlier in the campaign.
If you make it past the primaries, things get even more insane. In fact, the best you can do is hold on tight and enjoy the ride.
There’s an old saying that you can’t win if you don’t play. When you’re running for President of the United States you cannot win if you don’t campaign. You must play the game. If you aren’t willing to go out there and give it your all, you’re just not going to win. In fact, if you don’t get your name out there, you will never have a chance, no matter how insane you are.