Voting for Character

I have something to say about the election. And I want to say it because every time I read what the liberals say that conservatives believe, I don’t think they’re talking about me. I am not stupid, fanatical, blind, or so committed to any dogma that I can’t think for myself. But I am going to vote for John McCain.

After my first marriage ended, I spent a lot of time thinking about what makes some marriages work, and others fail. And I concluded that more important than having the same tastes in music or art or interior design, more important than similar hobbies or interests or personalities, the fundamental and necessary factor that decides whether a marriage would work, at least any marriage that I would be involved in, is character. Does this person have a commitment to something larger than himself? To God? To absolute fidelity and commitment in marriage? To service to others? To avoiding addiction? These were my criteria for deciding whether someone had a quality of character that I would be willing to join myself to, for time and all eternity.

Do I believe that global warming is real? Yes. Do I want affordable health insurance for my family, and for every other family in America? Yes. Do I believe that John McCain will do the same service to those desires that Obama aspires to? No. But character is governing my political choices, as it has governed my choices in marriage.

I look at John McCain and see that we are different people, and have some differing views on how the struggles our country is facing should be handled. But the big ones, the ones that define character? We don’t differ there. I believe we should continue to battle it out in Iraq because to bail out now is to guarantee future aggression and loss of American lives, probably on American soil. And because while some civilian lives are lost in war, the overall benefit to the Iraqi people, freed from tyranny, is immeasurable.

I believe in smaller government. Not because I support big business, or because I don’t want to pay taxes, but because this is a nation governed by the voice of the people, and people express their opinions, in part, by how they choose to spend their money. I contribute more than 10% of my income in charitable donations. I am voicing my opinion with these donations, by supporting organizations that are doing good work in the world. I do not, by any stretch of the imagination, believe the government, even a well-intentioned government, could do a better job with that money than I can. I believe that the ills of our society are better treated by families and communities drawing together to support those in need, than by a bloated bureaucracy.

I believe in morality. I believe that life is sacred, and that its sacredness does not begin at birth. I believe that people should be accountable for their choices, and live with the consequences. I believe that taking responsibility for our choices, good and bad, makes us better people. And I believe that if we are a nation of people who are accountable for our choices, we will be a stronger nation, a wiser nation.

I am a woman of faith. I believe in the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ. I believe that God’s laws have not changed. The Ten Commandments are still in force. Morality still means that pre-marital sex is a sin, as is homosexuality. I believe that abortion is an abomination. And I know that there is a growing minority in this country who believes that is all a bunch of hogwash and superstition. They are a vocal minority, and they begin to appear to represent the voice of the people. I am raising my voice, one of many, to proclaim with certainty that God lives, His Son Jesus Christ lives, and that if the voice of the people of this nation continues to sound the tinny cheer of amorality and all is well, our nation will fall.

John McCain is not perfect. He is not the Messiah. His election will not silence the vocal minority, repeal Roe v. Wade, or fix all of our problems. But voting for him, electing him, stands as a testimony that this nation has not lost its moral compass, has not abandoned its roots. If we vote for integrity, we have integrity. Integrity is not infallible, and I don’t expect John McCain to be a perfect president. But I stand assured that he will do his very best to serve this country with honor and integrity, with character.