We want to do our duty and vote, but who has time to research candidates? We can’t! But we can have confidence in who we are voting for by examining their values. When a person runs for office they are asking your permission to be your leader, and the way you find out if someone would make a good leader is not so much about their bio as it is about their perspective – especially about how they believe problems and situations should be governed, and how they believe power should be welded. You need to ask what codes or ethics do these potential leaders live by?
Candidates are asking you to trust their perspective about what they believe are wise acts. They are asking you to trust their perspective about what constitutes acting in good faith, and what are the important things to care about. In other words, they want you to trust their values. So, what values do you want your leaders to hold? What values are you willing to defend, and what values are just “nice to have” and not “need to have”? Truthfulness? Individual liberty? Individual responsibility? Do you value property rights?
A leader is basically in the business of opening doors. If you become a candidate for office, you will be asking permission to govern, represent or lead and in so doing you are asking the public to trust your perspective. Lives will be forever impacted by the doors you open and close as others yield to your leadership. Leaders are lights that shine. They shine on what they choose to emphasize and highlight. They shine on the path they feel people should take – leaving alternative paths in the dark. They direct light to expose information to others, they shift the light when their values steer them in another direction. That’s why picking the right leaders is so important. When you open a door, you’re letting your children through it, your employees, your students, your friends.
I’ve heard it said that it’s hard to find good leaders – leaders with shared values; and today I see a condition in our country begging for leadership. Each one of us should be saying about the call to leadership, “If not now, when? If not me, who?” If we are not leading, we should at least support good leaders and help our leaders gain the needed perspective to govern and act on our shared values. A leader will defer to his or her values when opening and closing doors and mitigated problems or situations. We should speak up where we can, defend what’s right and don’t let those who degrade our Constitution have an easy time of it. We all hope that after every election evil will be exposed and the public will be better informed and gain confidence to speak up and defend the values of individual liberty and state’s rights.
So, even if it seems to you that you are limited in scope and influence, (though often times we have a much larger influence than we know) approach your tasks in life with fortitude, tenacity, courage and persistence. Keep your perspective focused on the values that matter, and judge the values held by those running for office to see if they are deserving of your vote.