2 May 2008
After supper the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and Yours Truly were enjoying our cup of coffee while watching the evening news. It is something we do quite regularly and so there was not anything unusual about it. It is one way we can relax and unwind from the vigor of the day.
Normally, our discussion centers around who had the more vigorous day. No matter how hard I try, I always lose this argument. Being the gentleman I am, I graciously allow her to win this argument. What else can I do?
As is the case these days, the news was all about politics and who is running for president. Most of the time we just allow this information to spend itself while we go along with the rest of our life. However, on this particular evening my wife startled me with a very provocative question.
"What do you really want in a president?"
I must admit this question caught me a little off guard. But the question intrigued me.
As I thought about this question, several possibilities came to my mind.
At the top of my list, I want someone with strong moral integrity. Someone who knows right from wrong and understands that right is always right and wrong is always wrong. This idea pervading politics that there are no absolutes is about the craziest thing I have ever heard.
I would like a president who makes decisions based on what is right and not what is politically expedient or what will help him get reelected come next election.
My ideal president should be someone who refuses to lie, no matter how difficult it may be or embarrassing. In fact, I would like a president to live such a life and make such decisions that he does not have to lie.
In this area, I want a president to know what it really means to be married. After all, if he does not understand what it means to be married and that it excludes all other relationships how in the world can he understand what it means to be president of the United States? Any president who has time enough on hand to have extramarital affairs has too much time on his hand and should get back to the job to which he was elected. After all, he married his wife and if he made a mistake in that area of his life what other areas is he making mistakes?
The second item on my list was, I want someone who knows that the biggest special interest group he has to deal with is the American people. Everyone knows that special interest groups own Washington, DC, lock, stock and pork barrel. It would rather be refreshing to have someone sitting in the oval office who understands the real special interest group.
The American people really need a champion in the White House. Someone who is looking out for their interests and not the interests of the person wagging the biggest check. If the truth was known, and it rarely is, the one with the biggest checkbook is actually the American taxpayer.
The American people really do not want handouts. All they want is an expectation that the government they have elected to office will not complicate their life but will provide a level playing ground, "of the people, by the people, and for the people."
Then, I want a president who understands that his private life and his public life are one and the same. A person who understands that as a public servant he forfeits all privacy. That is why it is called "public service." This idea of what a person does in private does not affect what he does in public is about as stupid as you can get. It takes years and years of postgraduate work to reach this level of imbecility.
If your private life does not stand up to scrutiny... stay out of politics. Nobody is forced into public service. I have always thought that if you cannot handle your private life and keep it in order how in the world can you handle a public trust?
Then once this person is elected, I want them to drop all political party nonsense and just be An American President. If they want to be a “party president," don't go into politics just go to any State University. Most of them are simply one continuous party from the time you get in until you get out. The oval office is not the place for any kind of party politics but rather the business "of the people, for the people, and by the people."
After I had enunciated my list my wife sat in silence for a few moments and then said this.
"There's only one major flaw in all of this," she said rather thoughtfully.
"I don't know of any Amish person who would want to run for president of the United States."
The apostle Paul said it the best, “I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty” (1 Timothy 2:1-2 KJV).
I may never get my ideal president, but that will not stop me from praying for the president in office.
Rev. James L. Snyder