It's only half the battle that America's next president has a better economic plan than other candidates and the current administration, under whom the national debt has almost doubled at twice the speed than it did under President George W. Bush -- to more than $15 trillion -- and during which time the unemployment rate, though better than a year ago, has remained at a recession-level 8.5 percent (up from 7.8 percent when Obama took office).
The other half of the economic battle for the next president is that he must have much greater leadership skills to have his economic plan be accepted and come to fruition, especially in the midst of partisan polarities. I agree with William Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services. He recently criticized the White House, saying it has "often failed to lead with enough vigor to overcome political obstacles."
2) Who is the most fiscally prudent?
This question is related to the previous one, but I believe it deserves solo attention because of the escalating crisis of our national debt and spending. America is drowning in debt, and Washington is on a runaway spending spree. And President Obama wants to increase the national debt ceiling by another trillion dollars?
As George Washington said, "to contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones." And as Jefferson said, "the principle of spending money to be paid by posterity, under the name of funding, is but swindling futurity on a large scale." During his first campaign, even Obama himself called that type of fiscal management "irresponsible" and "unpatriotic."
We need to ask, Which candidate has the best track record for making fiscally prudent decisions, cutting what needs to be cut and (re)allocating investments to bring about the greatest yields? It's one thing to know what to cut but quite another to know where to invest, for solvency comes primarily from the former and growth from the latter. Our next president has to have a great track record for both.
1) Who has demonstrated the highest regard for human life?
Our president leads more than a nation; he leads one of the largest masses of human beings on the planet, and he also has influence over the remaining global majority. Therefore, it is imperative that he has an impeccably high view and value of humanity.
The Declaration of Independence affirms the value and rights of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness" for all human beings -- something further secured in our Bill of Rights. How one values human life is reflected in one's adherence to America's founding tenets, as well as how one has treated others and where he stands on such issues as abortion, embryonic stem cell research, cloning, euthanasia, civil rights and capital punishment.
As Jefferson so eloquently put it, "the care of human life and happiness, and not their destruction, is the first and only legitimate object of good government." And therefore, it is the first and only legitimate object of good leadership, too.
For further study of where each GOP candidate stands on these and other critical issues, check out the Family Research Council's voter guide.