They are asking our permission to run the biggest economy, strongest defense, and best trained military in the world. They are telling us - or they should be - how they are going to seal up the borders, fight terrorists and jihadists aggressively, and not waste the money I send them out of what I'm earning to care for my family with.
We have the right to see if the consistency of what they say over a long period of time stays parallel with the thinking of the framers of our Constitution - not to mention our Creator.
We have the right to know if they view some humans as less than humans. We need to be shown, when they promise compassion and care for the hurting, if they mean to help those who are hurting towards complete recovery, or if they intend to make them dependent upon their handouts as a way to increase their power base.
If character is the true measure of a person's leadership ability, then the candidates need to have a longer incubation so that under the heat lamps, we can take confidence that they make righteous decisions - not expedient ones.
In the election cycle of 2008 we've already seen cracks in the veneer.
When John Edwards hired two bloggers - whose idea of humor was to attempt to describe upstanding Bible-believing Christians as some sort of sexually repressed, deeply disturbed group of fornicators longing for incestuous relations - we learned that the candidate is not at all worried about associating with people who should not even be allowed to be around most people.
When Hillary Clinton screeches and squawks at Barack Obama for not jumping into the middle of an argument over her ability to tell the truth with David Geffen, we see that Hillary prefers to play the victim rather than lead through proactive confidence in her convictions.
And when John McCain declares it open warfare on men in the administration who had the courage to look 9/11 in the eye - and never blink, only to follow it up with a serenade about how Bush is ignoring "global warming," we see how anger and maverick insanity have all but cost him the nomination.
For the American voter, the individual who says to the Government - you have my permission to run the nation for now, it will never be about finding a candidate who is without flaws. Rather for "We the People" it is about the gritty, not-so-glamorous, way of handling those flaws, and more importantly responding to them that we need to see. And we need to see more of them - not less.
If we did - we might just see higher turnout in our state primary elections. As a result we might get more competitive races, more sharply refined debates, and a contest of ideas that truly deserve the attention of a great nation.
So keep these extended election cycles in place, those that enter the waters will know what they face, and "We the People" will have a better chance to make the best decision possible.
And that just may mean - less buyer's remorse!
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