America’s right to vote is one of our greatest privileges. It’s that time again—elections for state and national leaders. You have one week left to vet the candidates and plan your vote. The time and effort you spend is your payment for liberty. If you pay the debt, you deserve self-rule. If you don’t, you’re in the entitlement class: those who take, but do not give.
Look for candidates who are clear and direct about what they represent. Be suspicious of those that do the Political Polka—that sound vaguely good and only speak in generalities. They are likely to sell you a bill of goods. They won’t enrich our legislative halls.
When we elect moral men and women, we increase the possibility that government will secure our rights and property. This is only one part of sound politics, but it is a key part. Samuel Adams explained it: he was the eye of the storm in leading the colonial break from Great Britain, which began in 1764. He said, “(Do) not suffer a man to be chosen into any office of power and trust who is not a wise and virtuous man.” The fruit does not fall far from the tree—a good man or woman gives good fruit; a dishonest one does so only by chance. It takes good, moral people to write good, moral laws.
Founding Fathers James Madison and Thomas Jefferson counseled us on selecting candidates wisely. They identified two kinds of political aristocracy. The first came naturally through virtue, talent and patriotism. The second, an artificial aristocracy rampant in European circles of their day, came through birth or family fortune. In America, we have no political elites unless we create them by leaving elected officials in office for so long they think they own the place. Both the nation and the state have politicians who have staked their claims and aren’t planning to leave. Politics was not an acceptable career path for our Founders. That inevitably self-serving agenda often undercuts the average Joe.
These men–Jefferson, Madison, and the Adams cousins, Samuel and John—knew politics. They believed political office should attract the finest people the nation has to offer and they were the pattern. John Adams, our second president, said of his service to the nation: “In every considerable transaction of my public life, I have invariably acted according to my best judgment, and I can look up to God for the sincerity of my intentions.”
It isn’t enough, however, to simply select good people. Good people see things differently. We must select those who will do what we think should be done. This nation functions on majority rule—we are supposed to get the system most of us want. You go to the polls to put in place the system and people you choose, not those others choose.
We have one week left before we ring liberty’s bell for freedom in the voting booth. Please proudly take your turn at the polls. Each of us must thoughtfully find our own political standards. It’s not what “everybody” is doing or blind allegiance to a political party, and certainly not apathy and disinterest. Our dedication is to truth and integrity in elected officials who hold to the basics—the constitutional principles that gave us the greatest prosperity and liberty in the modern world a hundred years ago. Those principles can do the same again.
Make your voice count next week. Ring freedom’s bell for liberty and good government.