The Race for President: My Selection Criteria

The first presidential primaries and caucuses will begin in just over a month (Iowa on Jan 3, 2008 and New Hampshire on Jan 8, 2008), and within three months, the Republican and Democrat presidential nominees will be known. While still early in the process, I want to let my presidential selection criteria be known and analyze how some of the major candidates measure up. In this post, I will lay out the criteria; in future posts, I will analyze how well prominent candidates’ policy and action meet those requirements.

1. Strengthening the Family A president who will enact policies and make decisions that will strengthen the Family is the most important issue to me because, as you have seen in my previous posts, I believe that most of societal ills can be rooted back to a break down in traditional family values.
1A. Pro-Life/Anti-Abortion I want to elect a president who shares my belief that life is sacred from the moment it is conceived. Right now, the abortion policy in America is governed by the Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe v Wade decision, which I believe is bad law in itself and morally wrong as well. The way in which a president can influence this policy is through appointments to the Supreme Court.
1B. Pro-Traditional Marriage A major part of strengthening families is defending the traditional family structure: father, mother, children. Marriage, as defined by one man and one women, is under attack in America and certain government policies and programs, like welfare, have been known to undermine the role of the father in the home. A president who will defend the institution of marriage is critical.
2. Defending Our Country To “provide for the common defense” is one of the constitutionally endowed duties of the federal government. A strong military and political sovereignty are necessary to do this. The president, who is also commander in chief of our armed forces, must have shown through word and deed, their ability to lead the defense of our nation.
2A. Defeating Terrorists The fight against global terrorism is an extremely important issue at this time. George Bush has done an excellent job in leading this war on many fronts: in Afghanistan, in Iraq, in de-funding terrorist organizations around the world. We need the next president to be equally tough and continue to fight and win this war.
2B. Protecting Our Borders Bush’s record on border security is, on the other hand, abysmal and we need our next president to take serious steps to secure our borders. Illegal immigrants, many of whom have criminal records and links to drug cartels and terrorist organizations, are pouring across our borders at the rate of nearly a million a year. Our nation cannot remain sovereign and secure if this influx continues.
3. Free Market Economic Policy I’m not sure when the president of the United States became chief economist (maybe it was Bill Clinton’s “it’s the economy, stupid” comment in the 1992 presidential race), but regardless, the president is held accountable by the American people for economic policy and its success. I want to elect a president who believes, as I do, in free market economies and that capitalism works.
3A. Lower Taxes A key component of economic policy that I endorse is lowering taxes. Keeping taxes low is both morally right (not taking an individual’s hard earned money) and economically right (it spurs economic activity and fosters growth). It is important to elect a president who will support legislation to lower Americans’ tax burden, which now averages about 33% of their total income.
3B. Smaller Government Integral with economic policy and lower taxes is the need for smaller government. As the size of government shrinks, personal liberty increases. Having a government that is as small and un-intrusive as possible without also being impotent was a key issue for our founding fathers. Since that time, our government has grown to the point that it consumes more than 20% of our nation’s GDP. Now this is a tall order, but we need a president like Ronald Reagan who believes that “government is not a solution to our problem, government is the problem.”

So in the next few days and weeks, I will analyze each of the major presidential candidates, their policies and actions in the areas outlined above. I will objectively score them against these criteria and in the process determine who I would select to receive my vote for the next president of the United States.

Please note that the list of criteria above is not meant to be exhaustive. If additional issues arise that I deem vitally important, I reserve the right to amend and update the list. If you, the reader, notice any gaping holes in my presidential selection criteria, please feel free to contact me.