Dear Kaitlin. Voting used to be easy. I just put my X by the name of the Republican Party candidate. However, it didn't take too many presidential cycles for me to realize that I wasn't too pleased with the kind of government this produced. I really wanted to have a true leader in the White House. And I began to look at the field of candidates with an eye to finding the best leader.
That has turned out to be much harder that supporting a party candidate. I can't imagine any candidate not proclaiming himself or herself to be the best leader for our country.
Fortunately, we don't have to believe any candidate who anoints himself or herself as "best leader." If we pay attention, we can uncover leadership for ourselves with a few questions.
1. Does the candidate inspire voters to come together for common goals?
2. Does the candidate answer questions clearly and responsively?
3. Does the candidate respect voters with different points of view?
4. Does the candidate trust voters and inspire their trust in return?
5. Does the candidate inspire voters to use their talents to better our government?
6. Does the candidate set a good example?
On rare occasions, there may be more than one candidate who has strong leadership qualities. Then I have a final tie-breaker question. Does this candidate possess wisdom and good judgement?
I cringe when voters say they will choose a candidate based on electability, age, sex, race, resume or promises. I have voted for a number of candidates who were electable white men, who had lots of experience in Washington, and who made wonderful promises to the American voters. And they were awful. I just don't want to go that way again. I know you want your first candidate to be the best candidate as well.