This is not a popularity contest

It is always better to be vulgarly right than politely wrong.

So said statesman and lexicographer Noah Webster. For me, this pithy saying encapsulates our choices in the 2020 presidential election. It shouldn’t be about personality but about policy. Does my candidate promote policies that are good for the country and its citizens even if he is sometimes boorish and brash? Or does my candidate present himself polished and pleasant but lacks wisdom, courage, and foresight?

Democrat Joe Biden is a weak candidate, as even many Democrats would admit. But he is portrayed and seen as having more class and integrity than Donald Trump and many will vote for him based on that alone. Biden’s character, however, hasn’t gotten nearly the scrutiny that Trump’s has. A little digging quickly reveals he’s not the truth-telling paragon of virtue he wants us all to think he is.

The fact is, we have two personally flawed candidates. We can debate who wins the character contest but where does that get us? The classiest, most elegant and empathetic man could also be the weakest, most ineffectual and shortsighted president. So shouldn’t a candidate’s resume, performance, vision, and leadership skills be our primary focus?

A lot of criticism has been leveled against Christians who support President Trump because he doesn’t conform to what a good Christian should be. And after four years of it I just want to say, so what? We’re not selecting a lead pastor. Ideally, our president would be a good man with impeccable manners who is also a wise, capable world leader. But we have to choose between two non-ideal candidates, and since this is a leadership contest and not a popularity one, we should judge their qualifications for the job over their personal qualities and quirks. Or how many friends they have in the media.

Donald Trump says and does a lot of off-putting things, but he has also said and done a lot of good, right, and commendable things. Unfortunately, because the mainstream media lean widely left, his accomplishments are downplayed or buried and his personal foibles accentuated and headlined. This is not helpful for our country if, as I have argued, a president’s performance should be prioritized over his personality, and the nation’s success and even survival depend greatly on the policies and vision of our leader.

This upcoming election will be one for the ages and I pray Americans choose wisely. Don’t vote just to satisfy your sensibilities and avoid aligning yourself with a political pariah, as popularly portrayed. Have some courage and foresight yourself and vote to restore common sense and law and order, and to preserve the freedoms our country was founded on. No man’s personal flaws are more important than that.