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This article is a basic survey of four of the poll-leading runners of the 2016 Presidential candidates, as of November 2015.

BUT, rather than tear any of the candidates down, I wanted to focus on the good that each has to offer.  So, despite any of my personal political leanings, I wanted to show an optimistic view of politics.

I certainly believe that no man is perfect, and neither are any of the candidates, but this specific article will not dwell on what is wrong.  I’m not naïve.  Maybe I’ll write another article at a later time about what should change about any of the candidates, but that time is not right now.

Furthermore, this article does not take any side, whether Republican or Democrat, and it takes the politician at his/her word.  It may very well be that any of the candidates is lying or just trying to gain popularity in any given statement, but I do not try to make that determination in this piece.

So if you can read between the lines a little, I hope you see that this article aims to do 2 things:

  1. Show what values should be held up high in the political arena based on Scripture.
  2. Show honor to all the candidates because they are put in their current position because God has given them the grace to do so (Romans 13:1-7).

Hilary Clinton

hilary clintonHilary says, “I have an economic policy that is centered on raising incomes…”  If what she says is true, her desire is to raise the standard of living for all people.  This sets her goal to raise the well-being of the people of the United States.  That is a good.

Clinton plans on strengthening rural communities by offering agricultural subsidiaries.  This supports farmers as they provide food for the nation.  It supports communities which are often riddled with poverty, teen pregnancy, and drug addiction by bringing more revenue into their economies.  That is positive.

Hilary Clinton wants to protect Medicaid.  No matter what you may think about the budget required for federal assistance programs, we can at least admit that the desire behind those assistance programs is to take care of people.  In this case, it is the elderly with healthcare.  At the very least, the motivation is good.

She said, “I will crack down on bosses who exploit employees by misclassifying them as contractors or even stealing their wages.”  Okay, there are a lot of entrepreneurs (myself included) who have seen how difficult it makes getting businesses off the ground when you have to sort through the difference between employees and contractors.  But she defends this principle because of a desire to stop the exploitation of employees.  Again, if nothing else, the motivation is good.

Clinton plans on strengthening rural communities. #election2016 Click To Tweet

Donald Trump

Photo credit: Michael Vadon / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Michael Vadon / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

I have to start off with the point that no matter what Donald Trump says, you know he’s not trying to hide his actual motivations.  No matter how controversial, and how (inappropriately) blunt he is, he’s not just trying to please the masses.  And there’s something to be said about honesty in the face of adversity.

One of Donald Trump’s highest priorities is balancing our nation’s budget.  Getting us out of debt.  This is simply a wise stewardship of the finances God has given our country.

Trump advocates for reforming Medicaid and Medicare to take away waste and fraud from the equation.  This shows two things – 1. He values taking care of the poor and elderly by continuing healthcare assistance. 2. He recognizes how dishonest people can be in the current system and he wants to change that.  These are two high motivations.

As controversial as he has been concerning immigration, Donald Trump supports taking in Syrian refugees.  This is nothing short of caring for the needy.

Trump is against abortion and homosexual marriage.  I’m not going to go further than this – the Bible prescribes a moral code for believers, and it includes caring for those who can’t care for themselves (babies), and a specific 1 structure for the family – marriage between a man and a woman.

Getting us out of debt is simply a wise stewardship. #election2016 Click To Tweet

Bernie Sanders

Photo credit: Phil Roeder / Foter.com / CC BY

Photo credit: Phil Roeder / Foter.com / CC BY

Bernie Sanders identifies himself as a democratic socialist, primarily because of his passion concerning income inequality.  At this time, I’m choosing not to address socialism in itself as morally bad or good, but he wants to make sure that all people have what they need.  Again, the motivation is worthy.

Sanders refused a donation from Martin Shkreli, the CEO of a pharmaceutical company which gained notoriety this year when he raised the cost of one of their drugs by 4000%.  Sanders said, “We are not keeping the money from this poster boy for drug company greed.”  In this instance, he showed that he cares more about fighting greed than he did about the financial success of his campaign.

Despite Sanders’ rejection of that pharmaceutical company, he has shown in many different ways, that he supports medical research and technology, and the fair distribution of medical resources.  This is an attempt to take care of the sick.  Nothing wrong with that.

Sanders refused a donation from Martin Shkreli, the CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals. #election2016 Click To Tweet

Ben Carson

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

Photo credit: Gage Skidmore / Foter.com / CC BY-SA

First and foremost, Ben Carson does not hide his faith and admits that it informs him in every area of his life including politics.  Some would say that religion should not ever come in to play in politics.  I say that while politics should never unjustly give power to the church or manipulate the government and the people, our faith must inform our views on morality and will necessarily impact our politics.  After all, God has changed our lives completely.

In 2013, Ben Carson was targeted by the IRS, and since then, they have not found any improper use or reporting of monies.  He has been upstanding in his private finances and that says a lot about a man these days.

Look at this quote from Carson:

“As a child, I was eyewitness to people who preferred a sedentary, nonproductive life as long as they could collect public assistance. Others, including my mother, from the exact same environment, worked incessantly to try to improve their own lives and those of their children. My mother worked as a domestic in the homes of wealthy people who were very generous to her since she was dependable, honest and hard-working. They also learned about my brother and me, since my mother would share our stellar report cards with them once we had conquered our academic doldrums. As a result, these very successful people would send us significant monetary incentives to keep up the good work.”

This shows that he views hard work as a good in itself.  It also shows that hard work makes an impact on the non-believing world around you.  Both of these are consistent with 1 Thessalonians 4:11-12.

I hope you don’t find me self-indulgent, but look at this other quote by Carson, “Corporations and businesses need to concentrate on mutually beneficial apprenticeships and internships for potential workers in their cities. Courses in basic finance and work ethics should be offered in places where such knowledge would not be redundant.”  This follows a model used by the Apostle Paul himself as he mentored Timothy.  It was gaining life-skills while doing his work under an expert.  That is a good model.

Ben Carson does not hide his #faith. #election2016 Click To Tweet

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  1. Notice I didn’t say “traditional” because tradition alone is ultimately a terrible reason to continue a custom which is not morally neutral.

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