One of the wonderful things about my faith is that the future inspires the present. The Christian message is is uniquely hopeful, with the resurrection of Jesus as the preview of our future, a promise that death does not have the last word. Whether all who read this share my particular faith or not, I think it is time that we evaluate our political candidates on their future visions as well as past statements and votes. Yes, history matters and can be an indicator of patterns and principles for the future. But people can change their minds. When someone adopts our position on an issue and we like her or him, we say she or he is wise and has seen the light. Conversely, if a candidate we do not like very much changes a position, we call her or him a "flip-flopper." It is time to dispense with such immature thinking and ask our candidates, "What is your vision of the future and what are the concrete actions you will undertake to lead us toward the vision?"
The current Republican candidates for President have all done and said things that open them to attack. Each opponent selects certain statements - in or out of context - and goes on the warpath toward the others. This is politics. Politics becomes statesmanship and visionary leadership, however, when the future can be articulated and new pathways presented. The future is more than vague hopes or talking points. How we see ahead sets the trajectories we choose today. I want our candidates to not only talk a balanced budget, but declare the disciplined decisions needed to get there. It is great to say that job creation matters, but reversing a generation of government interference while maintaining ethics will he a historic challenge. Confronting radical Islamicists while engendering real respect and toleration requires masterful sensitivity and wisdom.
I am going to vote the future. Any of the less-than-perfect Republicans (other than Ron Paul) are superior to our current regime; however, victory in the general election will require cultural, intellectual, moral and political courage. Please inspire and instruct us, Mr. Candidate. Please rekindle our dreams even while we restrict momentary pleasures for the common future. Please expose current follies while unveiling insights that will engender positive action. Please rise above the name-calling and call on the Name for help from above. Please be a person humble enough to change your mind, courageous enough to stand your ground when needed and wise enough to know the difference. Our future depends on it.