Our presidential elections and the basis of our choice: The role of government, why I don’t vote to elect a moral leader, and “an opportunity for Americans to flourish”

Written By: Kate Westrick, political correspondent

I have struggled through this presidential election; unsure at times who was the right candidate for which to cast my vote. However, I refuse to abdicate to difficulty. This election as the most pivotal one in decades. This is in part due to the impending nomination of one to potentially four Supreme Court Justices, but this is by no means the only important factor at stake. With issues like immigration and radical Islamic terrorism at the forefront of most American’s minds, this election, no matter who is elected come November 8th will influence the American legacy going forward.

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump
Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump

Clearly, the two candidates on the front lines of this election are possibly the least presidential in history. To most, it feels irresponsible to cast a ballot for either. I’ve always looked forward to voting in my first election. I thought it was going to be easy. I thought I would feel 100 percent confident as I pushed the button. This was not the case, but in reality, I’m not sure it ever is.

The question has been asked many times, “How do you decide who to vote for?” Well, it begins by asking yourself what you view as most important. Each person will inevitably color his or her answer differently.

I encourage you to acknowledge the structure and design of our federal governmental system. Anyone who has taken U.S. history in high school knows that the Founding Fathers crafted a balance of power in their governance design for the United States of America. They did so for good reason. They knew firsthand of human corruptibility and the accelerant that power can be to it, they intended the presidential role to be an important one, but not necessarily to set a moral precedent.

Each of the Founding Fathers acknowledged the role morality had to play in a constitutional republic. However, they never tied this role to governmental leadership. Instead they placed this burden on the shoulders of religion, more specifically, the Christian church and her adherents.

Many evangelicals complain that the government has stepped into a role that was intended for religion and private institutions. They usually cite this in issues of poverty and welfare. However, a similar argument could be made regarding the role of government in propagating morality. The only difference is that individual branches of government should not be required to carry the responsibility of creating a moral society. They are doing exactly this by refusing to vote for one candidate based merely on their personal moral decisions. They are inadvertently advertising that whomever is elected national leader bears the responsibility to defend and protect Christian morality. While this would certainly be ideal, I do not believe it should be required nor expected.

To restate the previous question, what is important to you should be reflected within the government’s role and realm of responsibility.

I value human dignity in all aspects. I believe the government can play an essential role in providing the opportunity for Americans to flourish. I value allowing and encouraging innovation. I value human capital and its creation. I value work and the appropriate incentive to participate. I value America and all it has stood for in the past. The decision as to who I will vote for flows directly out of these values. I will vote for the candidate that I believe will best implement policies that will advocate and encourage what I value and what I desire to see from the nation I love.