George W. Bush seems a likeable guy. Some politicians aren’t exactly the kind of people you’d want to spend time with casually. But I’d have no fear stuck next to Mr. Bush on a long flight. He’d be fun.
I like that, but it isn’t enough by itself to qualify him to be president. In a president, and in any elected official, the most important quality is character. Not “a character” we get our share of those. As Will Rogers said, “The trouble with practical jokes is that very often they get elected.”
No, I mean real character. With character comes the courage to fight for one’s beliefs. The courage to have beliefs in the first place. With character comes integrity. Bush has talked about character and restoring dignity to the office of president.
But his actions in campaigning for two Republicans Tillie Fowler of Florida and George Nethercutt of Washington State fall short. At issue are their term limits vows to step down from Congress after this term. Bush not only campaigned for them, he encouraged them to break their word to the voters.
Mr. Bush, don’t look the other way at dishonesty; don’t promote your party and its politicians “right or wrong.” Be for what’s right, for keeping promises. Tell Fowler and Nethercutt that you stand for character and integrity and that they should too.
If it’s okay with you for Republicans in Congress to break their pledges to voters, how can we trust your word? Character counts. Especially in a president.
This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.