Yesterday my six year old son asked me who Donald Trump is and why he wants to be president. I told him a bit about Trump. My son was aghast that a bully was running for office. He asked me where the good guys were, where people like Abraham Lincoln are today. It’s a good question.

When we first moved to America, Reagan was president. I was too young to understand anything about politics, but my dad– who had been a political science major in college– had a good deal of admiration for Reagan. When my dad was in his first job as a PR director at a nice hotel in Singapore, he had met Governor Reagan and been moved by his generous spirit.

It was nearly two decades later when I read Noonan’s tribute to her old boss and was moved by the stories of this leader behind the scenes. No leader is perfect; the Iran-Contra affair, among other things, smudges Reagan’s image. I am no advocate of romantic reminiscing of Reagan or any other leader that borders on political hagiography. And yet this tribute from Noonan reminds me of the importance of character when selecting leaders. 

The Kingdom of God does not arrive through political machinery. Christians, it seems, are always choosing the lesser of two evils. Our goal is not “changing culture”; and our instrument is not “cultural power”. Our goal is to faithfully bear witness to the arriving Kingdom of God, which Jesus the Messiah inaugurated by His life, death, and resurrection, and which will culminate at His return and reign. Christians, therefore, are not necessarily looking for the best Christian as president.

And still: Christians of all people should understand how good it is for everyone when Character is king.

Think of what our sons and daughters will remember about the people we admire. 

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3 thoughts on “When Character Was King

  1. I couldn’t agree with you more. And it bothers me that Trump’s character and relational style are not a huge issue to many people. (Or that they even applaud it!) I had so much respect for Reagan, and I trusted him and his character.

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  2. You ask, we deliver. Here’s an op-ed piece from yesterday’s LA Times of a son’s reflections on interactions with his mother from the 1960s. The backstory even traces through the legacy of the selection of Ronald Reagan to get to present-day Evangelicalism.

    You say our instrument is not “cultural power,” but honestly I think it has been my whole lifetime.

    http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-0303-balmer-trump-evangelicals-20160303-story.html

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