Carlyle Fielding Stewart III

Writings on Democracy, Social Justice, and Religion

“Fortunately, Character and Values Also Still Matter.”

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Although for some people in this country race still matters when it comes to who is most qualified to lead from the Oval office, the truth is that the election of President Barack Obama to a second term in office proves that character and values also still matter to the American people.

Along with America’s quickly changing demographics, many people cast their votes for Obama because they believe and trust in him and witness how he has conducted himself in office and admire the content of his character and the quality of values that he preaches and practices each day.

Americans re-elected Mr. Obama because they believe that he personifies those qualities of character and homespun values that best represent them. He is president of all the people all of the time and believes in every American receiving a fair shake. He is a familyman who has kept most of his political promises. He is caring, honest and sincere in his desire to make this nation a better place than when he entered into office. He has cleaned up the mess of the previous administration, rescued a failing auto industry, added jobs to a faltering economy, prevented the nation from fiscal suicide, ended one war and on the way to ending another war. He has made available to many poor and middle class Americans countless resources to enhance the quality of their lives.

Moreover, through many political storms, trials and snares, our President has managed to hold his head high, keep his aplomp and dignity, show compassion, maintain his cool, and retain a lazer like focus on the high prize of leadership amid the myriad distractions and potential derailments of office. He has managed not to permanently demean or devalue his political opponents and refuses to lower himself to all fours by harboring a lingering spirit of accusation and recrimination. He seems to always choose the moral high ground in his political affairs and while he could have easily bragged far more on his stellar record of accomplishments while running for a second term, he chose to quietly focus his re-election efforts on organizing his troops and developing an awesome ground game that mobilized tens of thousands of people which in the end astounded and shell shocked the Republican opposition.

Consistently reaching across the aisle to include Republicans in his political efforts, he has also demonstrated a conciliatory, we can do it, never give up spirit; a willingness to forgive, forget and move on with his political adversaries by keeping the faith and doing the work that he was charged to do. But in the midst of all this, he might affirm a statement by John F. Kennedy. “Forgive your enemies but remember their names” and Ronald Reagan who said, “Trust but verify.”

Character and values still matter to the American people and many Americans still want leadership that will build America up,  heal America’s wounds, make America better and actualize the strength and greatness that are still hallmarks of our growing and changing nation. We need this more than ever in our country today and the American people have re-elected President Obama in part because they see a man of character and values who has given his heart and soul to them and is serious about improving the quality of their everyday lives.

Race may still matter for some Americans as to who is best qualified to lead them, but character and values also matter for people for whom integrity, industry and trust remain important benchmarks of public service. They have chosen a man to lead them the next four years who has surely demonstrated character and shares those values that in the end will strengthen our nation and hopefully bring out the best and brightest in us all.

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