Americans ready for the ‘real person’

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 26, 2000

Is it a question of faith or a question of character? As voters across the nation watch the Democratic and Republican candidates for president and vice president tout their faith from the campaign stump, we wonder how many voters are echoing the comments of Natchez’s Debbie Sullivan:

&uot;Right now it’s just lip service. I want to see the real person … Is he even in there?&uot;

&uot;The real person&uot; is the man who leads our country as president or vice president. &uot;The real person&uot; is the man who must rely on his convictions, his wits and his guts to make the difficult decisions that a leader invariably faces. &uot;The real person&uot; is the man who will lead not just by the overt decisions he makes as president or vice president, but more by the example he sets with his life each day.

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And we believe American voters are as interested in character as they are in faith or religion. No one can dispute the religious awakening under way in our country. From new age spirituality to a return to fundamentalist religions, millions of Americans are seeking the strength, guidance and sense of purpose that religion offers.

So it makes sense, in the aftermath of a presidential term that included sex scandals, brushes with questionable land transactions, and dubious campaign contributions, that voters would crave a more morally centered candidate.

And, those same voters are looking for clues to those candidates’ characters … glimpses into the moral compass that guides each man.

Because, ultimately, we know the candidates can profess anything.

Like Debbie Sullivan, we want to move past the lip service, past the overt and open acts of faith, to the proof of a leader who acts and leads based on sound morals, good character and a sense of moving toward a higher purpose.