Top 3 factors in casting votes for candidates

Published 10:05 am Thursday, June 25, 2015

Some talk about keeping church and government separate, but there are a lot of people who’d really like to mix them up.
Not content to merely guide souls to heaven for eternity, Pope Francis weighed in heavily on climate change last week. He’s also helped mend fences between the United States and Cuba.
Doesn’t he have holier things to do? When our souls are imperiled by the Gates of Hell, how important is a coal-fired electricity station’s smoke stack?
In similar fashion, the Rev. Franklin Graham, son of the venerable evangelist Billy Graham, called on Wells Fargo customers to switch banks because the bank showed lesbians in a TV ad.
Wells Fargo didn’t crumble and declare insolvency after the younger Graham’s call for boycott. There was no run on the bank. His dad’s message was never so earthly. Franklin’s outstanding efforts with Samaritan’s Purse are often obscured by his tendency to tilt at social windmills.
Now the Davie County chairman of the Republican Party wants voters to consider “social issues” when electing board of education candidates.
Does it matter how school board members feel on topics such as climate change, abortion, gay marriage, the Second Amendment, liquor by the drink, legalizing marijuana, raising the 70 mph speed limit or lottery tickets? School boards are powerless to alter any of those topics. They can’t even decide what day school starts. That decision has been usurped by the N.C. General Assembly along with many others.
There should be three main considerations when choosing school board members, county commissioners or just about any political race, including President of the United States:
1. Character
2. Character
3. Character
The fourth should be whether the candidate will faithfully attend the meetings. Some have shaky attendance records. The fifth factor is whether the candidate knows how to work well with others. The job of school board or county commission is often mundane committee work, not posturing as czar. Some elected board members have trouble realizing their vote is only one-fifth of a decision. Big egos have trouble getting along with other committee members.
Beware of one-issue candidates. The school board member who cares only about kindergarten curriculum won’t care about the all-important bus routes, making sure the wrestling mats are clean or how snow delay decisions are made. Also beware of “conservative” or “liberal” candidates without learning their definitions of those words.
Many elected posts are not glamorous. Only the sheriff gets to wear a free pistol.
Presidential candidate Jeb Bush took a swipe at Pope Francis for dabbling in climate change politics. A converted Catholic, Bush said, “I don’t get economic policy from my bishops or my cardinals or my pope …. I think religion ought to be about making us better as people and not about things that end up getting into the political realm.”
As with most issues, nothing unites Republicans and Democrats faster than money. Republican legislators condemned Democrats for enacting the lottery in North Carolina a decade ago and inflicting the state with social misery, taking food off the table of hungry families and promoting gambling addictions. Now that the GOP’s in charge, the lottery hasn’t been touched