With the Republican Primary’s sweeping our nation and the presidential election of 2012 just months away, we are all asking ourselves whom will we vote for? Who will represent our interests as parents, employees, employers, doctors, teachers, and police? and the list goes on. The question we all seek answers for touch directly on our own values and the values we seek for our children, our next generation, the ones who will be responsible for our health and well-being when we can’t do it ourselves. We need to look ahead so that we know whom we can count on when times are tough. We need to know that we can trust our elected officials to do what they say they will do as they pledge for our vote. Will they say what they do, and do what they say? We need to trust them to do the right thing after they secure our vote.

These questions aren’t easy anymore, for any of us. Not for the 18 year-olds that are just now tuning in as voters and not for the seasoned voter whom has been burned by lies and political corruption. It isn’t easy, as our views of the world change as rapidly as our natural environment and our technical advances. So where do we start? We start by asking ourselves… is it the person or their package? Even an honest attempt at trying to determine who these politicians are, is becoming a game of cat and mouse, and hide and seek. Between all the political smearing and unethical personal attacks, it is almost impossible to negotiate these troubled waters. For most of us that have the insatiable quest for answers, and the need to eliminate all the uncertainty in our decisions, we watch as much TV as we can. We read as much as we can. We listen to as much talk radio as we can to flush out the murky water so that we can decide with precision who will be the best man/woman for the job. I know as a voter, a parent, a woman and an author that the most important qualifier is the person, not the package. This is why:

The package should include the character of the person as well as what they have to offer the world, but in my opinion they are two very separate quantities that are as divided as our United States Congress is. The package is what the PERSON wants to represent to the world. The package is the “hook, line and sinker” for the voter. What the person says they will offer, and what they pledge they will commit to as the elected official, is their package. We all know that circumstances change, promises are broken and opposing legislation gets passed.

My husband shared with me an enlightening moment in his political awareness over time. Years after Jimmy Carter left office he remembers thinking that some of Carter’s promises were best broken and he was grateful that he changed his mind and stood intensely against issues that he once stood for. We criticize our political elects for changing their minds mid-office but the reality is that if we felt strongly about the person we elected as having character and strength under all circumstances, then we the public will stand by a change of heart. A good leader is one that will gather his troops to follow no matter the road they chose to go down. We are a country waiting to be led by a man or a woman of strong character. In fact, the goal of a good president is to negotiate diverse and opposing positions that permeate our society. It’s his/her job to unite opposing views, leading America, so that a compromise can benefit the greater good. This is a tough job especially in our political environment… but a good strong character is more likely capable of bipartisan unification.

So, if you ask me what is more important, the person or the package? I pick the person’s character because without their core value system, the package doesn’t mean a thing anyway.

Author's Bio: 

Sarah was born in Boston, MA, raised in New York City and graduated from the University of Connecticut with two degrees. She obtained her degrees in Communications and Psychology. Through her own personal tragedies and struggles Sarah married young and had two beautiful girls. Even though her marriage failed, her devotion to her graduate education and her girls was unsurpassed. With her Masters in Business Administration (MBA) in analyzing foreign markets, and a new career opportunity in MD, she moved to MD where she met and fell in love with Enrique. Today, Sarah lives in Maryland with her husband and their children, researching, writing and publishing articles and books.