Character must be considered when selecting the next President of the U.S.

Mohammad Sajjad | Staff Columnist


This presidential election is unlike any other we’ve seen before. While our elections always seem to come down to a Republican or Democrat, the decision to choose between the two now seems more personal and divisive than ever. 

Traditionally speaking, conservatives have been in favor of voting for Republican candidates, while liberal voters have opted toward voting for Democratic candidates. It makes sense to vote for the candidate that embodies your set of values and beliefs. 

In this election, however, we’ve seen a number of politicians and voters supporting a candidate they typically wouldn’t have voted for. Many of these individuals have cited the lack of character and dignity exhibited by the current president as the reason why they’re not offering him their support. 

As a voter who possesses a mix of conservative and liberal values, I fully support the notion that one should seriously consider the character of a candidate. 

This article is not meant to depict a particular candidate as being the perfect person. Rather, my aim is to encourage you to think about certain characteristics of the person you plan to vote for, in addition to the policies they are supporting. 

Specifically, it’s important to note the sympathy that each candidate shows toward citizens, whether selflessness is exhibited during crises, and the way in which they conduct themselves before international leaders. 

First and foremost, we have to remember that in each election, we are voting for the person who will lead our country in domestic affairs and represent the U.S. on an international level. With this responsibility comes high expectations. 

The U.S. is one of the most diverse countries in the world, a fact that we should be proud of. Consequently, handling domestic affairs of the U.S. can get rather complicated. The president should not create monolithic policies that only apply to a subset of the population; rather, he or she should create policies for a mosaic of groups that are expected to co-exist in this country. 

In order to do this, our future president must be aware of and sympathetic to the issues facing all of us. We cannot vote for someone who ignores the plight of minorities within the U.S. 

We also have to remember that this election is taking place amidst a pandemic. I believe that in order to curb this pandemic, we need a strong leader who is willing to prioritize the public’s health over any personal agenda. This requires a degree of selflessness. 

It is no easy decision to place restrictions on the population in terms of wearing masks and social distancing. But if it is scientifically suggested that these practices will prevent the virus from spreading, our future president should at least set an example by doing so himself. 

Another major part of the presidency is representing the U.S. in international affairs. Our next president should be one who shows others respect and is able to acknowledge the customs and values exhibited by leaders and the countries they represent. Other international leaders are expected to behave this way, so there is no reason that same expectation shouldn’t apply to our elected officials. 

It’s difficult to judge a person’s character through their public life. How do we know if their public persona embodies their true character? I believe the way a person behaves with their family and friends is indicative of their true character and should be used as a marker when examining a candidate. 

With the election less than a week away, I urge voters to think critically about whether the candidate they plan to vote for embodies the characteristics I mentioned above. While these characteristics aren’t the only factors a voter should consider, there is no question that character speaks volumes.