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Possibly the most common question I hear from friends and neighbors this year is, “Who do you like for President?”.  I rarely answer this question in a direct fashion because I am not interested in persuading someone to vote a certain way based on my own thinking.  I would prefer to see anyone who sincerely cares about their vote to gain an understanding of the candidates and their positions, and to vote based on how what they learn aligns with their personal convictions.

This may seem like an odd perspective in this day and age, especially with the current mega-rush by so many people to endorse a candidate.  For some, their endorsement has become almost a status symbol; if your endorsement makes the news, then you must be important.  And yet, some here in Iowa have become known because of their refusal to endorse, most notably the Governor (Terry Branstad) and one of the leaders in the Christian activist world, Steve Scheffler.

I don’t wish to condemn those who offer endorsements because I believe that some are very sincere in believing that they have a responsibility to act as leaders in our party and community by pointing the way.  If one is strongly engaged with a campaign, that provides even more reason to provide an endorsement.  And frankly, we do live in an imperfect world where a large portion of the electorate would prefer not to spend any time researching their choices, but rather be told who to vote for.

However, it seems that choosing a candidate based on endorsements is about as helpful as supporting the top polling candidate.  What you are doing in essence is voting for the most popular candidate… trying to be on the winning team, instead of supporting the candidate you truly believe is worth your support.  There is no shame in voting for the candidate you think is best to lead the country even if they are polling at .5% and have no endorsements.  Your vote is a reflection of you, not others.

The Conservative Reader is here to inform, to question, to promote good policy ideas and condemn bad ones.  We want to encourage our readers to gain knowledge and understanding as a process toward making sound individual decisions.

We want you, our readers, to make your own choices rather than simply taking direction from us.  We don’t know what’s best for you, only you do.  We cherish our system of government including your role in deciding who our leaders should be.

Our policy on endorsements at TCR is this: we endorse ideas, not people.  We may talk about people (and frequently do), but what we talk about what they say and do.

Some of our writers will provide their perspective here, and perhaps may even state that they have an endorsement (John Bloom recently endorsed a candidate, although has not discussed it here at TCR).  Editorially, we have no intent of keeping our writers from speaking their mind, but we also expect the writers to provide perspective on their choices.

The Conservative Reader itself, and I personally, will not be endorsing any candidates for any office.  We hope you will make your own choice thoughtfully.

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