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It has been difficult to follow the Republican Presidential Campaign this year to the depth that I would like to, partly because of my own time constraints and partly because there is just so much happening all the time.  It seems like every week there is a new bomb-shell to analyze, a new complaint by one campaign about either another campaign or the press, stumbling by candidates on the debate stage or in an interview or just in general campaign failures such as the Virginia debacle.  And the mud contains so much manure that I’m glad I have iTunes to purchase much of my television programming from so I don’t even have to fast-forward past the political ads.  And don’t get me started about the Occupy Movement’s plans to disrupt the Iowa Caucus.

But the whole time working up to Christmas has been downright cheery compared to this week.

Campaigns are imploding.  Others are gaining steam.  But more than anything, it seems that people are so invested in this year’s campaign that they are willing to do just about anything to see their candidate win.  I’ve even felt some of this for the candidate that I am (privately) supporting.  I visited with the campaign office and was asked to stand up for my candidate.  At first I agreed, and then as I discussed this with my wife I realized that I was making a mistake by doing this when I had committed to remaining neutral.  Obviously, the perceived need to see the outcome I desire had clouded my mind.

Sometimes God shows you why he gives you a spouse.

So, I had to tell the campaign I was not going to be able to speak for them.  They were very understanding, but I hope I get better at this!

But others this week have showed how much they cannot stick to their commitments, and it all seems to come from a desperate desire to be on the winning team.  Unfortunately, politics tends to bend your principles and many become convinced that when it comes to politics, anything goes.

The most recent and public examples are Mike George at Strong America Now, and Kent Sorenson, both men I like and respect.  I think they both have made mistakes in their recent decisions.

It may be a few months before it will make sense to ask this question of both men, but I’m wondering if after the dust has settled, they’ll be able to look back and say it was worth it.  These are both men who have made reputations for themselves based on principled leadership, and now they leave many people wondering whether they can trust anyone.  The truth is, these guys are taking shortcuts, and they’re both getting called out on it.  It may have some personal value to them in the short-run, but I expect they have both lost enough of people’s respect now to truly marginalize their influence in the future.

I hope that as voters, we don’t allow ourselves to be influenced one way or the other by the sideshows that are going on, or by poll results, but make our decisions based on our own principles, convictions, and priorities, and not simply the endorsements of others.  Everyone should set their own guidelines, but I think it is careless to rely simply upon the recommendation of friends, acquaintances, or people who seem to know what they are doing, when deciding who we support for public offices such as President.  If you are intelligent enough to read this piece, you can do the research necessary to make your own informed choice.

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