I do not agree with Mark Twain's maxim, "Principles aren't of much account, anyway, except at election time", but principles should matter during election time. It is easy for a candidate to say, "I am for change, hope, and unity" but the voters should want to know what his intrinsic values are. Perhaps even more essential than a candidate's position on key issues is his principles. Undoubtedly in the four years that the winning candidate will be president, new issues will arise that we are unaware of today. It is impossible for us to know what position the candidate will take on an issue that does not exist yet. However, if the candidate shares the same principles as the voter, it would be likely that the candidate would respond to the new issue in a way that the voter would find desirable or at least acceptable. Charisma will surely help a presidential candidate in dealing with foreign leaders but I would rather have a president who agrees with me on the issues than one that can give an amazing speech. After all, Hitler was a very skilled speaker, but I would not want to elect him president. I feel it is a shame that many people disregard principles and criticize those who attempt to expose a candidate's principles because that is what votes should be based on, not fancy speeches and good looks.
Mark Twain's Maxim
April 2, 2008