Questions to Ask a Candidate
Questions to Ask a Candidate
by Michael Peroutka
What do you say when someone running for office asks for your vote? Let’s say someone knocks at your door and they smile and tell you that they are running for State Delegate or State Representative or State Senate, or maybe for some County office like County Council or Sheriff. Maybe they are running for Congress or the US Senate.
Let’s say you know little about them except that they are polite and make a nice appearance. They ask for your support and maybe for some money to help their campaign.
Do you just say yes to be nice? Or do you just say yes or no to make them go away?
Are there some relevant and important and simple questions you can ask that will tell you very quickly whether you should support them or not?
You bet there are. Let’s talk about it.
Here at the Institute on the Constitution you have heard us talk about what we call The American View of law and government. This view is an expression of the belief system on which America was founded and contains the philosophy of American public policy and government.
The American View can be summarized like this:
1) There is a Creator God.
2) Our rights are a part of His created order. They are His gifts to us and they are permanent and fixed.
3) The purpose of government is to secure these God given rights.</blockquote>
Following this understanding we can see the critical importance of voting only for a candidate that:
1) Acknowledges and fears God;
2) Demonstrates that he has an American (Biblical) view of law and government;
3) Demonstrates that he will take actions that are driven by and in harmony with a) God’s law and b) the limitations of the Constitution.
Personally, I can also see that casting my vote for someone who doesn’t meet these requirements will mean that I will stand before God and be judged for my failure to obey Him. And we should also see that when we choose “the lesser of two evils” we continually get evil and we certainly deserve evil because we affirmatively chose it.
But Michael, you say, hardly any candidates meet this righteous standard.
Practically speaking, right now there may be only one or two, or maybe just a few, qualified persons running in your district this November. And there may be none.
This may sound like a radical statement, but I’m saying that you can’t vote “lesser of two evils” in any race. If there is NOT a qualified candidate in a race then you CAN’T VOTE in that race. Period!
To do otherwise is to contribute to the problem of lawless government.
So, how do I determine if a candidate is competent? How do I determine if he understands his oath, whether he knows his job description and whether he is willing and able to perform it?
Here are a few simple questions that you can ask a candidate at a town hall meeting or when he walks up your driveway and knocks on your door. You could also seek answers to these questions by mailing them to a candidate or by visiting his website and reading about his philosophy and positions.
What is the purpose of civil government?
Bad Answer: Any answer that calls for redistribution of wealth including “welfare” type programs. Such as:
“The purpose of government is to do for people what they can’t do for themselves.”
“The purpose of government is to help people improve their lives.”
“The government needs to educate the children of the state.”
Much Better Answer: “The purpose of government is to protect and defend God given rights to life, liberty and property.”
Where does law come from?
Bad Answer: Any answer that contemplates that law comes from man or that it changes with time. Any answer that indicates an acceptance of the evolutionary, “living Constitution” mode of thinking, such as: “The law must adapt and change as times change.”
Better Answer: “Law comes from God. Like our founders I understand that God is the Lawgiver. All man-made law must comply with God’s law as revealed in Scripture or it is not law and cannot be enforced.”
What is an oath?
What happens to you if you break your oath?
Bad Answer: “An oath is a serious promise to the people that you will do a good job. If I break my oath then the people shouldn’t re-elect me.”
Better Answer: “An oath is a solemn and binding act BEFORE GOD that presupposes and acknowledges the Sovereignty of God over all things and recognizes that disobedience will subject the oath taker to God’s judgment.”
Do you believe that it is your job to “bring home the bacon” to your district?
Bad Answer: “Yes, of course.”
Better Answer: “No, bringing home the bacon is just another form of theft. The great lie of socialism is that you can get something for nothing.”
Do you think it is more important to introduce and pass legislation or to work to repeal legislation that has been passed by your predecessors?
Bad Answer: “It’s important to pass legislation that helps my district financially. Passing legislation that gets more money for my district makes me look good.”
Better Answer: “Inasmuch as we currently have departed so far from Constitutional government in all three branches, I am committed to working to repeal those harmful and dangerous actions of my predecessors that have moved us away from the American (that is to say, Biblical) view of civil government. We have much to undo.”
These are just a few examples of questions that will help us to determine whether a candidate is qualified. My purpose here is to give you a start on what to ask and what to look for in an answer. Our failure to uphold a standard is what has gotten us into an ungodly, unconstitutional mess. To get out of it we must think clearly and rightly and compel our representatives to do so as well. Their performance won’t be higher than our standard. Make sure it is a clear one. Make sure it is the right one.
If this means that you go into the voting booth and pull just one lever or two or just a few, so be it. I implore you not to be complicit in evildoing by voting for the “lesser of two evils.” If you find that there is not one lever you can pull, then write in your own name and put yourself on the ballot next time.
If you would like to see a complete video on this very subject please consider purchasing the DVD: How Then Shall We Vote?