The Iowa Exams


Less than a week away, and the pollsters are going nuts. The telephones are ringing, questions are being hurled at those of us who call ourselves Iowans faster than we can answer. I received one such call last night. And when I tried to explain why I didn’t want to answer their questions, they kept on and on until I finally had to hang up on them. Even after warning them in advance! 

I told them I hadn’t made up my mind yet. I still haven’t. Have you?

What should the next president be like? What should we expect? I wish there was some sort of test we could give each candidate, you know, kind of like a PSAT or ACT test. The candidates would take the test, and receive a pass/fail grade, based on their specific answers. But, that wouldn’t work, because the government would never be able to decide which questions should be asked. 

I just think a test could simplify things a bit; especially with so many candidates vying for the position. 

Ah, but maybe there is a test. Yes, I believe there is. It’s not anything like a college entrance exam. In fact, there’s nothing quite like it in the world.

It’s called the Iowa Caucuses. A true test for a presidential wannabe.

But back to my question, “What should the next president be like?” Our nation’s first president was a general, so would someone with military experience be just the ticket? If so, there are only only 2 or 3 veterans in the bunch, on both sides, and none among the front runners. 

What about someone who has business experience? There’s a few of those. Career politicians? Oh, yeah, we’ve got plenty in that category. Doctor? Yep, one of those. 

Hey, we even have a preacher in the bunch. 

But so what? What kind of person does America need at this time in her life? 

Each candidate is working hard to convince you and I THEY are what this country needs. Maybe so. Maybe so. 

In my opinion, what this nation needs can’t be found in any one individual. Oh, to be sure, as Iowans we’ll do our best to sort out the cream of the crop. We’ll package them up real nice and send them on to New Hampshire. 

But electing a new president will not fix America’s problems, in spite of all the rhetoric and polling data. It may help, but only God knows each candidate’s heart. And only God knows the future. 

But for America to be great, it’s going to take the combined effort of 300 plus million people. Everyone who can legally vote has a say in how great America is going to be. 

I won’t begin to try and talk you into voting for “my” candidate. For one thing, I don’t have one. And for another, well, you probably wouldn’t listen. 

But I have three things that I’m looking at. Three things I’m using as a way to move through the maze of candidates.

First, because the bible says, “Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people” (Proverbs 14:34 ESV), I am looking for the candidate who is the most honest. God fearing? Christian? It would be nice, but I’ll start with some good old-fashioned honesty. The President should be trustworthy. Period.

Second, how do they handle criticism? Can they keep their poise and maintain the dignity of their office, representing this great nation to the rest of the world, even when the media and other nations are filleting them with their words? Will they remain presidential when this nation is fighting for her life?

Finally, if they’re elected, what will the nation look like in four or eight years, providing they are able to keep all their campaign promises?

Next Monday, February 1, 2016, is going to be quite a day. The Iowa Caucuses. The Iowa Exams.

Watch closely, America. Iowa has something to say. 


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