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Saturday, November 19, 2016

Importance of Character

Individual character is the mental and moral qualities that define a person. When evaluating candidates for public office, understanding an individual's character is a starting position. Character assessment is a challenging task for voters in a democratic, pluralistic republic. What makes it so?

By way of comparison, when corporations embark upon the task of recruiting and filling management positions, the initiative is supported by human resources professionals. For significant management positions, a corporation may hire a psychologist to help perform an assessment that results in a profile.

The VIA Institute on Character describes "personality" as the total of our psychological makeup and how we uniquely express ourselves in the world. It is the pattern of emotional qualities, behaviors, thoughts, feelings, attitudes and habits that make us who we are. But for many of us, it can be difficult to describe our personality.

When citizen-voters evaluate candidates for public office, what do they have to go on? Otherwise, what are the sources of evidence and facts that define the prospective candidate?

A candidate's resume is the starting position. What have they accomplished in their lifecycle to date? Is there sufficient evidence to support the claims? Does the candidate have references who can provide relevant insight about them? What is relevant?

It may seem obvious, but candidates for public office should not have a legacy of financial and legal difficulties that might compromise their integrity in their position. A candidate should have a clean record. They should not have conflicts of interest. Trusted and certified sources make those determinations and declarations.

What is the process in the American political system that supports voters and ensures candidate viability and integrity?

This is a new avenue for research and evaluation.

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