CMR fave for President in 2012 is Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana. Jindal, who is Catholic, gave an interview to syndicated columnist Cal Thomas. The entire interview is worth reading, but I wanted to highlight this section in which Thomas asked Jindal about the role of faith in his politics.
Jindal gives an interesting answer about shortcuts, means and ends, that I think speaks to anyone, not just presidential hopefuls.
JINDAL: I read Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life right after I lost my first election in 2003, and one of the main lessons I got out of that was keeping the eternal perspective. If we truly believe what we read in the Bible and hear in our churches there are a lot of things we worry about in life that aren’t that important from an eternal perspective. There are things more important than winning the next election [NOTE: Jindal’s next election is in 2011, and he says he’s running.] You realize you’re not indispensable. The world can continue whether you are in or out of office, whether your party is in the majority or not. At the end of the day, we are not in control of everything. If you don’t have that perspective, it can mean elected officials taking shortcuts to an end that justified the means.
If you don’t have that perspective you can say it’s OK to attack another person’s character and engage in mudslinging. In 2003 we were criticized for refusing to go negative. I was asked, “You obviously regret that choice.” Absolutely not. How do you go home and tell your children, “Don’t worry about what Daddy is doing, just listen to what I say.” But if we really believe from this eternal perspective that there are things more important than winning the next election or having money … it really doesn’t matter whose name is on the statue [because] that has no lasting meaning. This perspective should change the way you conduct yourself, whether it’s politics, or business. And it should. None of us is perfect, but you have to strive toward that.
Second, viewing the sanctity of life, I believe the reason people are valuable is that they are created in the image of God and there’s a dignity there. And that leads me to believe people should have access to health care, not because of policy reasons, but because they’re valuable because we are created by God in His image.
This is the language and philosophy of a politician that represents me. There are no shortcuts of course and there is a huge gulf of time between now and 2012. Let’s keep our eyes and prayers on Bobby Jindal.