Election Series 2012
I’m pleased to introduce the 2012 Election Series, a collection of commentaries by friends and fellows of the Center for Public Justice. This quadrennial edition takes up the task of examining the major presidential candidates in light of our Guidelines for Government and Citizenship, which illustrate how the Center for Public Justice’s philosophy addresses the task of government and applies to key policy areas. The Guidelines offer the framework that distinguishes the Center for Public Justice, providing a nonpartisan and principled review of the God-given roles and corresponding responsibilities of government, citizens, and civil society institutions.
Throughout this Election Series we have provided analysis of the two major presidential candidates, President Obama and Governor Romney, beginning with first principles and moving through some of the most salient issues, and sadly, some of the non-issues of the campaigns, including education, human life, national security and defense, the environment, religious freedom, health care and immigration. We close the series with a reflection on how our existing American political system demands too much of the president, and what that implies for our responsibilities as citizens who seek to promote a just political community.
1. First Principles and the Election
by William Edgar, Professor of Apologetics, Westminster Theological Seminary
2. Education Policy and the 2012 Presidential Election
by Ted Williams III, Professor of Political Science, City Colleges of Chicago; alum of the Center's Civitas program
3. An Election Primer: Obama, Romney, and Foreign and Security Policy
by Steve Meyer, Fellow, Center for Public Justice
4. Assessing the Positions on Environmental Policy in the 2012 Presidential Elections
by Rusty Pritchard, President, Flourish
5. Religious Freedom: A Core Structural Issue of the 2012 Presidential Election
by Stanley Carlson-Thies, President, Institutional Religious Freedom Alliance; Fellow, Center for Public Justice
6. Principles for Health Care Policy: A Guide for Voters
by Leah Seppanen Anderson, Associate Professor of Politics & International Relations, Wheaton College; alum of the Center's Civitas program
7. Evaluating Abortion in the 2012 Presidential Election
by Michelle Crotwell Kirtley, Editor, Capital Commentary; trustee of the Center for Public Justice
8. Evaluating Romney and Obama on Immigration Reform
by Ruth Melkonian-Hoover, Associate Professor of Political Science, Gordon College; alum of the Center's Civitas program
and Jessica Allen, International Affairs student, Gordon College
9. Justice in Education Funding: An Evaluation of the 2012 Presidential Candidates
by Bret Habura, student, Calvin College
10. Does Our System Demand Too Much of the President?
by James W. Skillen, former president, Center for Public Justice
→ Download the complete series as a PDF (56 pages)
We regret that we are unable to provide this kind of comprehensive analysis of every issue or each candidate who is running in every federal congressional, state, and local election. And we are certainly unable to reflect on all the measures that may appear on your ballot on November 6. In my own city of Washington, D.C., where I am one of the more than half a million American citizens who do not have voting representation in the House and Senate, our ballot is typically quite short. Still, this year’s three proposed amendments to the D.C. Charter required more discussion and examination than could take place during one evening in my home. Yet, for us, as I hope also for you, the framework and perspective illustrated in the analyses presented here helped in our own unique set of deliberations.
One of the biggest assets of the Center for Public Justice is our national network of citizens like you. I invite you to help chart a way forward with and for your neighbors. Using this Election Series as a starting point, I urge you to work together in your community to analyze other races and ballot measures in the same principled manner that our authors have contributed here.
It is my hope and prayer that you will find this 2012 installment of the Election Series a tool fit for use in the many conversations you will engage in and decisions you will make in the days to come, as we seek to elect men and women who have a heart for justice and a mind to promote a just political community.
With hope in our Lord, the God of justice,