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Personally, I’m comfortable with the list as is, given that it’s a desired qualities list, not a required qualifications list. I seriously doubt that so-called fundamentalist Christians would claim a Seventh Day Adventist as one of their own, yet at least in public Ben Carson certainly seems to fit #6 nicely. Ironically, Mike Huckabee and the fundamentalist Christian bloc soundly rejected Mitt Romney because he didn’t fit their club label, and probably kept him from being elected in place of Barack Obama. Even more ironically, his religion appears to have been the reason more than any other criteria they used to keep him out of office. I’m not willing to roll over and “give” fundamentalist Christians exclusive rights to “Godliness and Spirituality,” and I also claim that as my own personal standard, even if I don’t always measure up. Yet the fundamentalist Christians would deny me any place among them as well. Could I vote for a practicing Jewish, Catholic, or Native American candidate, for example? No question, as long as the other six criteria in the list were also met and they didn’t emblazon their religion on their foreheads. (And by the way – don’t for a moment assume I was implying Romney met #6 in the list. I significantly question whether he did. He most certainly was not my candidate in the primary.)

Clearly a “solid moral and ethical base” seems essential, and though outward claims and appearances can be deceiving, a person that truly meets #6 can be assumed to meet the moral and ethical qualities.

As for working across the aisle, that doesn’t have to mean compromising fundamental principles or ethics. I always found it interesting how Ron Paul worked very well with Dennis Kucinich, despite diametrically opposed views on many fundamental issues. Both had significant respect for each other as human beings, and acted accordingly. Where they could agree (which they did on at least a few significant issues such as the Patriot Act), party labels were simply not a factor in their cooperation. I want someone in Washington who’s willing to look past party labels, and seek out those people willing and capable of doing the same. Where NO common ground is sought, enemies are created. And where enemies are created, destruction ensues.