Our nation now has a long list of problems crying for solutions, including national deficit, health care, tax reform, immigration, etc. History emphasizes that none of these problems will be resolved in an enduring way by any one political party, which means that we must elect leaders who will build bridges with opposing colleagues. That means we must differentiate between candidates whose principles guide them as they work with others versus those whose principles paralyze them against working with anyone whose ideas disagree with their own. The first of these candidates is called a statesman, the second an ideologue.
Abe Lincoln, Ronald Reagan, and (it pains me to admit) Bill Clinton all proved they could build bridges. Ted Cruz has proven that he can shut down the government and keep Granny from receiving her Social Security check, but is self-limited by his inability to build bridges. Barack Obama was equally inept in bridge building, so his theme of hope left many supporters in despair.
The Republicans in the 3rd Congressional District are now deciding who to send to Washington to represent them in solving our knottiest problems. It appears to me that the choices include perhaps one statesman, one ideologue and one unconfirmed. All are good men with many good principles, but multiply this one electoral decision by 536 and we are choosing between national malaise and national thriving.