We are quickly coming closer to election time for public offices, both on local and national arenas. I am sure that I am not the only person who desires to cast my vote with careful consideration of each candidate’s qualifications, leadership abilities and personal integrity, however, what should appear to be a simple process can become confusing and frustrating. It seems that there's few who have all the integral, moral and spiritual standards that I feel are important for an individual to lead a state or nation. Just recently I read historical information about one of America’s presidents, William McKinley, Jr. This man would definitely get my vote today!
When McKinley turned eighteen, he joined the Twenty-third Ohio Volunteer Infantry Regiment in the Civil War. By the end of the war he had worked his way up to major. While considering the fact that death was always a possibility in battle, he wrote this in his diary: “Fall in a good cause and hope to fall in the arms of my blessed Redeemer. This record I want left behind, that I not only fell as a soldier for my Country, but also as a Soldier of Jesus. (McKinley’s friends and relatives could be comforted with solace) that if we never meet again on earth, we will meet around God’s throne in Heaven. Let my fate be what it may, I want to be ready and prepared.”
Following the war, McKinley became a successful lawyer and married a lady who was a temperance worker and Sunday school teacher. The couple experienced great hardship with the death of their two young children, after which McKinley’s wife fell into a nervous disorder that left her a semi-invalid. McKinley cared for his wife until his death, remaining a faithful and devoted husband.
Over the years McKinley held various offices in local and state government and in the House of Representatives. In 1896 he ran successfully for the Presidency of the United States. During his inaugural address, he kissed his Bible that was opened to Solomon’s prayer, “Give me now wisdom and knowledge, that I may go out and come in before this people: for who can judge this thy people, that is so great?” (II Chronicles 1:10 KJV). He declared that he would be “relying upon the support of my countrymen and invoking the guidance of Almighty God. Our faith teaches us that there is no safer reliance than upon the God of our fathers, who has so singularly favored the American people in every national trial, and who will not forsake us so long as we obey His commandments and walk humbly in His footsteps.”
McKinley was shot by an assassin on September 6, 1901, whom he publicly forgave. His doctors were unable to keep him alive after an infection set in and spread through his body. His last words were the words to his favorite hymn, “Nearer My God to Thee.”
This is the kind of person that can be trusted, one who is willing to sacrifice, forgive, work hard and remain true, even when times are difficult. This is the kind of individual who would be willing to do the 'right' thing over the 'popular' thing! We need more of these kind of people running for public offices today.