He’s the man for the job … She’s got the skills for this position.

Those types of endorsements are timeless and commonplace in political advertisements during election years. 

I’ll be the first to admit I look closely at a candidate’s policy position, their issues-related statements and carefully sculpted political platform when trying to decipher who I most identify with  — the person who will ultimately get my vote.

The “man for the job,” the candidate I think has “the needed skills”, is the person I vote for. I do tend to lean more toward one particular political party than the other, but unlike voters of my parents’ and grandparents’ generations, I’m not as inclined to vote strictly along party lines. 

National surveys show I’m not alone. Voters in their 30s-40s are more likely to flip from party to party in various election cycles, depending on who’s on the ballot, than their parents do. Still, the party divide grows deeper and deeper in American politics. Overall, voters are bitterly opposed to “the other side” and stick with their party of choice regardless of who’s running.

I remain policy focused in 2020, but also acutely aware of the new normal in which we live. I’ve never voted in an America embroiled in such violent social outrage for racial justice, in a nation battling a world-wide pandemic, or an economy teetering on the deepest recession since WWII (that’s according to reports released by the World Bank last week).

This election cycle another question weighs heavily on my mind, and I told my husband recently the candidates who best answer it  — on the local, state and national level  — will most likely have my vote in November.

Here it is: Are you the right candidate for the time we’re living in?

He may have gotten off to a slow start in his championing of civil rights, but history now looks at a Catholic Democrat elected to the highest office in the land in 1961, President John F. Kennedy, as the man for the unprecedented time Americans were living in then.

President George W. Bush (Republican) had, and still has, many supporters in our deeply red state. In other parts of the country, he was laughed at, seen as a buffoon for his many public speaking gaffes. Was he the man to stand atop Twin Towers rubble with a megaphone and a rallying cry for Americans post 9/11?  Most would agree, yes.

Living in a nation now crumbling in many ways, I have to ask who is the right man  to be president right now? We’re in a country torn by recent tragic altercations between law enforcement and African American citizens. I need to know who is the right man to be Pierce County’s Sheriff in a tumultuous time when relationships between officers and the communities they serve are tense and fragile?

I’m reminded of the story of Esther. Those of us who grew up in Southern Sunday School know it well. She was called to the kingdom “for such a time as this” to save her people. Esther, willing to sacrifice herself for the salvation of an entire ethnic group, was the queen for her time. 

Of all the candidates vying for our votes right now, who are best suited to lead us through the days ahead? I hope you’ll join me in giving that question much consideration as you head to the polls this Fall.

• Sarah Tarr Gove is news editor of The Blackshear Times. Email her at sgove@theblacksheartimes.com.