I assess potential support for a political candidate based on demographics, philosophy or ideology, competence and character- in that specific order.  By demographics I do not mean race but realistic electability.  I may feel ideologically aligned with a Libertarian candidate, but demographically it is unlikely to succeed, and such a candidate does not merit serious funding.

A candidate may be competent and of sound moral character, but if his ideology of government is antithetical to mine, I see no reason to support him.  Competence and character are the ingredients of trust; we must believe they are able to do the job and are willing to honor their word. I would still not support a competent socialist.

In the current political climate, I weigh economic policy higher than foreign and social policy; without a sound economy we are unable to fund the latter. I weigh economic policy about 60%, foreign policy 30%, and social policy 10%.   I may agree with the Democrats on social policy, but it is just less important to me than assuring a sound economy.

I have character issues with Donald Trump, but I have major ideological issues with the Democrats who want to replace him. Eliminating the electoral college, taxing unrealized gains, single-payer health system, forgiveness of student debt, free college, a wealth tax, reparations, Federal registration and regulation of corporate governance, the Green New Deal and other such ideas have all been floated from the Democratic House in the few months they have had control.  Beneath this growing list of unserious and poorly thought ideas is a willingness to trust an administrative state over constitutional due process. This concerns me for more than the flawed character of Donald Trump.

The illiberal behavior on college campuses where free speech is quickly sacrificed on the altar of political correctness, where due process is sacrificed to the whims of social justice, and where violence and other uncivil behavior has been tolerated has now spread to the halls of Congress.  When the ends justify the means it becomes acceptable to scream at and harass government officials in public restaurants, during Senate hearings and in their office elevators.  This concerns me more than Donald Trump.

As the 2020 campaign unfolds, we will hear a lot comparing the characters of the candidates. While character is important there are important considerations other than the candidates that merit careful consideration.  Behind the man are ideas that will last long after he is gone.