Since Republican voters seem bound and determined to punt this election by nominating Trump (or less egregiously Cruz), my mind naturally if horrifically turns to whom I would prefer as president: Clinton or Sanders. (Not that I would ever vote for either but more as who to “root” for between them.)
Something of a dilemma. A slow poison administered by a liar or a quicker poison delivered sincerely? A sincere socialist or an insincere socialist/moderate/progressive/whatever-label-will-get-me-power? (Insert mad laughter sound effect here.)
A few years ago I thought character in a president wasn't crucial given the pains the Founding Fathers took to engineer the separation of powers. But Obama, along with other chief executives over the past six decades, have worn away at this fabric, have made it almost a fiction. It's now up to the executive not to further usurp power and that's just not in the nature of an executive. Which is precisely why historians admire and praise the self-restraint of George Washington.
I recall the preternaturally wise Tom of Disputations blog say years ago (paraphrasing from memory) that his voting pattern is to look at voting for a man or woman of good character rather than on studying position papers. That looks prescient.
And of course the founders were explicit in saying that the republic was dependent on the goodness and character of the people and representatives.
Finally I recently came across a quote from Edmund Burke that puts the icing on this cake:
Constitute government how you please, infinitely the greater part must depend upon the prudence and uprightness of ministers of state.
Rut-row. Houston we got a problem. There's no prudence in Sanders or uprightness in Clinton.