The results of the November 4 elections seem to advance the trend of personality over party. The impact of “machine” politics continues to decline.

We have mixed feelings about this individualistic trend. It is in the national interest that people have the opportunity to respond quickly to promising men and to changing situations. But there is also a danger that voters will be too easily swayed by suavity and sophistry. Even as astute a spiritual leader as Samuel was misled into thinking that Eliab was God’s anointed. God rebuked Samuel with these words:

Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart.

Jesus, the most charismatic of men, showed himself to be the Son of God, not on the basis of physical characteristics or persuasive power, but on the profundity of what he said and did. This is more than mere comfort to the plain. It is a criterion for good judgment.

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