BY JULIA SMUCKER
It's that time of year again -- or has been, since sometime last year. The mud is flying left and right as a motley crew of politicians competes for our nation's volatile confidence. And who are they trying to appeal to? For a myriad of confounding reasons, our national political discourse has become so polemicized that most prominent candidates, as well as many commentators, seem able to do little more than preach to particular choirs within their own parties. Of course, the challenge of transcending polemics is by no means a new dilemma for any voter with a consistent ethic of life in mind. To elect the least inconsistently life-affirming among candidates will probably never be a straightforward task. What follows here, then, is not so much intended as a voting guide for the consistent life ethicist, nor even an amateur political analysis, as it is an unabashedly subjective evaluation of our current presidential prospects in an attempt to open the conversation in some new direction.