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During the Reagan administration, liberals used the name of former Interior Secretary James Watt to drum up memberships for a whole host of environmental groups. Now, as this century draws to an end, conservatives have finally found a positive use for Bill Clinton. They are using the specter of “The Clinton Presidency, Part II — Starring Al Gore” to convince Americans that they cannot afford to sit out the next election.

Some conservative candidates shout that being a “pragmatic conservative” or a “compassionate conservative” means abandoning your principals. They claim that those of us who believe in pragmatism and compassion are not “real” conservatives. The problem is that none of these “principled” candidates has ever won an election … unless you count high school. They yell because most Americans are ignoring them. They yell because they don’t understand that it’s darn hard to change the political system if you can’t get elected.

Let me be blunt. Those conservatives who decided that Bob Dole wasn’t conservative enough are personally responsible for the re-election of Bill Clinton. Those conservatives who advised their followers to vote for anyone but Bob Dole were actually working for the re-election of Bill Clinton. Those conservatives who advised their followers to sit out the 1996 election are personally responsible for what Bill Clinton has done to the world these past three years.

Frankly, I do not want to hear another so-called conservative talk about why they can’t vote for the Republican nominee for president. Eight years of Clinton is more than we should have to bear. I don’t want four or eight more years of the same. Because if that happens, there will be precious little of the America I love left to conserve.

I am pro-life. I am also pro-adoption. I can’t stand the idea that 150 babies die every hour at the hand of abortionists. However, that won’t change until we create an America where mothers and fathers want the children that they conceive. Babies won’t stop dying in abortion clinics until we make adoption so easy that prospective parents line up at abortion clinics to beg women to give them their babies.

My talk radio career taught me that many very decent Americans are just not sure about what to do about abortion. I’ve used every persuasive ounce of my ability to try to get them to understand my position, and they still haven’t come over to my side. They have strong reasons for thinking that abortion should be legal. This group of thoughtful Americans decides who gets elected. They get very angry when someone calls them names because they don’t agree that most abortions should be outlawed. They will never, ever vote for a fire-and-brimstone pro-life candidate. Period. End of sentence.

To recreate an America that respects life, we must elect a president who respects life. The action word here is “elect.” The only pro-life candidates who can get elected are those who show the electorate that they understand that you can be a good person even if you disagree on the abortion issue.

We can’t stop with a president who respects life. We also have to elect a Congress and state legislatures whom voters have given a clear mandate to make adoptions as easy as possible and abortions as rare as possible. That may not be what you want to hear, but it is the truth.

Let me tell you what I want. I want George Bush, Steve Forbes and John McCain to have a vigorous debate about the issues facing America in the next century. I want them to ask each other hard questions and give each other straight answers. I want primary voters to understand what makes each of these men qualified to be our next president and how they are different. I want each of them to be pushed and prodded so we can see how they respond under pressure. However, I don’t want any of them to have to endure unfounded attacks on their character.

When, next summer, the Republican Party nominates one of these men as its presidential candidate, I want us conservatives to unite behind that man. Not everyone will be happy with the party’s choice. However, if we don’t support that candidate with every fiber that we have, we are doomed to a President Gore, a President Bradley or a President Gephardt. Our children deserve a better future than that.

Many act as though Y2K is the most important thing that is going to happen in the year 2000. They are wrong. Next year we will elect a new president. Every seat of the U.S. House of Representatives will be up for grabs. One-third of the U.S. Senate seats will be up for grabs. Every seat of the lower house of every state that has two houses will be up for grabs. And, the feds will conduct a census.

The political party that wins next year will shape our political and legal landscape for a decade. The political party that wins control of your state legislature will draw new congressional and state legislative districts that will last for the next decade. The political party that wins control of Congress will decide whether you or the federal government should keep most of the “surplus” we are supposed to see.

If that party is Monica and Bill’s party, may God have mercy on our souls.

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