In response to my column last week, “The GOP tent: How big is too big?” comments ranged from agreement, to those accusing me of a pro-abortionist position, to many readers identifying themselves as single issue pro-lifers who have already abandoned Bush for the Constitution Party.

I guess the range was predictable; well, all but those who accused me of a pro-abortionist view anyway. Overall, I must admit some surprise at how many readers claimed they joined the Constitution Party. Some actually wrote this party’s candidates are currently electable, which they are not.

That means these voters are willing to cast their lot in a completely meaningless direction to make a point that will be largely ignored. While I certainly admire and agree with their principle on the issue of life, I can’t agree with the practice of throwing their vote away for at least three reasons.

First, even as we commemorate the third anniversary of 9-11, Democrats still hold a fixed position on national defense that is slavishly tied to action (or should I say inaction) through the U.N. At the same time, Americans are obviously united in their desire to keep terrorist attacks off our shores. That means the only logical action is to ensure John Kerry doesn’t win the position of commander and chief.

If you don’t think a strike can happen on our shores again, consider the recent and horrifying attacks on Russian airlines followed by the massacre of hundreds of children by Muslim extremists. Are we exempt from such a future attack or do we have so much faith in our intelligence community, customs and border controls that we are sure to intercept any such assault? I ask you, is now the time to relent in our offensive against terrorism and relinquish decision making to the toothless bureaucracy of the U.N.?

As for Kerry, his voting record clearly demonstrates his position on national defense. He voted to send our men and women into war then voted against funding their most basic needs in combat situations. He has been on the wrong side of every vote for decades on issues of national defense, including the Cold War. No wonder the communists and Muslim extremists want him to win the election.

Second, I don’t care for big government – a principle that Democrats heavily endorse. Many of them admit it is their desire to see the U.S. become an entirely socialist state. However well-meaning, it is not the job of the government to take care of the people so much as to govern, serve and defend. Admittedly, if the church wasn’t failing in its cultural mandate there might be less need for the government to step in.

But dumping social and community tasks on the government increases taxes while subverting the autonomy and personal responsibility of the individual and the church. This isn’t supposed to be a nation of government handouts, but a nation of opportunity. More importantly, handouts from the government mean answering to the government. So as Ahhhnold said at the RNC last week, “If you believe the government answers to you not you to the government, then ‘you are a Republican.'”

Finally, whatever can be said about Bush and Cheney on cultural issues, the Edwards and Kerry ticket couldn’t be more frightening or more left. They are left of Clinton and Kennedy in their voting records. They believe in and endorse abortion, human cloning, stem-cell research and same-sex marriage. All I can say is “yikes.”

Given the landscape, I recognize for now the religious right is in a large sense an ineffective voting block on cultural issues held captive by the Republican Party. This explains why little more than bones and rhetoric are tossed at the religious right on cultural issues. They have nowhere to go and no widely accepted strategy to change their current ineffectiveness.

Yet, until the people or a new party is truly strong enough to make more than a hiccup in the national election, I view flushing votes as a failing strategy. Even if you can’t vote enthusiastically for the Republicans, vote decisively against the Democratic agenda. Then, without losing ground in the election, get to work on a strategy for mobilizing a voting block that commands more than lip service from our nation’s leaders and representatives.

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