I didn’t vote for George W. Bush in 2000.

Though faced with a dismal choice that year, I chose to sit out the presidential election – even though Bush’s opponent, Al Gore, was part of an administration that spent years terrorizing me and other critics of Bill Clinton, using all the awesome power of the federal government.

In fact, ever since 2000, my news organization has been the target of a $165 million lawsuit by Gore’s chief fund-raiser in Tennessee. It seems the former vice president and his supporters there believe a devastating 18-part investigative series on Gore’s history in his home state contributed mightily to his defeat in Tennessee – and, thus, a loss of electoral votes and the White House.

Still, I couldn’t support Bush in 2000 because I did not believe he would govern according to the limits of the U.S. Constitution. That is my minimum standard requirement for support of any candidate for federal office.

Until recently, I was planning to sit out the 2004 presidential election, too, for the same reason.

When it comes to the U.S. Constitution, Bush doesn’t get it. He doesn’t understand the strict limits on federal authority. He doesn’t understand how this sets us apart as a free nation from all others in the world.

However, three years ago, this nation was attacked as it has never been attacked before. We find ourselves in a global conflict with a radical ideology of evil comparable to our titanic battles of the past with Nazism and communism. It’s a fight to the finish. It’s a fight for our lives. It’s a fight that will never end until one side or the other is vanquished.

I have come to the conclusion that, like it or not, Osama bin Laden and his jihadist allies have one short-term goal above all others – defeating George W. Bush at the polls Nov. 2.

A victory by John Kerry, a lifelong appeaser of totalitarianism, would hand the terrorists their biggest morale boost since Sept. 11, 2001. If you doubt what I am saying, look no further than the “endorsement” of Kerry by Yasser Arafat’s Palestinian Authority. Arafat is the father of modern-day Arab terrorism.

So this election for me is not so much about Bush. It’s about you. The election has now come down to something very simple. It is your chance to send the terrorists a message. It is your moment to make the terrorists hear from you.

A mandate for Bush will send the terrorists just such a message. It will tell them we have stood up as a nation. It will tell them we will continue to hunt them down – no matter how long it takes and no matter what the cost.

A close election – or, God forbid, a Kerry victory – will actually encourage the terrorists. It will send them the message that you are tired and weary and that your will to fight them to the death is giving out.

Ask yourself today: Will America be safer with Bush or Kerry in the White House?

That’s how simple the choice is today. All other considerations merely muddy the water and complicate what is seen by our enemies as a clear choice.

If we were at peace, this might be an opportune moment to consider building a third party. It might be a great chance to protest the choices we have. But we are not at peace. We are at war.

A Kerry victory – or even a close election, decided days or weeks after the vote – will increase exponentially the danger our country faces, the risk to our children, the threat to our way of life.

That’s what this election comes down to for me. It’s not about Bush. It’s not about Kerry. It’s about you. It’s about the message you send to the enemy – to the beast.

If we rise up Nov. 2 and send the beast a message, we will have taken our most dramatic step toward victory in this global conflict.

This is your moment to make your voice heard – all the way to the caves in Afghanistan, the terrorist cells in Chechnya, the dismal slums of Fallujah and teeming streets of Gaza.

It’s time for you to be heard. It’s time to fight back. It’s time to make your stand.

Vote for George W. Bush Nov. 2.

Listen to Joseph Farah’s endorsement of President Bush and his listeners’ reactions.

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