I’m taking a straw poll. No kidding. If the media can ask all their liberal friends, I can ask you. Whom should we elect to occupy 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in 2008?

On one side we have: Hillary “even more evil than her husband” Clinton and Barack “Hussein” (do I really need to comment further?) Obama up against Rudy “have you seen me in a dress” Giuliani, John “forget about free speech” McCain, and Mitt “I forgot to take tax-funded abortions out of my health-care plan” Romney. Nice. Then, there’s a whole bunch of good candidates that no one seems to talk about.

But first let’s rule out the ridiculous. If you’re inclined to vote for Clinton or Obama, you can just stop reading this and go back to the New York Times or CNN (for your “truth”) or Gore’s Oscar winning “Inconvenient ‘Truth'” (for your “entertainment”). You must get your discernment from a Hollywood horror film, because both Democrats want to see half-born infants have their brains sucked out legally. So does Rudy Giuliani, but I’m getting ahead of myself. And then there’s the fact that Hillary wants to bring socialized medicine to your “village.” Think that’s a good idea? Ask a Canadian. They’ll be around soon because when they get sick, they don’t call a doctor, they call a travel agent.

We need someone qualified. Qualified. Hmmmm. Hey, how about the guy who was a state senator last year? He gave a nice speech at the Democratic convention. And he looks good in a suit (just don’t dare comment on his ears). But O’Bama actually argued against the Illinois Born Alive Infants Protection Act – he doesn’t even want kids who are BORN to have any protection. He’s not qualified for babysitter, let alone president.

Both Hillary and the Barack Obamination reject marriage as the union of a man and a woman – wait – so does Rudy Giuliani, but again, I digress. We all saw Hillary’s press release when she proclaimed to be a “born again Christian.” Barack (pay no attention to his middle name) makes the same claim, but as I say on my radio show often, “actions are what you believe; everything else is just religious talk.” Matthew 15:8 put it this way: “These people draw near to me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.” Not to mention their votes.

And now the “Republicans” everyone’s talking about. The RINOs (Republican in Name Only). First, there’s Rudy Giuliani. Great mayor. A likeable guy that actually remembers 9-11 and understands why we are at war because he was there. But, once you’ve said that, you’ve said it all. Pro-abortion, anti-marriage (including two of his own). Disqualified. And one more thing – all those losses in 2006 were blamed on “the war” – right? What makes us think the way to go is to run the guy whose single qualification is having the most proven unpopular position?

Then there’s John McCain. Too busy for the Conservative Political Action Conference. He’d rather announce on David Letterman – you know, the guy who took off his comedic mask to reveal his ugly agenda and treat Bill O’Reilly with disdain (watch the interview “frame by frame” and you can actually see Letterman’s head spin all the way around). One question I have is why does a guy that treats Bill O’Reilly so maliciously appear so “chummy” with John McCain? Want the whole list or just the top ten?

McCain’s against a Federal Marriage Amendment. And, for those who slept through McCain’s “Campaign Finance Reform,” let me summarize: It rips up what used to be our Constitutional freedom of speech for “30 days before a primary” and “60 days before a general election.” You know, when we most need to expose candidates’ positions on things like … how they voted. So whether you have free speech now depends upon what state you’re in and what day it is.

Then ask Wisconsin Right to Life what they think about John McCain. He just sued them for having the audacity to ask people to lobby Congress on giving judicial candidates an up or down vote. John doesn’t want to let people participate in our representative form of government during his federally mandated gag rule. By the way, where was John McCain on that issue? Oh yeah, he led the “gang of 14” who stood in the way of breaking the judicial filibuster.

And then there’s Mitt Romney, making a convenient flip from his ardent pro-abortion stance just in time to run for president. It just seems to me that if you really come to the realization that dismembering children is not good public policy, you’d remember not to FUND it with taxpayer dollars in your state health-care plan … after such a conversion. Oh yeah, suddenly he’s pro-marriage, too. So why did Romney publicly beat up on pro-marriage activist Brian Camenker last month? If that’s how he treats people on our side of the issue, that doesn’t bode well for future White House relations. And finally, mandating that homosexual “marriage licenses” be issued without any change in the law requiring it (in direct violation of the Massachusetts State Constitution) isn’t very convincing, either.

But here’s what I find even more troubling. Our conservative leaders who are willing to flush away everything we stand for to “get on the bandwagon” and support one of these up front. I know the “tent” is big and everything, but is it really too much to ask for a candidate from the Republican Party that actually agrees with the party platform?

Oh, wait a minute; there are candidates like that in the race. You just don’t hear much about them. It’s high time you do.

Sen. Sam Brownback: a proven record of battling for life, liberty and the family in the Senate. He’s been there taking the hits.

Rep. Duncan Hunter: Proven. He’s the guy that drafted the amendment to let our military chaplains pray in Jesus name. Kind of a nice idea, don’t you think?

Rep. Tom Tancredo: Proven. And THE guy on immigration.

Gov. Mike Huckabee: Proven down the line.

Polls of straw. It’s a good way to find out where people stand at a given moment. But straw isn’t the material I would choose when building a house … or filling the White House. But it seems our leaders toss out the bricks because they’ve been getting their opinions from the political pundits and media (who rooted for John Kerry) that say true Republican’s can’t win. They said that about Reagan, too.

I can hear the clamor already: “But we don’t have a Ronald Reagan!” No kidding. He’s dead. But the values he stood for are not. “But they can’t raise the funds!” Blah blah blah. Here’s an idea: What do you say we pick a TRUE Republican and ALL get behind him? Think it will help out with their fund raising? I do. It can change the outcome. It can change history.

Straw houses can be blown down. And so, I appeal to the grass roots – the people who pound in the yard signs and get out the vote: If you don’t want the “conservative” leaders compromising with a RINO the pundits say can win, here’s your chance to be heard. Here’s your chance to lead. E-mail me at [email protected] and VOTE. In the subject line, put your candidate in caps. Then, if you can, tell me WHY. I’ll report the results in my column next week.

But think it’s easier to just sit back and wait for the “Republican” insiders to decide for you? Yes, the Republican Party, where we’ve placed all our hopes and dreams for more than three decades since Roe v Wade. How’s that worked for us? Of course, there are 50 million people we can’t ask; they’re dead. And while seven out of the nine judges on the Supreme Court are Republican appointees, we can’t even protect half-born infants from having their brains sucked out. And the evil Judge George Greer who starved defenseless and disabled Terri Schiavo? He’s a Republican. It was a Republican majority 11th Circuit Court of Appeals that backed him up. And Republican Gov. Jeb Bush who backed down. Yeah, our hopes have been well placed, alright.

“It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.” (Psalm 118:8,9) Trusting in horses and chariots doesn’t work so well either, I’ve heard. The only thing I ask you to do before you vote at [email protected] is to PRAY. Not what you’d expect to see in a political column? Maybe not, but it’s what we need to get the right political candidate.

Don’t think we need it? Whatever spin you put on it, the fact remains that on Nov. 7 conservatives lost the House of Representatives and the Senate; we lost on life in South Dakota, cloning in Missouri, marriage in Arizona, and even Parental Notification in California and Oregon. Since then, I have been asked, “What do we do now?” If there was ever a time for prayer (and fasting), it is now.

Historically, when Israel lost in biblical times, it was because there was compromise in the camp. Sound familiar? Forget about the giants in the land and look up. Forget about what the political pundits say. God is more powerful than pundits. He is bigger than the billionaires. He is mightier than the media.

Stop crying about the fact that we “don’t have a Ronald Reagan!” and start praying for one. Then we need to get behind him and work. Whether it’s Brownback, Hunter, Tancredo, Huckabee, or some other real candidate, God takes ordinary people who humble themselves and lifts them up to lead a nation that seeks Him first. The bottom line: We need God. And we need God’s pick. We’ve seen the results of compromise. Now we need to throw away the straw and start building a house out of the brick values that won’t blow away in the first storm … or Supreme Court appointment. So pray; then vote: [email protected]. Then pray again.

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“In the Face of Evil: Reagan’s War in Word and Deed”

Janet L. Folger is president of Faith2Action: turning people of faith into people of action to WIN the cultural war TOGETHER for life, liberty and the family. Author of “The Criminalization of Christianity,” she hosts a daily radio program from 2-3 p.m. Eastern and a daily radio commentary heard in 100 markets and at www.f2a.org.

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