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Election 2006: Evangelicals at the crossroads

By Rod D. Martin
web posted November 6, 2006

They were America's forerunners, our Pilgrim and Puritan fathers who championed majority rule, unalienable rights, and rule of law over divine right of kings.

They were the ministers and the tradespeople, the lawyers and the doctors, people from every walk of life who dared to declare, fight for, and win their independence from the mighty British Empire.

They were the backbone of our Revolution and when we drafted our Constitution. It was their ideas on ordered liberty that carried the day.

They almost single-handedly created the abolitionist movement, and every movement for social reform bore their imprint in some fashion.

Until the 20th century, their views dominated American politics and culture, making our country -- notwithstanding its continued imperfections and theirs -- the most dynamic, progressive and free in all of history.

Their withdrawal from culture and politics in the last century paved the way for the rise of Big Government, creeping totalitarianism, the cultural upheavals of the late 1960s, and the widespread embrace of death, from abortion to euthanasia to rising violent crime.

Their return over the past generation has not coincidentally coincided with America's renewal and rebirth -- economically, politically and culturally.

And this year, though many of them don't realize it, they hold the fate of the current Congress in their hands.

They are America's evangelicals. And as the 2006 election looms, the hard left and its media enablers are increasingly obsessed with them.

Consider the evidence.

Now, right before the election, the liberal media highlights former Republican House Majority Leader Dick Armey's blasting evangelical leaders in a book for allegedly engaging in hardball tactics.

Now, right before the election, somebody leaked to the liberal media Republican congressman Mark Foley's lewd communications with underage male pages, while the liberal media now speculates openly how this will or won't sit with the GOP's hitherto rock-solid evangelical base. Similar-yet-worse offenses on the Democratic side are neatly glossed.

And now, right before the election, a new book by a disgruntled former White House official alleges that evangelicals were not only taken for granted but slurred by individuals working in the White House, individuals he refuses to name and who therefore cannot confirm or deny.

As Saturday Night Live's "Church Lady" would have put it, "how conveeeenient."

Clearly, the mainstream media leftists want evangelicals to go AWOL this Election Day. Indeed, they've assured us this will happen now for months, just as they did in 2000, 2002 and 2004. They want this to happen and they will stop at nothing to make it happen.

Why? Because if evangelicals turn out in full strength -- in this election or any election -- liberal Democrats and their allies can kiss their dreams goodbye.

They will not be able to impeach and remove President Bush, block his pro-life judicial nominees, raise taxes on hard-working mothers and fathers, socialize health care, roll back welfare reform, withdraw nightmarishly from Iraq, stop the deployment of a comprehensive missile defense for our country, hogtie the CIA and FBI, or end eavesdropping on foreign terrorists bent on executing another September 11th-style attack.

Their calculus is simple: If evangelicals stay home, the hard left wins. If not, it loses. And they're right.

The left would have us believe that there's an unbridgeable chasm between social conservatives and economic ones (and unfortunately, as Dick Armey's comment proves, certain otherwise intelligent fiscal conservatives stupidly share their view). They would have us believe that the two sides are at each others' throats.

Nonsense. The vast majority of cultural conservatives are economic conservatives too. Indeed, the biggest reason most of them are currently mad at their party is the unending, unconstitutional growth of big government.

Nor, as their long history building this nation illustrates so well, are they some new, "scary" Iran-like force in our politics. They are the backbone of America, and always have been. And without them, the Republican Party is toast.

But without the Republican Party, they're toast too.

Are they frustrated with an overspending, inadequately attentive party? You bet: we are. But the time to do something about that comes every two years in the party's primary. If evangelicals aren't producing the candidates and dollars to win there, they have no one to blame but themselves. They can run the table, anytime they want.

But that's not a fight for November. The fight this November is not with each other but with those who would kill America's very soul.

The ball is in evangelicals' court. Pray they turn out in sufficient numbers. And after you pray, like all of us at TheVanguard.Org, take the day off work and take as many of them as you can to the polls. Everything depends on it. ESR

Rod D. Martin is Founder and Chairman of TheVanguard.Org, America's premier conservative movement online. A writer, speaker and technology entrepreneur, former special counsel to PayPal.com Founder Peter Thiel and policy director to Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, he is a member of the Arlington Group and of the Council for National Policy's Board of Governors, and also serves as Executive Vice President of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies (NFRA), "the Republican Wing of the Republican Party". (c) Rod D. Martin


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