thinair Boulder, Colorado. elevation 5400 feet.

so-called-Republican leaders are grabbing for more power

Now that I understand why rural Coloradans vote republican I want to offer some reasons not to. No hidden agenda here -- let me put it right on the table. The presidential election is always a choice of lesser evils. I think the Bush administration is the greater evil and must be voted out of office.

If you happen to be a Colorado Republican, we probably agree on this point: power corrupts, greater power leads to greater corruption, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. One way to reduce corruption is to reduce power. I would prefer smaller government too, if only to limit the damage that can be done when leaders get abusive.

Why, then, do I prefer the democratic presidential ticket?

In spite of all the rhetoric to the contrary, especially at the national level, Republican leaders have been quite happy to expand government. They cut social programs as if striking blows for smaller government. But these leaders just divert those funds to military purposes. They don't cut the government, they just grow a different part of it. Remember that they are the government. It is not in their interest to actually reduce their own power regardless of what they will claim to the contrary.

Tax cuts are lies without spending cuts. The deficit is tax dollars the government has spent today which it will collect in the future. Bush Sr. said "Read my lips" and then broke his promise. He raised taxes to reduce the deficit that Reagan and Carter had grown so carelessly. Deficit spending leads to tax increases regardless of who spends the money. Don't be fooled by tax cuts -- keep your eye on the spending. If we are agreed that smaller government is better, then government spending needs cutting. That is cutting, not just diverting money from one party's pet projects into the other party's pet projects.

The republican intelligentsia lie about reducing government. The political magicians in the next several months will draw your attention with great bravado to their tax cuts in one hand. The other hand will continue to pour billions of hard-earned taxpayer dollars into the pockets of Bechtel and Halliburton. It is government spending, and they are filling their friends' pockets with billions and billions of your tax dollars.

The national politicians, Democrats and Republicans alike, are quite happy to spend, spend, spend. They differ only in what they choose to buy. Democratic leaders buy bread and butter. Republican leaders buy weaponry. Our current republican leaders spent our tax dollars to topple the governments of two countries. The Democrats' shopping list seems radically less threatening to my safety and liberty than the Republican's, and frankly it seems considerably less expensive in both dollars and American lives.

Power corrupts. The war in Iraq is an abuse of US military power. Although some good may eventually come of the war, a government that unilaterally overthrows other countries has gotten entirely too big for its britches. The leaders who perpetrate such abuses must be removed from office. The election is our opportunity to prevent the Bush administration from further abusing power.

As if that weren't enough...

Republican leaders present themselves as if they will defend the common folk against the Democrats' attempts to expand government power. But even the awesome power in the global theater is not enough for them. Republican legislators from my own state have proposed to expand the power and reach of the federal government all the way into our marriages. In today's radio address, Bush loudly supported a constitutional amendment to protect the most fundamental institution of civilization

I could not agree more that the institution of marriage is in grave need of defense. A rare moment indeed to find myself in agreement with W. But that is where our views part ways. I can't say this emphatically enough. Regardless of what you think about gays, lesbians, and gay rights, the federal government needs to keep its damn hands altogether out of marriage. End of story. That is an intolerable expansion of federal power. I cannot believe the people proposing and endorsing this amendment can honestly call themselves republicans. My granddad must be rolling over in his grave.

This difficult debate was forced upon our country by a few activist judges and local officials, who have taken it on themselves to change the meaning of marriage. In Massachusetts, four judges on the state's highest court have ordered the issuance of marriage licenses to applicants of the same gender. In San Francisco, city officials issued thousands of marriage licenses to people of the same gender, contrary to the California family code. Lawsuits in several states, including New Jersey, Florida, Nebraska, and Oregon, are also attempting to overturn the traditional definition of marriage by court order.

Let me draw your attention to the completion of a traditional Christian marriage ceremony in the US. "... and by the power vested in me by the State of Colorado, I now pronounce you husband and wife." Declaring a couple legally married is a power of the State, not the Federal government. It is precisely the "local officials" who are empowered by the Tenth Amendment to determine what is to be considered a legal marriage within their own borders. For the federal government to assert itself here is entirely inappropriate.

The phrase "activist judges" betrays hunger for other power. The administration is not satisfied with Executive powers. They are not satisfied to have Legislative powers mostly under their control. They won't be satisfied until they also control the Judicial powers. The Constitution divided the government powers for a reason. We need "activist judges" to keep us from descending any closer to monarchy.

If the good people of Massachusetts take offense with the new legal definition of marriage within their State, it is up to them to take that matter up with their local officials. California, New Jersey, Florida, Nebraska, and Oregon are free to choose as they see fit. Freedom to choose is the American Way. Frankly, it is no business of the State of Colorado to meddle in the affairs of Massachusetts or any other state. Colorado's federal legislators should be concerning themselves with Colorado's welfare and not Massachusetts'. What could be worse than allowing the Federal government to have dominion over marriage.

It's simply not American. They spin it as if they are great moral defenders, but it is nothing more than another federal power grab, plain and simple. It is another glaring attempt to extend the federal powers -- and to extend those powers all the way into the most important of individual relationships of US citizens. Do not be distracted by the emotional and moral views of homosexuality. Keep your eye on their insatiable lust for power.

These jokers do not represent the values of rural Colorado. The Republican Intelligentsia are just playing on powerful emotional issues to try to grab more power. Vote these jokers out of office before they go any further.