In August, a friend asked me what political issues I thought were important, and I gave him the long answer.  After looking back at it, I realized that it was a good synopsis of my political beliefs.  Some of the info, like the references to Thompson and Guiliani are a little out of date, and I may find myself having to reevaluate John McCain in the near future, but for the most part it is accurate. I thought this would be another good way of allowing any one who reads this blog to get to know me better.  Sorry about the length.  Enjoy… I pretty well support most traditional Republican Party ideals.I am fiscally conservative.I support a strong military.I am a small government guy.I support religious freedom (as well as the other rights included in the Bill of Rights including the second amendment) and am pro-life.I oppose gay marriage.I support a strong police force, am tough on crime, am for the death penalty, and would like to see the parole system abolished in favor of an incentive program in which criminals only earn early release through positive means (i.e. completing high school or college degrees, attending counseling or church services, working for the prison to help pay their way, etc.).I support the War in Iraq, the war on terrorism and the Patriot Act. I do not support the Union Lobby.I generally do not agree with the science purported by the green lobby and global warming alarmists Issues that are less traditional that I support:I think we should reduce our dependence on foreign oil.I think we should begin to build many more nuclear plants (yesterday). I also believe that it is imperative to support the party in general.  I find it unforgivable that a person of power and respect, John McCain, chose time and time again not to support a sitting president from his own party.   How does this affect the way I vote?My number one issue when choosing a candidate is, oddly enough, electability.It does us no good to choose a candidate that holds all the right values, but will probably loose (see Bob Dole.  There was no reason to have lost that election.  We just chose an unelectable candidate).  Our candidate must be personable, telegenic, and a very good communicator.Issues can also affect a candidate’s electability.  As a result, one often has to be pragmatic when voting for a candidate, and candidates must often run a more centrist campaign in order to get elected.With this knowledge, persons who run for office may stress one issue over another in order to get elected, or may abandon a campaign issue all together because it may cause them to lose.In most elections, about 42 percent vote democrat, and will always vote democrat.  Like wise there are about 41 percent who always vote republican.  This leaves the 17 percent swing vote that wins and loses most elections (this holds true for presidential, senatorial and gubernatorial elections in most cases).  It is essential to get these votes, or most of them, to win an election.  Most traditional GOP issues appeal to a broad section of the masses.  These include: Fiscal conservatismStrong militarySmall governmentOpposition to gay marriageBeing tough on crimeFighting Terrorism and the Patriot Act These issues are winners. I believe that the Iraq war is one of the most important issues in this election.  I believe that the Iraq issue can still be a winner (or at least a wash) if we can get the party to band together on the issue.  The global implications of pulling out and allowing another country to become a terrorist haven (like Afghanistan was) are too scary.  This should be played up as a campaign issue.   That leaves abortion.  Currently (as of a poll taken this week), 49 percent of Americans consider themselves to be pro choice, and that number is actually coming down.  It is never a good policy start an election by alienating 49% of the voters.  As a result, while I am pro life, I am willing to concede (ignore) this as a campaign issue currently.  I don’t believe the abortion battle will be won at this level anyway.  It will be fought at the state level and in the courts.  The democrats have already learned this lesson with the gay marriage issue.  It is a loser for them (big time. 70%+ against it).  They are distancing themselves as much as possible from it.  Hillary has similar issues of her own with 46% of Americans saying that they would never vote for her under any circumstances. I believe (and hope) that once elected, most Republican candidates will tow the party line.  So, as a result, I will probably support the candidate with the greatest chance of winning, be that Romney, Guiliani (sp), or Thompson.  I won’t vote for McCain because I cannot forgive him, and I do not trust him (Gingrich is quickly joining him).  I would vote for Lieberman before McCain. I hope this answered your question.