The horrific events of 9/11 have so starkly changed the political landscape in America that the upcoming presidential election can rightly be seen as among the most important ever held. In fact, these events and the subsequent war on terror have proved so cataclysmic that they’ve even managed to overshadow the tremendous import of the 2000 election that was decided amid such rancor and controversy. For in this year’s election, Americans could very well be making literally a life and death decision: Namely, will the war on terror be waged by a strong leader utterly committed to protecting America from attack or by an inveterate waffler and appeaser. This issue alone is more than enough reason to render the reelection of President Bush absolutely essential. Still, as this fateful decision approaches, it would be well to reflect on just why the previous election–held long before we ever dreamed that crazed fanatics would fly planes into the World Trade Center and Pentagon–was considered so vital, and to understand that these same circumstances are just as pressing today. The answer can be summed up very succinctly: Judicial appointments, especially to the U.S. Supreme Court. Next to the war on terror, this is unquestionably the most critical domestic issue of this election. The sobering reason is that, despite the tremendous inroads made by the conservative movement over the past several decades at every level of government–to the point where conservatism is clearly the most compelling political philosophy of our time–we are nonetheless perilously close to winning the battle but losing the war. This point is powerfully demonstrated in Phyllis Schlafly’s new book The Supremacists: The Tyranny of Judges and How To Stop It, which should be required reading for everyone–regardless of political persuasion–who cares about maintaining an America in which the government is still the servant of the people, not vice-versa. The book (with notes and index) is a mere 192 pages long, proving conclusively (especially in light of Bill Clinton’s recent literary offering) that quantity has positively no relation to quality. In it, Schlafly presents a devastating critique of those who are actively seeking to undermine self-government in America through judicial tyranny. In particular, Schlafly shows how activist judges–those who decide cases purely according to their own personal preferences even if they directly contradict the clear meaning of the Constitution–are, as President Bush has said, “seeking to remake the culture of America by court order.” Of course, they are fully supported in this effort by the far left that shares their radical agenda. As a result of this kind of unconscionable judicial meddling, we’ve witnessed the obscene spectacle of one pillar after another of our society being dashed on the rocks of decisions made by unelected, unaccountable federal judges (or in some cases by state judges who at least have to face voters at regular intervals). The targets for this largely successful judicial assault include the public acknowledgment of God, respect for the sanctity of life, the valuing of individuals based on personal merit, the principle that elections must be conducted according to pre-prescribed rules mutually agreed upon, the establishing of basic standards of decency in society, morally proportionate punishments for crime, enforcement of immigration laws, and now even the so fundamental and self-evident concept that marriage is between a man and a woman. Of course, none of these travesties would have the remotest chance of being approved at the ballot box, and the crusaders know it, so they’ve seized on the courts as a way to impose their unwanted revolution. Schlafly also traces the history of how the Constitution went from being a document properly revered for enshrining our God-given rights into a coherent framework where government functions only by the consent of the governed to being falsely regarded as a “living, breathing document” that evolves according to the whims of changing attitudes, and that supposedly is “whatever the U.S. Supreme Court says it is.” It should take only elementary powers of reasoning to see that, taken to its logical conclusion, such a philosophy is a recipe for tyranny. In addition, Schlafly shows how the judges who choose to usurp the Constitution in this manner do so out of apparent disdain for the deeply-held values the vast majority of Americans hold dear–and in deference to a condescending world view that subscribes to ardent secular humanism, radical feminism, race-baiting, class envy, and one-world globalism. In short, all of the views espoused by the extreme elements of the modern Democratic Party. However, the real value–and the ray of hope–in the book is its final chapter, where she outlines how this monster can yet be slain. This includes taking measures such as the removal of court jurisdiction over issues such as the acknowledgment of God (as in 10 Commandments and Pledge of Allegiance cases) and the definition of marriage, Congress beginning to seriously exercise its authority to impeach judges who engage in blatant judicial activism, requiring a 2/3rds vote for judges to declare a law unconstitutional, and prohibiting the expenditure of federal funds to enforce outrageous rulings, among others. All of these would be excellent, and desperately needed, measures. But here’s the rub: The only way for such steps to be taken is for the American public to overwhelmingly demand it, by electing representatives committed to terminating the abuse of judicial authority, instead of just talking about it. And crunch time is upon us. If John Kerry–or any other liberal Democrat–is ever allowed to decisively tip the balance of the judiciary in their direction, or if liberals continue to be elected in such numbers as to make the adoption of the necessary countermeasures untenable, America’s heretofore inspiring venture in self-government could come to an ignominious end. Phyllis Schlafly has sounded the clarion call that all concerned citizens must answer–now. The unthinkable alternative is the loss of our very soul as a nation. And the day of reckoning is November 2.