Burt Prelutsky

Every so often I hear from a self-anointed right-wing commissar that I'm not really a conservative simply because he's disagreed with something I wrote. The most annoying aspect of being called on the carpet is that it serves to remind me that some of those on the right can be every bit as dogmatic and self-righteous as the pinheads on the left.

So, I will now list my core beliefs and you can all decide for yourselves whether when I claim to be a conservative, I'm guilty of misrepresentation.

For openers, I'm in favor of capital punishment. The sixth commandment, by the way, doesn't really say that thou shalt not kill. When correctly translated, it states that thou shalt not murder. I can not imagine how anybody can argue that a person who commits cold-blooded homicide is entitled to out-live his innocent victim by 40 or 50 years.

Next, I do not understand why a so-called civilized society allows pedophiles to run loose. It always confounds me that so many on the right seem so much more concerned with the safety of embryos than they are with protecting actual children. I, for one, do not regard electronic monitors or court orders dictating how many yards from schools, parks and playgrounds, these perverts are allowed to come, as appropriate safeguards. What I regard as appropriate would be a dungeon or, better yet, a cemetery plot.

Speaking of the legal system, I do not believe that criminal defense attorneys should be encouraged or even permitted to invent any number of implausible theories as a means to confuse juries unless they swear on a Bible that they themselves actually believe that the rape or murder was committed by members of a Colombian drug cartel, an Albanian albino or a gang of Martians.

Furthermore, as a conservative, I believe in school vouchers. I can't be the only person who's sick and tired of listening to liberal politicians praising public education to the heavens while, at the same time, they've got their own children safely ensconced in private schools.

I am opposed to foreign aid. There are only a small handful of nations we can honestly regard as allies. Why on earth should we send billions of our tax dollars to the rest or underwrite the U.N., a haven for thousands of scoundrels who definitely have no business living in a glass house.