Paul Jacob

    • The war in Iraq should be ended as quickly as possible.

    • U.S. troops should be removed from that region as well as from Japan, Europe and South Korea.

    • The Patriot Act, the Military Commissions Act and FISA legislation should be repealed or "radically changed."

    • The country should "reject the notion and practice of torture, eliminations of habeas corpus, secret tribunals, and secret prisons."

    • The national debt should not be increased by even a penny.

    • There "should be no taxpayer bailouts of corporations and no corporate subsidies."

    • The Federal Reserve should be audited.

    • The "arbitrary power to create money and credit out of thin air behind closed doors for the benefit of commercial interests must be ended."

That's pretty weighty stuff, and there's more.

Whether one agrees with each position or not, here — finally — is some serious discussion of the issues, along with a willingness to take positions not nuanced and masked by a battery of pollsters and spin doctors.

Also on display? A rare willingness to find common ground.

That's even more meaningful than the latest major party brouhaha about pigs wearing lipstick, or silly tit-for-tat big lie strategies interrupted only by the sounds of our financial markets crashing down around us.

This past week, I spoke to the Conservative Leadership Conference in Las Vegas. Chuck Muth, the event's organizer, played up the debate taking place in conservative and libertarian circles between those supporting McCain, as the best defense against even bigger big government, and those supporting a third party candidate, believing it more important to send a message by voting for someone advocating truly limited, constitutional government.

Some wish to play the best defense they can. Others seek to vote their conscience. I sympathize with both sides.

And yet, more important than who you vote for this November — or even who wins — is whether the forces of freedom are willing to work after November 4, even with those they disagree with on some issues, to restore citizen control of government.

The threat to our freedom is far too great for conservatives and libertarians not to work together. In fact, on a host of issues we can and must reach out to folks on the left, too.

Both the Republican and Democratic parties have been complicit in hijacking our rights, ripping us off economically, and eroding the rule of law. To revive freedom, we must transcend these corrupted institutions.

Paul Jacob

Paul Jacob is President of Citizens in Charge Foundation and Citizens in Charge. His daily Common Sense commentary appears on the Web and via e-mail.