Thoughts on Fred

You asked what I thought of Fred Thompson. He seems to be the Obama of the Republican party – he has a lot of fans, but the supporters I’ve spoken with seem unable to articulate exactly why he’s so great. He *is* an actor, and a pretty good one as anyone who saw his Michael Moore response video knows. This comes in handy for acting like a badass – just the sort of quality we need in a presidential character for a show like 24.

As a legislator, Thompson is hardly the runt of the litter. The National Taxpayers Union rated him third behind two other candidates in the race, Ron Paul #1, and Tom Tancredo #2 (why vote for 3rd place?). I can’t overlook his vote in support of “No Child Left Behind” which has been a complete boondoggle, nor his absurd vote in support of McCain-Feingold (which, like most of the Dems on Iraq, he now admits was not such a good idea).

On the issues that matter most to me, defending our civil liberties and restoring the US Constitution, Thompson’s record falters. He voted for a constitutional amendment to ban flag burning (if I own something, who is the government to say whether or not I can burn it?) and an expansion of Federal police powers that would make the founding fathers cringe. I’d like to see him take a stand in defense of habeas corpus and in opposition to the use of torture, and surveillance that skirts the 4th amendment’s requirement of strict judicial oversight.

On foreign policy he takes a neo-conservative role. Surely he’d brand candidates like Ron Paul as “isolationist”, but undoubtedly nothing has isolated the US on the international stage more than our aimless and menacing approach to foreign policy under the Bush administration. Under Thompson the situation with China and Iran which would best be addressed through economic influence will likely continue to escalate with saber rattling and nuclear proliferation.

I also find a war-hawk to be unappealing since war is a big-government program that more than makes up for his discretion in other areas. The Dems may have a “tax and spend” philosophy, but the GOP has a “spend and spend” philosophy. I’m a fiscal conservative and I’m not convinced that Thompson will mark a change from the current “wisdom” of borrowing money from China to burn bridges around the globe.

I think Thompson is a better choice than Rudy McRomney, but he’s hardly the best choice for Americans who want real reform in Congress such as compelling our legislators to read the bills before a vote and honor their oath of office.

Most of my Fred-head friends seem to like him because he’s a great storyteller. The legend of his red pickup truck is fine evidence of an actor who isn’t opposed to stretching the truth by a few miles to round up a following. I’m not looking for someone to lead by grift. I’m looking for someone to lead by example with honesty, morality, and a firm set of constitutional principles. There isn’t a candidate in the race from either major party that comes close to fitting the bill better than Ron Paul.



Leave a Reply