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Jewish World Review
January 17, 2008
/10 Shevat 5768
Why I Like Fred
Early last year while shopping at an Embassy Suites gift shop, I spied a Fred Thompson campaign button and snapped it up because the idea of another actor running for the highest office in the land intrigued me. This was months before Senator Thompson actually entered the 2008 Presidential race with what the MSM has continually described as a lackluster effort. I've noticed the negligent media coverage of Thompson's campaign and it makes me wonder if the mainstream press considers him far more formidable than it would like. I've watched the debates, listened to the positions of all the candidates and I like Fred Thompson because he's running as an adult, not an entertainer.
When the moderator of the Iowa debate asked for a show of hands for those who believe that global warming is serious and man-made, Thompson immediately said, "I'm not doing a show of hands today". At least five of the other candidates had already raised their hands then lowered them when Thompson made his defiant stand against this juvenile request. It was clear who was a leader not a follower and isn't that whom we're supposed to be electing in November?
I'd already come to the conclusion that Senator Thompson was the candidate adhering closest to my conservative values but it wasn't until he appeared on the O'Reilly Factor that he exhibited true presidential timbre as a no nonsense straight shooter. Bill O'Reilly weighed in on the Pakistan crisis after the Bhutto assassination and proposed putting pressure on Musharref to go after the Taliban more vigorously or threaten to withdraw our financial aid. Unlike Barack Obama who suggested that we go after the terrorists in Pakistan ourselves, Thompson exhibited mature caution recognizing the need to keep the only Muslim controlled nuclear nation stabilized. Thompson uttered no sound bites just remarked with measured deliberation to a very complex issue. In so doing he demonstrated the difference between armchair quarterbacking from the comfort of a studio and the reality of making crucial life or death decisions.
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Thompson is the only candidate who's consistently raised the touchy issue of Social Security reform. President Bush's efforts to address this issue were decimated by the Democrats and the AARP lobbyists. Anyone who has actually looked at their adult children's paycheck noting the FICA deductions and realized how unlikely they will benefit from the program recognizes how unfair this system is to young working adults in every economic sector.
On immigration, Thompson offers a comprehensive proposal eschewing amnesty and dares to ask Mexico, "What does it say about the leadership of a country when that country's economy and politics are dependent upon the exportation of its own citizens? "
Besides negligence another sign of a hostile mainstream press is its continuing campaign of distorting Thompson's statements. When he was asked by a man in Iowa about whether he wanted to be president he answered that he "wasn't particularly interested in running for president." The complete news article of the conversation made it clear he was referring to the campaign process and any sane person would empathize with that sentiment. I've never understood what kissing babies and eating hotdogs on the campaign trail signified other than photo ops. But who reads more than headlines today? Thompson was honest enough to say what the other candidates undoubtedly are thinking but once again Thompson was depicted as a lazy, noncommittal candidate and not to be taken seriously.
Yet what Thompson revealed in that conversation was exactly what we should be seeking in a candidate; someone who is eager to serve his country rather than running to satisfy an intense personal ambition. I seem to recall that our Commander-in-Chief was a reluctant candidate as well because he understood how the presidency would strain his family.
There probably has never been a clearer choice between the two major political parties. Democrats are pro-choice; for gay marriage; a repeal of the tax cuts; bigger government and want a withdrawal from Iraq. The Republican candidates other than Ron Paul on Iraq are adamantly opposed to all these positions. Yet according to Dick Morris, the Republican Party is fractured into three factions. The social conservatives are for Huckabee; the economic conservatives are for Romney and the national security crowd is for Giuliani. Oddly enough, Fred Thompson meets the criteria of all three blocs and sooner or later it's going to dawn on all these Republicans that they like Fred, too.
Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.
Alicia Colon is a columnist for the New York Sun. Comment by clicking here.
© 2008, Alicia Colon
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