NOTE: This is the second time I have written this particular piece, the first time in the passion of writing I forgot to save the document I was working on and all 5 plus pages of work I had written was lost with one crash of my word processor. In this second attempt at writing this I am drawing upon some items which I have already blogged about in the past on this site.
Anybody who is a regular reader of my blog knows that for quite some time now I have declared myself to be a Fredhead. This took place this summer, before the former Senator from Tennessee officially declared his intention to seek the Republican party’s nomination for the position of President.
As far as endorsements go, an official endorsement from this Conservative blogger will probably register across the blogosphere with about as much impact as throwing a single grain of sand into the ocean.
That being said this Conservative blogger, officially endorses Fred Dalton Thompson for the position of 44th President of the United States of America.
When the editors of the National Review officially came out with their endorsement for former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney they started off by stating that. “Many conservatives are finding it difficult to pick a presidential candidate. Each of the men running for the Republican nomination has strengths, and none has everything — all the traits, all the positions — we are looking for. Equally conservative analysts can reach, and have reached, different judgments in this matter. There are fine conservatives supporting each of these Republicans.”
I fully agree with that assessment. Most of the men who are running on the Republican ticket have a whole lot of factors to like about them. They all have their strengths and their defining characteristics that make them who they are. I would have to add the fact that when the day arrives that an individual finds a candidate who has every single one of the traits in which that individual is looking for — that must also be the day in which that individual found themselves to be a candidate.
Nobody is ever going to find a 100% perfect match to what they are looking for in a President. Anybody who is holding out hope of finding that perfect match is only setting themselves up for a great disappointment. You can only hope to come close, and in making my decision to side with Fred Thompson, I believe that I came very, very close to my ideal candidate.
I am a Conservative first and a Republican second — in my heart I truly believe that the long established and time-tested guiding principles of Conservatism are the best method of leading our country through not just the road ahead of us, but throughout all time.
Conservatism isn’t grounded in creating new policy, new processes, or new solutions. Conservatism, by its very nature is a philosophy that does not ever become out-dated. There is no need to ever redefine or improve upon what is already proven.
Yet, that is exactly what is going on today, much like the hard core left has hijacked the term “Liberal” and raped it of everything it used to mean before leaving it for dead and moving on to the “Progressive” label — there is a movement afoot to radically redefine what it means to be a “Conservative.” This attempt has gained so much momentum that during this very Presidential election cycle there are pundits in the media, supporters of certain candidates and even these some of the candidates claiming that they are Conservatives — when actually they are anything but.
I’ll start off with the candidates I like the least, in that order, and will ignore the candidates whom I believe have a snowballs chance in hell of winning the GOP nomination, despite the fact that I I may like some of them (Duncan Hunter).
5. Mike Huckabee
I’ve never really been a huge fan of Rush Limbaugh, having always thought that the man just seems to like the sound of his own voice entirely way too much, a trait, which I do not find most favorable in a person. That being said, there can be no denying the fact that when it comes to the Conservative movement, Mr. Limbaugh one of the premier voices for the cause.
On his show yesterday, he made an excellent point about Huckabee, when he said,
“Ladies and gentlemen, Gov. Huckabee, mighty fine man and is a great Christian, is not a conservative, he’s just not. If you look at his record as governor, he’s got some conservative tendencies on things but he’s certainly not the most conservative of the candidates running on the Republican side.”
Huckabee is a pro-big government, pro-tax, pro nanny state, populist Republican — who just so happens to be one of the darlings of the extreme religious right because of his religious views. While I have no problems with Mr. Huckabee’s faith, I have to take great exception with anybody who uses that faith as an excuse to forsake Conservative values by expanding the size of government — by claiming that it is our “moral obligation” to help others.
Mike Huckabee’s political philosophy bears no resemblance what-so-ever to the guiding Conservative principles of small government, individual responsibility and personal freedom. If Mike Huckabee, the Republican Jimmy Carter, is what passes for a Conservative in this day and age — then the radicals who are attempting to hijack the true definition of Conservatism and redefine it, have won.
4. Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani did an excellent job serving the city of New York as Mayor and emerged as a true leader in the aftermath of the tragic events of September 11th.
I believe that the Islamofascist war against western culture is the single biggest threat the World has ever faced — and in fact if this was the only issue there was to look at when deciding upon whom to choose to hold the office of President — I would seriously consider voting for Rudy Giuliani come primary time herein my home state of Ohio.
However, I am not a single-issue voter and cannot over look the fact that when it comes to matters that define me as a Conservative — Rudy Giuliani does not pass the test. While he has many fine qualities, he is not a Conservative.
In 1989 the Liberal Party of New York, which was founded in 1944 to support candidates with progressive viewpoints, endorsed Rudy for Mayor of New York because,
“He agreed with the Liberal party’s views on affirmative action, gay rights, gun control, school prayer, and tuition tax credits.”
40 years ago Barry Goldwater became the standard bearer for what it meant to be a Conservative, as he won the Republican nomination for the Presidency and helped to light the spark of what would become the Reagan Revolution in the 1980’s. Here is what he had to say about Mr. Conservative, Barry Goldwater:
He [Giuliani] described John Kennedy as “great and brilliant.” Barry Goldwater was an “incompetent, confused and sometimes idiotic man.”
–New York Daily News, May 13, 1997
Rudy Giuliani as President of the United States would represent the return to power of the type of liberal leaning country club Republicans that Barry Goldwater helped to run out. He’d make a great Attorney General, but he is the type of Republican that Conservatives should never allow to regain control of the GOP.
3. Mitt Romney
On the surface Mitt Romney appears to be a Conservative. The problem I get with him is that I fail to sense any depth in his Conservative convictions. Much like another recent Presidential candidate from Massachusetts, with Mitt Romney you get the feeling that whatever position he may hold today — could completely change tomorrow.
I don’t like to be pandered to, and with Mitt Romney I get the feeling that he is just paying lip service to Conservatives — and am unsure of a candidate who seems unable to stand by his convictions.
2. John McCain
There would be far worse people to hold the office of President that John McCain (see above, the entire Democratic Ticket and Ron Paul). He is an American Hero and served his country proudly and bravely in the Vietnam War, and then came back home to answer the call to serve by running for and being elected to public office. That being said, he is no Conservative.
He actively opposed and voted against the Bush tax cuts of 2001 and 2003. He supported the amnesty for illegal immigrants bill and voted for cloture on that bill this summer, thus going against the wishes of the majority of Americans.
He does however have the foreign policy credentials that are needed in a President and while his negatives are very, very huge — his positives do out weigh them and I would fully support him were he to win the Republican Party nomination — however unlikely that may seem at this time.
1. Fred Thompson
It was Barry Goldwater who said that, “The turn will come when we entrust the conduct of our affairs to men who understand that their duty as public officials is to divest themselves of the power that they have been given.” The Republican party seems to have forgotten this.
Unlike almost every politician in recent memory, with Fred Thompson, I don’t get the impression that being a politician and the power that comes with it — are the motivating factors that drive him. I get the feeling that the strength of his Conservative convictions and his love of this country are what drive him the most. I don’t trust anybody who seems to be even slightly consumed with the thought of the type of power that the Presidency entails — and that is why I find Fred Thompson to be the most refreshing candidate in a long, long time.
I don’t view the office of the President as a position that rules over the United States — I see it as more of the position of a short term caretaker of our American Republic. The Oval Office should be filled by someone who wants to step out of private life and serve his nation during his term and then step back into private life. I have a feeling that Fred Thompson feels the same way.
It is in Fred Thompson, where Conservatives can find the best candidate that embodies the full spectrum of the modern Goldwater/Reagan Conservative movement. In fact out of all five of these candidates that I have mentioned, Fred Thompson is the only one who is an actual honest-to-goodness Conservative.
He is a strong federalist, probably the strongest federalist we have seen emerge with an actual chance to win in decades. He has serious thoughtful and insightful proposals on all of the issues. He has a solid voting record on all of the issues and plain and simple is the only candidate for anybody who truly wants a Conservative in office.