There are a couple of breaking stories about President-Elect Fred Thompson, both of which look like trouble but neither of which is trouble at all. First, the story you have probably not read about: David Brody of the Christian Broadcasting Network posted an article on April 10 noting his concern about Fred Thompson supporting Lincoln Chafee, and noting that Thompson professed to agree with Chafee on a lot of issues. Does this mean Thompson is not for real?
It should not, and David Brody ought to know better. Chafee was a RINO. That is certain. But how much of a RINO was he? It never fails to amaze me how little my conservative friends grasp the superiority of RINOs over Democrats. Chafee had a lifetime conservative rating by the American Conservative Union of thirty-seven percent. How does that compare with his Democrat colleague from Rhode Island, Senator Reed? Reed has a lifetime rating by the ACU of seven percent.
RINO Chafee from ultra-liberal Rhode Island had a better conservative voting record than Democrat senators from ultra-conservative Louisiana, Arkansas, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota and West Virginia. Does anyone doubt that Senator Sheldon Whitehouse will have a much more liberal voting record as the Democrat who defeated Senator Chafee than Chafee had as a RINO?
But what is worse, as far as David Brody’s article is concerned, is that virtually everyone in the Senate agreed that Lincoln Chafee, whatever his politics, was an incredibly decent man. His father, John Chafee, was truly loved by everyone in the Senate and he was truly mourned when he died. The Christian Broadcasting Network is conservative (for which we should all be grateful) but what CBN should be most of all interested in is genuine decency and morality in private lives. Maybe Fred Thompson just wanted a good and honorable man to stay in the Senate. If so, wonderful.
The spectacle of Brody and Dobson nit-picking Fred Thompson, whose life has been a study in character, makes me think of Zell Miller’s comments to Democrats after 9-11, which was “Those nit-pickers need to find some other nits to pick.” Miller, by the way, was almost exactly as conservative as Lincoln Chafee, although Miller came from a much more conservative state.
What about the “big story,” Fred Thompson’s cancer? Recall that Thompson is volunteering private medical information that he does not have to reveal. We still do not have the medical records of Bill Clinton, and he served as president for eight years. Do we have the military records of John Kerry? How long did it take to even get his academic records? Here is Fred Thompson, before he is even in the race, telling us things that he has no obligation to tell us at all.
As I have noted in a previous article, Fred Thompson is a Tennessee Volunteer. He is undertaking, out of love for America, burdens that he has no duty to undertake, except for that transcendent duty that comes from character. The fact that he stood by a pariah in the Republican Party because he thought that was the right thing to do does not make me think less of him but more of him. The fact that he is telling the world an uncomfortable medical fact does not make me think less of him but more of him.
Fred Thompson, President-Elect Thompson, will enter the race. The more Americans see of this decent, honorable and brave man, the more Americans will see why he must be our next president. He is already taking hits (George Will, inexplicably to me, wrote disdainfully about Thompson recently, implying that he was “lazy,” like Reagan I suppose.) Thompson, who physically towers over people, will tower over all the ankle bites of lesser men. I wrote it in January; I wrote it in March; I write it today: he is the Next Reagan.
Bruce Walker has been a published author in print and in electronic media since 1990. He is a regular contributor to WebCommentary, Conservative Truth, American Daily, Enter Stage Right, Intellectual Conservative, NewsByUs and MenŐs News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.