As it becomes increasing clear that Fred Thompson will enter the race for the Republican nomination and also that he will immediately be at least equal to Rudy Giuliani in that race and that, if he wins the nomination (which he surely will), that he would be the favorite to win the presidential race in November (with a highly energized Republican base and a Democrat base increasingly disenchanted by the amoral and power hungry leaders of their party), the Left will begin to chip away more and more at Thompson.
One of the favorite tactics of the Left, when its priests and priestesses want to interfere in Republican politics, is to tell us that a great candidate is “not really conservative” or that he does not say what he believes. These druids of the Left vaguely understand that sixty percent of the American people are conservative and that only about thirty-five percent are liberal. They also faintly grasp that any candidate who ran as a conservative against a Democrat who was an unabashed Leftist would win in a landslide (recall that Reagan in 1984 came very close to carrying every single state in the nation.)
So, Leftist pundits have already begun telling us yokels and yahoos in Flyover Country that Fred Thompson is not a real conservative, that he is a Washington insider, that is voting record will disenchant “the base” (i.e. the sixty percent of Americans who are conservative), and that he is playing us for the fool. Always beware of Leftists bearing gifts or advice. They are not the friends of America, of religious people, of freedom, or of anything remotely approaching decency and honor.
No human is going to please every conservative and no one person or group can even define what the “conservative” position is on each issue. Recall how often Rush Limbaugh has taken positions that upset the vast majority of his audience. Rush does not care. Ninety percent of the time he takes positions that are in accordance with what you or I would consider “conservative,” but not all the time. Recall when Ronald Reagan was re-elected what his top priority for his second term: nuclear disarmament. I daresay that few conservatives would have agreed with that, but nearly all conservatives would have agreed that Ronald Reagan, like Rush Limbaugh, took his positions based solely upon what he thought was righteous and true.
The whole idea of “conservatism” – a misnomer, as I describe in my book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie – is individual conscience acting in concert with a Blessed Creator. The “conservative” position on any issue is to do and to say what one thinks is noble and proper, without regard to personal advantage or popularity. Our Founding Fathers were the ultimate “conservatives,” even though they often disagreed about what sorts of policies government should take or refrain from taking. The unity of our Founding Fathers was that they pledged their “life, property and sacred honor” in support of the proposition that “all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights” and that “to secure these rights governments are formed among men.” That is as close to “conservatism” as we can get.
So, is Fred Thompson a “conservative”? Well, he is leaving a very lucrative Hollywood career as well as an equally appealing radio career as the voice to succeed Paul Harvey in order to drag himself, his family and his friends through the muck of the Leftist smear machine. It sure does not sound like he is ambitious for the sake of ambition. Thompson left the Senate when he would have walked to re-election without even breaking a sweat in 2002 and he would have, at least, inevitably moved up the ranks of the Senate leadership (recall his fellow Tennesseans, Bill Frist and Howard Baker, were both Majority Leader of the Senate, a post of great power – and Thompson was as popular as either of those two senators.) That also sure does not sound like ambition for the sake of ambition.
What about the dig that Thompson has not presented a PowerPoint presentation on how to create Heaven on Earth? Conservatives do not believe that is possible and certainly do not believe government can create Heaven on Earth (although it sure can create Hell on Earth.) But these “Leftists Bearing Gifts” also are either illiterate or liars (or both.) Thompson has written extensively and very directly about what he would do as president. He would immediately, for example, pardon Scooter Libby, the victim of the most obscene lynching since Dreyfus. That is a clear, potentially dangerous and principled political position.
Ignore the dire warnings that a Thompson candidacy could implode by failing to rise to expectations: Americans expect honest conservative governance. Ignore the veiled suggestions that Thompson presidency would not be a true conservative administration: nothing in his life indicates that he would be anything different from just who he says he is. And always beware of Leftists bearing gifts, especially advice about the “problems” with our 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 MenÕs News Daily. His first book, Sinisterism: Secular Religion of the Lie by Outskirts Press was published in January 2006.