Thursday, September 6, 2007
New Republican Presidential Candidate Fred Thompson May Treat The Symptoms, But Only Ron Paul Will Address The Disease
Of course, the punditry is abuzz over last night's formal entry into the Republican Presidential Sweepstakes by former Tennessee U.S. Senator Fred Thompson, who announced his intentions to Jay Leno on the Tonight Show, followed by rousing applause.
Since much of the media has already treated him like a Presidential candidate, his formal announcement almost seems anti-climatic. Rasmussen currently has him second at 23%, just one point behind Rudy Giuliani. The National Journal has been rating him along with other candidates for weeks now; according to their latest Republican ratings published on July 30th, they place him third, behind Rudy Giuliani (first) and Mitt Romney (second). Local Utah reaction published in comments to this story in the Deseret Morning News. Biography on Wikipedia.
And in a late-breaking development, Tennessee's U.S. Senator Lamar Alexander, a former Presidential candidate himself, has just endorsed Fred Thompson.
Thompson was well-prepared. He told Leno that he actually started seriously discussing the possibility in March 2007, and that he doesn't believe his later start will hinder him.
After the break, Thompson then discussed some policy issues with Jay Leno. He continues to support the war in Iraq, believing we should remain there until the Iraqi government can consistently provide for the country's security. He also refused to rule out pre-emptive war against Iran, citing as justification Iran's introduction of IEDs and trained fighters into Iraq, as well as their support of Hezbollah and Hamas, in addition to Iran's nuclear ambitions. However, he would use war only as a last resort.
Thompson also discussed why he thinks America is becoming increasingly isolated in the world, citing envy and jealousy of our superpower status and our advanced standard of living as primary factors. But he admitted that our government's efforts at communication are not always clear and unequivocal, and would seek to correct that problem and bring our traditional "allies" back into the War Against Terror.
A look at Fred Thompsons's official campaign website, http://www.fred08.com/, reveals his core philosophy. He believes in federalism - not the corrupt, corpulent countefeit in force today, but the more limited constitutional form conceived and implemented by the Founding Fathers. He believes the relationship between the federal government and state governments has strayed far outside the boundaries intended by the Tenth Amendment. He cites the judicial branch and its activism as a primary catalyst for this change. Instead of operating as a co-equal branch of government, the judiciary has often acted as the pre-eminent branch of government, legislating as well as adjudicating.
An examination of his Senatorial voting record from 1994-2003, culled from multiple sources, shows some consistency with the aforementioned worldview. Both Americans for Better Immigration and Numbers USA tracked, recorded, and analyzed his votes on immigration bills during his career in the Senate. The results show that while Thompson was strong on border control and other measures to prevent illegals from entering the country in the first place, he was weak on amnesty for illegals and on guest workers. CQ Politics also compiled a two-page PDF document listing all of his Senate votes from 1997-2002. And yet another site, VoteSmart, provides information on his positions and prior voting record.
Indeed, Fred Thompson impresses me as a moderate, common-sense, stand-up guy who understands the Constitution and wants to return us to its roots - somewhat. Too bad his vision is not inclusive of George Washington's counsel to avoid entangling alliances. Too bad that instead of envisioning America as the strictly constitutional republic recommended in Pat Buchanan's book, "A Republic, Not An Empire", Thompson is willing for us to continue being an empire, or, at the very least, an imperial republic. Perhaps in previous years, a reformer like Fred Thompson would have been adequate - before we found ourselves with 12-20 million illegal immigrants in the country - most of them Hispanic invaders. Or before our national debt reach $9 trillion. Or before our military became systematically bled by the running sore in the Middle East. Or before our civil liberties became systematically attacked by intrusive legislation such as the USA Patriot Act and Real ID.
However, all these conditions have overtaken us, and the window of opportunity for reform has clearly passed. Reform is no longer possible - we require revolution. Peaceful revolution, such as that which took down Soviet Russia in 1991 and which can take down Soviet America today. Only one candidate in the race seems to understand this - Ron Paul. Paul is willing to take us much further back to organic constitutionality than Fred Thompson or any other contender. And Ron Paul is proving to be a viable candidate, winning several straw polls already. The National Journal shows him ranking sixth and climbing in their July 30th poll.
Americans for Better Immigration show Paul to be much stronger on immigration reform than Thompson. The issues page on Ron Paul's campaign website show how much further he is prepared to go to restore constitutional government. Among the more prominent solutions: Withdraw from all organizations and trade deals such as NAFTA, CAFTA, etc. which adversely impinge upon American sovereignty, wage war only with a Congressional declaration and then only in the national defense, oppose further moves towards a national ID, and to oppose the Federal Reserve. These proposals bypass the symptoms and strike at the heart of the disease itself. And Ron Paul's voting record in Congress, as documented on Vote Smart, strictly reflects his philosphy - he customarily doesn't vote for a measure unless he can cite the specific constitutional authority.
Other Republican candidates may be slightly stronger on immigration, but they have their limitations. Tom Tancredo is the ultimate stalwart on immigration reform, but he is vitriolically opposed by the Latino lobbies and the liberals. Plus he tends to be a one-trick pony; immigration reform is his defining issue. Duncan Hunter is stronger on immigration reform, but he is too supportive of our neocon interventionist foregin policy. If you want reform, vote for someone else. If you want revolution, vote for Ron Paul.