The Discerning Texan
-- Edmund Burke
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Message to South Carolinians: READ THIS
Commentators are citing the unpredictability of the Republican primary contests as proof that Reagan conservatism is dead when precisely the opposite conclusion is warranted.
The main reason the conventional wisdom is being shattered in the primaries is that conservative voters, so far, have not been persuaded there is an electable, reliable conservative in the race.
But as I've stated before, I believe Fred Thompson is a reliable, consistent conservative. There are others in the field I could support, but not without some reservations. The more I learn about Fred and observe him in action, the more convinced I become that he's the right choice.
I was among those who urged Fred to step up and prove to the people he wanted the job. Regardless of whether Fred actually had "fire in his belly," the unmistakable perception out there was that he did not, so I encouraged him to add a little spring to his step.
But I've also appreciated Fred's unwillingness to be somebody he is not. He will not respond like a puppet when a debate moderator tells him to raise his hand to signify a childishly simplistic approval or disapproval of a certain policy. He will not be goaded by interviewers into saying things he doesn't feel comfortable saying. He won't divide us with class envy or pretend we can be friends with rogue regimes or terrorists. He does not promise a chicken in every pot or pander to liberals on global warming.
He will not otherwise tailor his positions to suit the demands of particular constituencies. For example, he has the courage to preach that Social Security is in trouble, but unlike most others, he doesn't surrender to the oppressive populist seduction to urge government fixes for it or for health care. Instead, he courageously tells us -- if we'll listen -- that the answers lie in greater market forces. (Listen up, conservatives.)
Fred does not run from his record -- more to the point, he doesn't need to. He shoots straight without the constant self-serving reminders that he does, as in telling us he's driving the "Straight Talk Express."
More importantly, Fred is right on the issues, and there's little doubt his positions are firm. Research his stances; read his position papers. You'll find he's very strong in all areas important to mainstream conservatives, including national defense, taxes, spending, life, immigration, federalism, appointing originalist judges, health care and education.
I'm not drooling over Fred or saying his record is flawless, but I am saying he's the real deal, and it's a bit disappointing that more haven't taken a closer look.
I think this is due partly to his laid-back personality and partly to his timing. He peaked about the time he was contemplating entering the race but not acting on it. By the time he jumped in, it was anticlimactic, and he still hasn't recovered from that reversal.
There has also been a negative momentum hovering over his already-stalled campaign, acting as a psychological barrier to his catching fire among conservative voters.
There is simply too much herd mentality among us about electability. We tell ourselves a candidate is not inspiring, then pretty soon we're convinced he's unelectable, and, voila, he almost becomes so. Yet, at that very moment, he's proving to us that he is quite presidential, quite electable and quite motivated for the job -- if we can only shed our predispositions against his "electability." Since electability is often a matter of collective perception, it can turn on a dime, as with the reversal of the respective fortunes of screaming Howard Dean and somniferous John Kerry in 2004.
This primary season, relatively speaking, has just begun. But Fred is now up against the wall. How can we expect him to have done much better than he has to date with everyone prattling on about the overwhelming odds against him? The "experts" continue to be wrong at almost every turn, so why can't they be wrong about Fred, too? It's time to quit empowering them by following their dictatorial doom-prophecies. Itâ€™s encouraging that John Zogby's latest South Carolina poll shows that while levels of support for McCain and Huckabee "have remained static," Fred is starting to move up.
Supporters have asked Fred to step up, and he has -- he has shone brilliantly in the last month, setting himself head and shoulders above the pack in many cases. Now it's time for conservative voters to step up and quit placing artificial limitations on Fred, and on themselves.
Fred has answered the conservatives' call. Shouldn't we answer his?
Romney has already left town. Rudy hasn't been around either. Huckabee...well I have more to say on him. But Fred Thompson? What's not to like?
Fred is the exact opposite: he is a conservative cut right out of the Reagan cloth. He would always do whatever is necessary to protect this country. Even if it means squirting a little water up the nose of guys like the man who planned 9/11 for Bin Laden.
Unlike Huckabee and McCain (and all of the Democrats), Fred's idea of the Presidency is not to preside over America's slow decline into also-ran status. He's a Federalist, and his judges will be out of the Clarence Thomas and Antonin Scalia mold. He won't take crap off anyone, be it foreign enemy or domestic foe. He will simplify the tax code and cut tax rates. He will make permanent the Bush tax cuts, including the repeal of the Death Tax and Marriage Penalty. He'll veto any attempt to nationalize our health care, he'll not stand still for earmarks, he will lock down the borders, and he will enforce the law. And he will rebuild our military to compete with the Chinese, Russians, who are loaded with money and also loaded for Bear. He will not allow America to become a second-rate power. Isn't that what we expect of a President?
Most importantly: he will Restore PRIDE in American again, the way Reagan did. Remember that feeling? Those stirring words on D-Day at Normandy? "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall"? That is the kind of conservative Fred Thompson is.
You can take a step in that direction this weekend by voting your conscience, and ignoring what the leftists in elite media say. South Carolinians have a long, proud history of standing up for what is right rather than taking the easy way out. This Saturday is another opportunity to do just that.
We live in a critical time; in an hour where a real conservative standout is needed more than ever. Fred is that man: you know it, and I know it. Do the Palmetto state proud on Saturday. Step up for your country, as you always have. Go to the polls and show all the pundits how inane their opinion polling is. Let's take our country back.