Sunday, November 4, 2007

It's Fred!

Fred Thompson has favorably impressed me from the first time I ever heard of him. From his role in bringing down the corrupt administration of Tennessee Governor Ray Blanton and getting justice for whistle blower Marie Ragghianti, to his role as minority counsel in the Watergate hearings, to his service as Tennessee Senator, I have liked Fred Thompson.

When Fred Thompson announced for President on the Jay Leno show, however, I was less than impressed. With my disgust with the Bush administration, I wanted to see someone who would distance himself from Bush. Thompson didn’t do it, but I guess that was just too much to expect from any Republican candidate seeking his Party's nomination. (see “Not Ready to Jump …")

Today, I watched Fred Thompson being interviewed by Tim Russert on Meet the Press and liked what I heard. I am supporting Fred Thompson for President.

On the social issues: He and I are in the same place. He is a social conservative but not a hardliner in the pocket of the religious right. He doesn’t pander. He said the Federal Government should never have gotten involved in the Terri Schiavo case. Amen, Fred!

He flatly stated he did not support the Republican Party platform plank that calls for passing a Right to Life Amendment to the Constitution. He opposes abortion but does not support a constitutional amendment to outlaw it. He thinks Roe vs. Wade was wrongly decided and hopes someday it will be reversed. If it is, then no doubt many states will legalize abortion. He stated he believes in Federalism and the people of each state have the right to decide their states abortion policy. He also said that while he has always voted pro-life, that he admits that at times he has had doubts about the moment at which life begins. No doubt the most pro-life element in the Party will not be pleased with Fred’s response. Most people who consider themselves pro-life, I suspect, have a position closer to that of Thompson however, than to that of the pro-life activist.

On the issue of gay marriage, he said that while he believes marriage should be between a man and a women, if some state wants to define a marriage as a union of two people of the same sex, then that should be up to the people of that state.

On Foreign Policy: Fred said for now we need to stay the course in Iraq. Our policy is making progress. However, Fred does not become jingoistic and rattle sabers when talking about Iraq. He does not sound like a man on a crusade. He impresses me as someone who would be pragmatic and decide the best course of action as events unfold.

On Iran, he warned of the danger of a pre-emptive strike and said we need better intelligence and he was critical of the intelligence failure in Iraq. He said we should be doing more to support the moderate forces in Iran. While he said he would do all he could to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power, I do not fear that a Fred Thompson Presidency would prematurely conduct a pre-emptive strike.

On these and other issues, I agreed with Thompson, but there are other issues that were not addressed. I do not know the details of Thompson’s position on other issues that I care about such as combating global warming or immigration reform. I may not agree with Thompson on every issue, but I don’t suspect there is anyone with whom I would agree 100% on every issue. As far as I am concerned however, I care as much about how someone thinks as what they may think.

Fred Thompson has the intelligence, the temperament, and the integrity to make a good president. I do not take caution and thoughtfulness as a sign of weakness. We have had enough cowboy politics; we do not need a knee-jerk ideologue who will shoot first and ask questions later. Fred Thompson’s thoughtful nuanced position will not play well with those who want a passionate hardliner. Anyone who finds policy-making easy, however, concerns me. The issues we face are tough. Certainty of the righteousness of one’s position, I do not see as a virtue. Thompson’s positions do not translate well to sound bites or slogans. Many of his positions do not fit neatly on a bumper sticker, but Fred Thompson is the kind of thoughtful, moderate, modest, conservative we need as President. He is reassuring. He is someone I could trust.

I am making my donation and putting a Thompson bumper sticker on my car.

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1 comment:

  1. Alright! I proudly park my car, which just happens to have a Fred 08 sticker on it, in front of United Way's front door every work day.

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