It has been a long time since I started thinking about the 2008 Presidential Campaign. Which candidate to support. Which candidate ultimately would be the greatest vehicle both for the Republican Party and for common-sense conservative ideals. To make that decision, you have to go all of the way back to the beginning.
You have to start thinking about Barry Goldwater.
Sen. Goldwater is the godfather of the modern conservative movement. His Presidential Campaign of 1964, while disastrous at the time at the ballot box, led directly to the Reagan Revolution and the Contract with America. His brand of Republicanism was founded on the principles of strong national defense, fiscal conservatism, and smaller government. Somewhere along the way, the Republican Party got away from those concepts as our first principles. I have said it before, and I will say it again; victory in November was used to justify a lot of unpalatable things. Expanded social spending. No Child Left Behind. More and more pork barrel spending. What we need in 2008 is a candidate for President who understands these principles. The three "front-runners" for the Presidency on the Republican side, as defined by the media, all have flaws that get away from those core principles;
And while I will support our GOP nominee in the general election, there is no possible way that I can support their candidacies in the primary. Their positions just are not there for me, whether it be on taxes, guns, or health care, to support them this early in the process. And that is why I am supporting this man:
- John McCain helped pass the greatest restriction on political speech in generations through the McCain-Feingold Act. Additionally, he opposed the tax cuts proposed by the Bush Administration early in his first term (though he had a come to Jesus moment recently on the issue).
- Rudy Guiliani, despite all of his efforts in cleaning up crime in New York City, is strenuously opposed to Second Amendment rights and, until recently, had been vague about his idea of federalism as it relates to abortion..
- Mitt Romney is an enigma; is he or is he not a conservative, at any level? Regardless of whether or not the Mitt Romney ca. 1994, Mitt Romney ca. 2002, or the Mitt Romney of present day is the real Mitt Romney, that does not even begin to address the issue of his term as Governor of Massachusetts, particularly his "RomneyCare' health care package that forces all businesses to provide health care.
Fred Thompson is my choice to be the next President of the United States. Sen. Thompson espouses the conservative principles of a strong national defense (including securing the borders), reducing the size of government, and fiscal responsibility. Additionally, he just has the kind of conversational, common sense demeanor about him that will be necessary to connect our conservative ideals with the electorate. None of the other candidates in the race have the broad conservative platform and issue positions as Sen. Thompson does.
Is he a perfect candidate? Of course not, who is? He did vote for McCain-Feingold, but at least has the sense to realize that he made a mistake in voting for it. We don't need a Presidential candidate who is infallible. Just one who is committed to conservative Republican principles and understanding the role of government in a Republican administration.
That is not to say that this was an easy call. For a long time I waited to see what Newt Gingrich would do. Nobody can think and speak as articulately on Republican issues, and can come up with ideas that fit within the Republican worldview as the former Speaker. I see no other candidate in the race who can offer the range of solutions that Speaker Gingrich could as President. However, the fact that the Speaker has spent over two years talking about running for President without taking affirmative steps toward that goal are puzzling and gave me great pause. And the likelihood of Speaker Gingrich winning the nomination are not so good at the moment, particularly given the fact that he is not formally in the race and seems to be stalling until November, barely two months before Iowa and New Hampshire to announce. I am not certain that he is going to ultimately decide to get into the race at that late of a date and be able to succeed.
Now, it is time to finally nominate a conservative Republican candidate for President for 2008. This is Fred Thompson's moment.
Labels: 2008 Presidential Election, Fred Thompson, Republican