Letters on Fred Thompson (updated)
I must take issue with some of the points made by Stephen Warshawsky regarding his scepticism of Fred Thompson's potentential presidential run. In closing he suggests that Mr. Thompson's apparent lack of "drive" to be President is somehow disqualifying. I would remind him that the greatest president ever, George Washington, exhibited that same reserveness of character. Instead of having a candidate with a drive for the office, I believe most constitutional conservatives would prefer someone of humility and a deep commitment to serve the public good. Notwithstanding Reagan's multiple efforts, it was his desire to implement his conservative ideals that informed his political career, not a desire for power. Bill Clinton had a vision to obtain the highest office ever since he shook JFK's hand as a young boy. Is that the kind of personality trait we want to duplicate?
J.R. Ryan of Concord, MA writes:
James Baker of Littleton, CO writes:
Has he ever had to defend himself against unfair attacks from the media and advocacy groups?
Thompson served two terms as senator from Tennessee. It is unreasonable to suppose that Thompson did not have to deal with unfair attacks both when he ran for that office and when he served.
So why is there so much interest all of a sudden in his potential candidacy? In my opinion, this reflects the deep disillusionment many conservatives feel over President Bush, and their hope that a "perfect candidate" will emerge to rescue them from having to choose from among the imperfect choices -- Giuliani, Romney, and McCain -- now available. While I share this disillusionment with President Bush, the notion that anyone, let alone Thompson, can be a "perfect candidate" is just silly.
He uses a straw man logical fallacy to create an image that conservatives are deeply disillusioned and hope for a perfect candidate. I do not know if this image is false or not, but merely Warshawsky's opinion certainly does not make it true, and in my case it is a false image. He creates a straw man that may be silly, and uses it to imply conservatives who are interested in Thompson are silly. A logical fallacy is weak basis for a position.
Also, that "social issues that conservatives care about -- school prayer, abortion, gun control, crime -- did not show any marked improvements during the Reagan years." does not necessarily reflect badly on Reagan or Thompson. Reagan had to deal with Democrat Party control of Congress. The next Republican president may as well.
And finally, there is Warshawsky's closing:
There is nothing remotely Reaganesque about that.
Is there any candidate currently running that Warshawsky thinks is more Reaganesque? If yes, who? If no, then, coupled with his stated disillusionment with Bush rather than Giuliani, Romney, and McCain, is "Reaganesque" really what Warshawsky is himself hoping for? Remember, according to Warshawsky, it is the straw man who views the other three choices as "imperfect', not Warshawsky.
Come to think of it, maybe he is not sabotaging his own work. Maybe Warshawsky is trying to sabotage Thompson before Thompson has a chance to articulate a possibly "Reaganesque" vision for the country. Hmmmm.
Arthur Williams of Denver, CO writes: