Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wanting Reagan Back: Does Fred Thompson Elicit Hope?


The following article was published last week in German, in Berlin's conservative newspaper Jünge Freiheit.

Some of us have no trouble remembering the halcyon days when we lived under the governance of Ronald the Great, and we’ve been yearning for a suitable heir ever since. George H. W. Bush was turned out of office after one term, because he wasn’t Reaganesque at all, as his renege on his “no new taxes” pledge demonstrated. Then the Clintons subjected America to eight years of siege by the pot-smoking, establishment-hating, free sex Woodstock generation. Reaganostalgia consumed conservatives, but in 2000 they opted for another round of Bush only because he was better than the alternative. But he never vetoed anything his spend-happy Republican friends sent him, and we were still disappointed. Though strong on national defense, especially post 9-11, he only sparingly used the bully pulpit for which Mr. Reagan had been so well known, and he has suffered for it.

So as the next campaign season looms, we find ourselves hoping, yearning, wondering if we will ever see another Reagan. Oh if only! Especially now, with the liberal Democrats making such strides toward renewed occupation of the White House. But as each week, month, and year passed in the second Bush term, the prospects ebbed of any real challenge coming from any real conservative. Even Rush Limbaugh uttered the horrific prognostication that as things stand now, there’s an 80% chance that Hillary Clinton will be the next president.

Who can come to the rescue? Rudy Guiliani and John McCain are leading the pack, but they are no conservatives; Mitt Romney is more conservative, but he’s far from the lead. Newt Gingrich might run, but he capitulated to the Democrats once before, when he was Speaker of the House. And none of these seems to provide the charisma and conviction we all took for granted in the Great Communicator.

But suddenly and unexpectedly, one bright hope has emerged.

Out of nowhere, Fred Thompson, former senator from Tennessee, has people doing double takes. He’s not in the race yet either, but he’s laid down some pretty strong hints, and the odds are that when the day comes, he’ll have little trouble raising the needed funds. Conservatives everywhere are earnestly hoping he will run, and even beginning to get goose bumps at the thought of it.

The reason for the excitement? They say Mr. Thompson is a down-to-earth, grass-roots kind of guy. He’s also bona fide conservative: strong defense, smaller government, less taxes, pro-life, pro-marriage, pro-right-to-bear-arms. And he has something the others haven’t got: he can walk the walk and talk the talk. Those who have interviewed him come away impressed that he has no canned answers, and that whatever he says springs not from any spin machine, but from heartfelt conviction. He’s also a self-deprecating sort, having nothing to prove, at ease with questioners, and quite good at making his case. Perhaps it’s because of all the practice he gets, playing conservative prosecutor Arthur Branch on Law & Order. That’s right, he’s also an actor. In so many ways, so eerily like our bygone hero. Just where has he been hiding? Perhaps it’s too good to be true, but until anyone finds out otherwise, people are daring to wonder if Fred Thompson could be our next Reagan. And if so, the next American president.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about Dr. Ron Paul - the one TRUE conservative currently in the race? And by conservative, I mean liberatarian and strict constitutionalist.
http://www.ronpaul2008.com
Brian Westgate

Father Eckardt said...

Ron Paul? Someone tried to say that in the May 15th debate Wendell Goler inappropriately asked him, "Are you saying that we invited the attacks of 9-11?" with a convoluted excursus into the meaning of "invite." I say Goler was spot-on in his followup question, and Ron Paul was indeed saying that very thing. He evidently thinks it was our fault. I don't care much for Guiliani, but I could not have agreed more with his response. Frankly, Ron Paul is on the bottom of my list.

Anonymous said...

Then you are misreading what happened. As Dr. Paul has said, following the CIA, there is blowback. Cause and effect you see. It's not our fault, but it's simply their reaction to our policy. Dr. Paul has said it's the fault of the policy, not of the people, many times.

Father Eckardt said...

I do not believe that our policy regarding the Middle East is in any way responsible for the deaths of 3,000 Americans, and anyone who thinks it is has his hat on crooked. America has no imperialist desires, as history has proven. Have we colonized Japan, or Germany? No. Are we now colonizing Iraq? No. We don't do that kind of thing. So it's all about Israel, you might say? Since we are allies with Israel, therefore we are targest for Israel's enemies. But even this is a stretch: it says we have chosen certain alliances innocently enough (Israel is a democracy, so are we, etc.) and because of this, we are responsible for what Mohammed Atta and his band of fanatics have done to us. Honestly, just what have you been snorting?

Lawrence said...

The next election is becoming more about image as about anything else.

Fred Thompson looks and sounds presidential. While the other candidates (GOP and Dems alike) all look and sound like politicians.

Ron Paul is an interesting conundrum. Seems pretty logical on the surface, but a lot of his reasonings are based on what I believe to be falty data. I like a lot of his ideas but the more I learn about him the more I think he's kind of a nut.

The candidate I like the best is Duncan Hunter. But I don't think he can beat the Big Three 'progressives', Giuliani, McCain, and Romney.

Anonymous said...

You're right, Thompson does have the presidential look, and he may be my second choice.

Michael said...

Fr. E wrote: I do not believe that our policy regarding the Middle East is in any way responsible for the deaths of 3,000 Americans, and anyone who thinks it is has his hat on crooked.

Well, then, 3 former CIA officials (Michael Scheuer, former Chief of the CIA's Osama bin Laden Unit; former CIA counter-terrorism officer Philip Giraldi; and Ray McGovern, a 27 year CIA veteran), the 9/11 Commission, and Osama Bin Laden all have crooked hats. Perhaps one should read more about this subject before saying silly things.

Fr. E wrote: America has no imperialist desires, as history has proven. Have we colonized Japan, or Germany? No. Are we now colonizing Iraq? No. We don't do that kind of thing.

Colonialism is only *a* form of imperialism.

Fr. E wrote: So it's all about Israel, you might say?

No, but as the people above have written, it's one of several reasons.

Fr. E wrote: Honestly, just what have you been snorting?

Some of us actually read what the experts have written. Try it, you might like it!

Father Eckardt said...

Interesting that you put Osama bin Laden together in your group of who's hat is crooked. Sort of proves my point, don't you think? As for the 9-11 commission, I don't think I ever saw a more biased circus: Richard Clarke "apologizing" for the failures of the Bush Administration and others, etc. So Michael, you believe I am uninformed simply because I do not follow these and other "experts" of yours. Gotta love it.

Michael said...

Fr. E wrote: Interesting that you put Osama bin Laden together in your group of who's hat is crooked. Sort of proves my point, don't you think?

Sadly, you miss the point again. If your enemy tells you, explicitly, why he is attacking you, why ignore him? Is it because you don't like his reasons?

Fr. E wrote: As for the 9-11 commission, I don't think I ever saw a more biased circus: Richard Clarke "apologizing" for the failures of the Bush Administration and others, etc.

The point again is: they read and heard what the enemy wrote and said. Why would they not believe him?

Fr. E wrote: So Michael, you believe I am uninformed simply because I do not follow these and other "experts" of yours.

Again, the CIA experts also point to the enemy's own words. Why would they not believe him?

You are an expert on the liturgy. And when you write something about it, why would I not believe you? (If your words are not contrary to the Word & Confessions, that is.)

Father Eckardt said...

Is there not a great reason to take the enemy's words with more than a grain of salt, when it is well known that this particular enemy is heavily engaged in the propaganda war? Sadly (as you put it), I must painstakingly seek to make one thing clear to you: the responsibility for the deaths of 3,000 Americans is the enemy's. You may fault our policy all you want, but it is improper, I believe, to suggest that it caused those deaths. That, in my view, is to forget that the real evil here was done by murderers. This was my point.