Sadly, I find myself in the role of gloom and doom naysayer these days when it comes to politics. Looking ahead at the presidential race in ’08, I’ll level with you: I have great concern.
Fred Thompson is being looked at as the conservatives’ great white hope. Like many of us, I was excited about the possibility at first. But as time passes, I have to ask the question: what are his conservative credentials? And can he win?
He gives lip service to being pro- life. It’s a message we’ve heard countless times from countless candidates, yet abortion is with us still. Some of us are left to assume that Republicans who talk this way are simply pandering and are not sincere.
Another thing that has not changed is the expansion of the federal government into areas into which it has no business. Fred Thompson has given no clear indication that he’s serious about shrinking government and reversing this trend.
As for illegal immigration, his comments at a recent Lincoln Club meeting raised my eyebrow. “I don’t think people are concerned about the 12,000,000 illegal aliens who are already here,” he said. “They’re worried about the next 12 million.” It sounds as though he is not concerned about the illegals who are already here. For your informationl, Mr. Thompson, I am concerned about the 12 million who are already here. After all, they are the ones causing the problem in terms of crime, disease, and driving down American wages. What is Thompson’s plan is to deal with them? If you are “not concerned,” then does that mean you favor amnesty?
And more importantly, Thompson’s feelings on the Iraq war do not resonate with the American people. He has asserted that invading Iraq was “the right thing to do.” This message may resonate with Republican primary voters, but it’s a sure loser with the rest of America. Bob Novak has predicted that If Americans are still dying in Iraq in ’08, Republicans won’t win. When Novak talks like that, he’s right more often times than not.
Thompson is also an advocate of globalism and free trade policies. As noted by conservative commentators like Phyllis Schlafly, it is these policies that are sending blue collar jobs overseas. These lost jobs turned places like Michigan and Ohio into killing fields for the G.O.P. in November of ’06.Without Ohio, a Republican cannot win. And it was in Ohio that Democrat Sherrod Brown won on a platform of economic nationalism and anti- free trade. Brown picked up all the votes from workers who lost auto manufacturing jobs when their companies moved to China. It is the policies that Fred Thompson believes in that those workers blame for the loss of their jobs.
In all likelihood, Ohio is gone for the G.O.P.
All of this gloom leads to another question: why has Fred not announced yet? At this point in a non-candidacy, Fred is probably doing internal polling. I’m worried that these polls are painting a dismal picture for a Republican in ’08, and Fred is waiting to announceme that he won’t run. But I hope that I’m wrong.