Will Fred Thompson enter the presidential primary race or not? This has been a major question for political pundits for several months now. I think the answer is very likely to be yes, at least from all we can tell right now. I believe by Labor Day he will be an “official” candidate for the Republican nomination. A lot has been written about Fred Thompson, some favorable and some critical. This is par for the course. One thing Fred Thompson undoubtedly has, and few candidates have it, is the power to speak impressively to people in front of a camera. He is a professional, very convincing and impressive in this medium. This alone will help his candidacy I am sure.
I have no “horse” to ride politically. In fact I will not endorse a candidate since I lead a non-profit mission and believe it is wise to stay away from such endorsements for both personal and legal reasons. My views on social issues are those of a (moderate) conservative bent. I am pro-life, opposed to stem cell research on human embryos and opposed to homosexual marriage but I question the marriage amendment route. But I also believe the government, especially on a local and state level, has a responsibility to help care for its weakest and poorest citizens when private charity can not adequately do the job needed. My overall political philosophy is called “classical liberalism” (not the same as the modern political left). I believe we need to defend freedom in a number of critical areas, especially in the marketplace. I also believe we need to defend free speech and open religious expression more aggressively. And I believe we can solve many problems by reducing the size of most governments, especially the federal government, on a very large scale.
Thompson intrigues me for several reasons. The former star of television’s “Law & Order” is a 65-year old attorney who has two children under the age of four. His wife brings her own baggage and this, combined with her good looks, feeds the gossip mills. But what is Thompson really saying about his run for the White House if he makes it? In an interview this week he was quoted as saying, “There is no reason for me to run just to be president.” I believe him. One of the frequent criticisms of Fred Thompson, the one term senator from Tennessee, was that he didn’t throw himself into politics completely. Maybe this would prove to be an asset in an odd kind of way. He seems less than ambitious about himself and when he says he will run because of what he believes the country needs it just might be true and it might resonate with people. We shall see.
In the recent interview Thompson said he would put his ideas openly before the public and see what happens. He claims to have some far-reaching ideas. From the sound of it he does. He also claims that he will step on many political toes. He says that we have fought in Iraq very poorly because we did not commit enough to the military effort and we wanted “a free ride” all along. He adds that he opposes the prescription drug benefit program that was added to a Medicare program that “is