Today (still Tuesday in Wisconsin), Fred Thompson announced that he has withdrawn his candidacy for president. This is a huge loss to believers in limited government as Fred was the last person standing who represented us and could win in the national election. I believe he was the only hope for a soft landing when the bloated government and all of its myriad schemes inevitably collapse. All of the other candidates are singing some variation of FDR’s song of government interventions and incentives.
There was a popular meme that Fred didn’t want it badly enough. The emphasis should be on ‘badly’. No, he didn’t sit up, offer his paw and roll over on command. He didn’t heel and he didn’t beg. It is true. He didn’t want to be president badly enough to, well … behave badly. Good for him. No honest and sane person would actually want that job. He offered himself as a candidate but could not bring himself to lie about wanting badly to be president. He did not plot and start his campaign years in advance. Our loss.
I hope Fred keeps himself available as an option if this primary season runs all the way to the convention. He is the only candidate that is not seriously flawed to some major subset of traditional Republicans. The only constituency that found him irretrievably flawed was the ‘our guy at any cost including our principles’ constituency and we would be best to abandon them. They already have one party.
Today’s economic carnival ride is just one more warning of the crumbling foundation supporting the superstate. The question is not if the superstate will collapse, but how it will and what extremes it will reach in its attempt to survive. Who will we have leading us through that painful time? We in the state of Wisconsin have just been informed today that because of faltering tax revenues, there will be a budget shortfall. Programs will need to be cut. Imagine what it will be like when the real economic ‘corrections’ hit. Imagine this happening at the national level and to the national programs. And imagine what the proponents of solution by government will be proposing.
Fred, please don’t rest easy until after the convention. This is the first convention in a very long time when the decision might actually be made at the convention. Don’t rule out options. Keep your name on the ballot wherever you can. Please don’t endorse anybody. No true friend would expect you to place their friendship ahead of your personal principles. Especially not if they are also a person who understands principles. I agree that the vice presidency is a bad idea. But please keep yourself available until another candidate is confirmed as the Republicans’ presidential candidate. At that point, you can do no more.
Thank you Fred for running and giving a lot of us even a brief moment of optimism. If you are still on my state’s ballot for our primary, I will cast my vote for you. I don’t want to miss my best chance since Reagan to vote for instead of against someone running for president.