As a lot of people chatter about the departure of Fred Thompson from the race, I’m sitting here thinking about the last 9 months and wondering how I can ever look my party in the face again. For that matter, I don’t see how I can look my fellow voters in the face. Fred Thompson ran the race we all claim we want to see. For that, he got disparaging remarks about his vigor, his ambition, his wife, and his personal appearance.
It really is sad. We claim we want a candidate to talk seriously about the issues, to put forth bold policy proposals and debate on the merits of his plan. In a race crowded with style, Fred was all substance. Yet the people looked away.
In a campaign marked by cat-fights between candidates constantly engaging in underhanded digs at others’ religion, age, and life story, Fred took the high road and stuck to records, and policy. With debates that more closely resembled a three ring circus of 30 second sound bites, Fred stood, hands down, taller than the rest and demanded a little dignity.
The one “failing” of Fred Thompson seems to have been the fact that he refused to be treated like some retarded, inbred poodle jumping through every hoop the media threw in front of him.
When he built and unveiled his Internet presence, the media panned his effort with calls that he ‘plans to run his whole show online.’
When he and Jeri appeared in public, the media savaged his wife as a gold-digger, an interloper in the First Lady sweepstakes, and as a micromanaging puppet master working the strings of the campaign.
When he chose to spend time with his family, the media called him lazy, disinterested, and uncommitted.
Yet that lazy, uncommitted, disinterested candidate was the only one in the race saying something that mattered. He was the only one talking in complete sentences about the issues our nation faces. He was putting forth plans that got noticed by economists and experts as being serious and substantive. He was the only one demanding an end to the pageantry and a beginning to a new era of serious policy based campaigns. He was the only one that made it through the debates with his honesty and integrity in check.
It was, in short, exactly the kind of race we claim we want. He was, by placing his priorities on his family and not the sideshow, exactly the candidate we claim we want.
Yet once we got the campaign we’ve asked for, and once we got the candidate we asked for, he was labeled ‘lazy’ and ‘not serious’.
Well, at this point, all I can say to America is congratulations. You will get the President you deserve. You can pick from 32 flavors of vanilla. You can pick from the 6 remaining monkeys who are rabid enough in their pursuit of self-glorification that they will dance as you grind your organ. You can hold your nose and cast a ballot for candidates that perpetuate this ridiculous system we have created.
As for me, I’ll be sitting out the Presidential election this year. I am unable to find anything in the remaining candidates on either side that gives me hope at a time when we really need it. I’ll sit and ponder the death of statesmanship knowing that our American Idol obsessed culture has taken another step away from electing leaders and another step down the road of electing entertainers.
At this point I don’t see why you don’t chuck it all and simply let the winner of Bruno and Carrie’s Dance War run our nation for the next four years. I’ll bet they dance to your music better than any of the candidates you have left.