Back in June, Yosemite Sam mentioned we support Fred Thompson for President even before Thompson was officially in the race. Now that he is in the race, I want to explain our reasons.
As you can imagine, our primary reason is protecting the Second Amendment and with it our gun rights. We believe Thompson supports and will help protect these rights if he is elected President. We both know that Thompson is not a perfect candidate. Speaking only for myself now, he doesn't have a lot of experience and no executive experience. In fact, he has about the same experience as Barack Obama and John Edwards. So why Thompson?
I know he has made a few questionable votes in his Senate career, but no Senator can be pure thanks to the practice of tacking riders to necessary bills (like spending bills). Even with that, I believe he respects the Second Amendment. He campaigns in gun stores and at gun shows. More importantly, he vocally supports gun rights.
Unrelated to gun rights, Thompson has charisma and can speak well. He projects authority. He probably learned some of that in his acting career, but we've had about seven years of a President who cannot speak eloquently or project authority or charisma. The ability to talk and connect with people is a significant skill in a leader. It may seem like a small thing, but eloquence matters.
Those are the positive reasons to support Thompson, the others are negative in the sense that he's not any of the other candidates. Let's look at the Democratic field. Believe it or not Hillary is not the worse of that field for gun rights. I don't think she would actively campaign against gun rights, but she would be more than happy to sign any anti-gun bill that crossed her desk and veto any pro-rights bills. Let's not even imagine what her Supreme Court appointees would be like.
Obama is a Chicago pol--enough said. Edwards would probably do pretty much what Clinton would do. Let's not even mention Kucinich. Other than the also rans, that leaves Bill Richardson. He's not a perfect Second Amendment supporter, but at least he gives it credence. If it turned out to be a Giuliani versus Richardson race, I would go for Richardson. Still, I would worry about what the Democrats would do to gun rights if they held the House, Senate, and White House.
On the Republican side, McCain has proven he's no friend of gunnies. Giuliani is a New York City pol--enough said. Romney did little to remove onerous gun laws while governor of Massachusetts. The rest of the field doesn't have a chance, so I will ignore them except for Ron Paul.
Paul is an interesting figure. Some of his ideas intrigue me. He certainly would be a great supporter for gun rights. But his foreign policy thoughts are unworkable and perhaps dangerous.
Paul lost me completely though when he didn't repudiate 9/11 "truthers" completely and immediately. I don't believe he is a truther, but he's too close for comfort.
This post is not about the merits of truther arguments. I have read or viewed their arguments and came to the conclusion that all but a handful of them are self-deluded fools. Truthers irritate me even more than anti-gunnies. My irritation is nothing compared to Yosemite Sam's.
Thus, the field has narrowed down to Fred Thompson and Bill Richardson as a reluctant second choice. This is not the best of reasons to support a candidate, but the process of elimination leaves only these two.
Thus, run Fred run.