WWFD - What Will Fred Do?
By Josh Painter Posted in Archived — Comments (17) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »
What will Fred do? That's the big question around the Fredosphere on this day following the South Carolina GOP primary.
Many are calling for him to stay in the race. After all, Fred's third place finish beat out Mitt Romney, who had invested considerable time and millions of dollars in SC. Rudy's not getting out, and Fred has finished higher than America's Mayor in five of the six primaries that Republicans have contested so far.
Some have even mapped out strategies for him - skip Florida and concentrate on the Southern states that will figure so prominently in Super Tuesday. Hold out for a brokered convention.
Still others are saying that as the only conservative left in the race, Thompson must stay in to represent conservative principles. Pardon my skepticism, but the Republican Party doesn't seem to be concerned much with conservative principles this election cycle.
In fact, the Republican party has been consistently giving moderates the gold mine and conservatives the shaft ever since the day Ronald Reagan packed his bags and left the White House to return to his beloved California ranch.
Im my opinion, the GOP has turned its back on conservatives too many times, and now it's time for conservatives to turn their backs to it. This was done on a relatively small scale in 2006, and the Democrats took both houses of Congress away from the Republicans. That was a warning shot fired across the bow of the U.S.S. RNC, and it went largely unheeded. Perhaps they need a less subtle message.
I don't know if conservatives will ever be able to regain control of the Republican party again without it having to be taken apart and put back together, but I somewhat doubt it. Maybe with the Clintons back in the White House the Grand Old Party will learn once again to embrace the conservative principles which made it a winner in the Reagan years - maybe not.
Some would like to see Sen. Thompson remain in the race to keep Mike Huckabee from getting the nomination. Although Fred has performed a valuable service to his country by pointing out that The Huckster isn't exactly what he appears to be, now the race is moving on to more states where the other guy from Hope can't depend on identity politics to keep pulling in big vote totals.
So, what will Fred thompson do? The only thing we can be sure of right now is that he will do what he thinks is right. He cannot carry the conservative burden for a party that won't even give him water. He didn't get in the race to stop any one particular rival candidate. Sen. Thompson got in the race because he was concerned about the kind of country that his children and grandchildren would have to grow up in. He was concerned that none of the GOP canidates were talking about federalism or entitlements or some of the other issues that were on his mind.
But things have changed. The other Republican candidates have adopted many of Fred's issues and made them part of their own campaigns. This is a good thing if they do more than just pay lip service to these issues and the first principles which are their foundation. I'm certain that one thing that is weighing heavily on Fred's decision is just how much can he depend on these big-government Republicans to hold true to Fred's own principles after which one of them is given the nomination. Perhaps his friend John McCain can convince him. Perhaps even Mitt Romney, who doesn't have a history of being consistent on the issues, can persuade FDT that he has seen the light and will faithfully be guided by it. It's up to them to make the sale to Fred.
Whatever Fred decides to do, I'm supporting him. If he stays in, I'll continue to blog for him, defend him and talk him up. If he decides to return to the good life, surrounded by the family he so adores, how could I blame him? He worked hard for that good life, and the Lord knows he deserves to be able to enjoy it. He certainly received shabby treatment from the party that he's tried so hard to save from itself.
So I don't know what Fred will do. But I do know what I will do. I'm a conservative, not a Republican. I gave that particular political party up when it took a sharp left turn and left me behind in 2006. So I'll go to the polls, vote in the GOP primary (my state allows it) and in the general election, and if his name isn't on the ballot either time, I'll write it in for president. I'll also write in Duncan Hunter's name for vice president for good measure. Then I'll sleep well that night knowing that I voted my convictions.