Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Ladies and Gentlemen, The Acting Candidate

When a politician comes out in a coyish, alluring way to announce maybe he'd like to run for and become the President of the US of A, I immediately distrust them. Either on the bus or off, as Ken Kesey used to say.

The coyish-candidate is Fred Thompson. He's a good actor. So is he acting like he's being coy or is he really being coy? He certainly acts patriotic in a video released in 2003. In response to his video, is this one:

The Fred-wooers and war-lovers are up in arms by Kleinheider's post about the above video.

My only complaint about that video is it needs to include reference to other soldiers, not just the American military. While I absolutely respect a person's decision to serve in the military, there are other ways to defend and fight for freedom, democracy and human rights. You, dear reader, know this and if you do not, it's time to re-evaluate your worldview.

It's comforting to think our military presence in Iraq is made of patriotic volunteers and no doubt there are many, many of such folk. There are also over 126,000 highly paid members of privately contracted "security forces" at work in Iraq too, funded by our tax dollars. And the more than half a million soldiers are still not enough to achieve whatever definition of success the current administration in Washington is seeking.

But for Fred to wax sentimental (act sentimental?) in his courtship with the presidency is rather hollow. Denigrating other groups, like students or reporters, is too much of a repetition of the currently divisive nature of Washington politics. If that's Fred's take on America, I hope he stays on the sidelines. Being dramatic is easy work. Tackling the issues and shaping the policies both at home and around the world is much more difficult and complex.

UPDATE: Radio talker Steve Gill rips angrily at both Kleinheider and Brittney for daring to even consider posting the Thomspson video. How dare K and B express an opinion??!! Especially on the internet!! Especially about a non-announced candidate for president!?!?!? Gill sets his Blamethrower to full power, which is the mundane status quo of talk radio (is it time to start calling these shows Hate Radio?)

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