On Friday, January 11, Human Events posted on HumanEvents.com its official endorsement of former Tennessee Sen. Fred Thompson in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. (See last week’s cover story.)
Response to the endorsement was immense: Our website received hundreds of responses within hours. As shown in the small sampling of responses below, many readers were encouraged by our endorsement, some were disappointed, others were downright upset and a few were, well, detached from reality.
Here they are:
I’ve been sort of holding back making any donation to anyone’s campaign until now. This article is about the best I’ve seen with respect to comparing and contrasting the candidates. I will be donating to the Thompson campaign. Thanks to Human Events for the article.
Human Events has made a loyal reader out of an interloper (me) with the endorsement of Thompson. He is the most reliable conservative in the race.
—GP Martin, Florida
I will now stop reading and cancel all future Human Events mailings, as you are one of the problems of the future of this country. Neocon!
—Jeff, Richmond, Va.
Great editorial endorsement. Many conservatives are always trying to distinguish themselves among other conservatives with labels: a Reaganite conservative, a Kirkean traditionalist, etc. This endorsement showed me why I am definitely more of a Human Events conservative than a National Review conservative. Of the six real contenders in the race (including Paul but excluding [California Rep. Duncan] Hunter who doesn’t have a prayer), Thompson is clearly the best choice.… Thompson is obviously more instinctively conservative than [President Bush], resisting “compassionate conservatism” or “heroic conservatism” and resistant to the dangerously radical notion that we must democratize the world to win the war against Islamic jihadist terrorism.… Thompson clearly respects real federalism, not just the slogans like Huckabee does. And he is a charming personality who can (not that it won’t be very tough) beat both Obama and Satan—er, I mean Her Highness.
—Andrew C., N.J.
“We find intolerable his repeated statements that we were attacked on 9/11 because we had a presence in the Middle East. That implies that we were, in whole or in part, to blame for the attacks,” [said HE of Texas Rep. Ron Paul in the endorsement of Thompson]. If we were in a small part (hypothetically) to blame, would it be right to avoid the truth and just not tolerate the truth? No one likes having other people telling them what to do. America does that, it is a bully to many countries around the world. Of course the attackers were definitely wrong in using terrorism and murder on 9/11 to rebel against American influence in the Middle East, but in my mind we can’t deny we provoked them. If one day the majority of people find true statements “intolerable,” then it will be a sad day for the USA.
Human Events picked up the ball that National Review dropped. It was inconceivable to me that they chose Romney over Thompson, but I’m starting to see a more populist view over there. Anyway, great endorsement for the man who should be, can be and will be our next Commander in Chief.
—Regina Draper, Spartanburg, S.C.
You can not be a true conservative and be for war. War is the most expensive endeavor possible for a nation to become involved in. The United States, as a result of the Bush Doctrine of total war against every nation who might some day become our enemy, is not wise or sustainable. It is abhorrently expensive, and I think that this administration should quit channeling Machiavelli and instead try to pick up on Thomas Jefferson. That is what attracts me to Ron Paul’s message. He is the wise voice defiantly at odds with the unwise and unschooled.
—Michael McDonnough, Florida
Human Events made the right choice. Now conservatives everywhere are counting on the good people of South Carolina to do the same.
—Kelly Staples, Ft. Lauderdale, Fla.
Do you really think this man can win in November? Take a look at him—not the epitome of health. Big bags under his eyes and bald. His message? Nothing but old slogans and talking points. Oh, I know he has a well-written-out plan. By whom? He’s a member of the CFR [Council on Foreign Relations]—take a look at those members. He was a lobbyist for an abortion organization and Haitian dictator. He’s the ultimate Washington insider. Yes, sir, the people want change and this old pol is served up as the establishment candidate? We will be trounced in November if he is the nominee.
—Cool Hand Luke, Occupied South
Finally, finally someone spoke for conservative views! Fred Thompson is the voice of the Republican Party. There has not been a clear candidate, until now. America needs a strong leader against terror, not one who cries when she doesn’t get her way, nor a newcomer touting “change,” with no specific plan except repealing the tax cuts!
I’m a member of the Constitution Party—but I could and would vote for Fred, if he should be the nominee. It’s a shame that he has not been able to marshal more excitement for his candidacy. We live in an age where, sadly, image and excitement trump the real issues of our age.
—James, New Jersey
Human Events has made the right choice, and thank you! To the people who criticize the former senator for looking “old”: Are you serious? We can only pray the majority of the voters aren’t as shallow as some of the responders here.
Fred Thompson may look like an old hound dog (sorry Mr. Thompson) and appear to be slow-witted with that Tennessee drawl of his, but if you see only that and nothing else, then you have sorely underestimated him. He won’t kowtow to the media or the likes of Clinton, Obama and their ilk. I like that he’s not showy and doesn’t pander to the public. He has his priorities in line.
Human Events is a RINO Party organ—just another cog in the machine.
—J David W , Silver City,
I have said for a while now that I agree with Fred Thompson’s politics and his plans. Like Human Events says, you’ve been passed the ball now, Fred, you have to run with it. It may be against your gut to cheapen yourself by retail politicking, however, if there is ever a time you have to jump into the fray, now is the time, Fred. Do it with your twist on it, however, you still have to get the hands dirty some.
I’ve been undecided who to support of the Republican candidates. I am now going to support Fred Thompson. In watching the last two debates, Thompson seems to be the only one who answers the moderator’s question with some specificity. I wait for the other candidates get over their stump speeches before they even try to answer the question.
—Gene, Yulee, Fla.
Thompson appears to be a nice guy, with the appropriate conservative credentials and philosophy. But I completely agree with Donna from Phoenix: Thompson is tired, he is old and his ‘look’ will not win in this post-radio and post-newspaper age. Lest one think that, being from Massachusetts, I am a Romney plant, rest assured that having seen Mitt in action while governor, I would not even want hum as a trustee in my condominium association. Bottom line: McCain is the only electable “conservative” in this sad and depressing field.
Thanks for your endorsement of Sen. Thompson. More importantly thanks for the not-so-subtle kick in the behind to get out there and be positive, be optimistic and be passionate. He needs that more than anything. When Fred is on, he is unbeatable. Unfortunately, he’s not on all the time as campaigning sadly needs him to be. Fred is the guy to be our next President.
—Wyoscotch, Gillette, Wyo.
As an evangelical conservative activist and regular Human Events reader since 1980, I am increasingly amused by the movement’s ongoing drift toward staleness and marginalization. May I remind you that the Reagan Revolution began with a candidate who skillfully blended orthodox conservative principles (versus some of the baggage we’ve picked up along the way) and populist appeal? Someone like, say, Huckabee? I suppose it’s only appropriate that we endorse, in this case, a candidate like Thompson, whose chronic dispassion, crankiness and lack of originality so aptly represents what we have become.
—LU Professor, Lynchburg, Va.
Fred Thompson remains my top choice, and I’m glad to see that Human Events has endorsed him. Giuliani, Romney and Huckabee would all make good Presidents, but I agree that they are not the conservative leader that we need. Isolationism has been a losing idea since the beginning of the 20th Century, so I can’t see how anyone that is both a conservative and has an appreciation for how the modern world works can vote for an isolationist like Ron Paul. McCain is a politician who will do anything to get elected and then do anything to stay in the news once elected—not conservative at all, just an opportunist.
—Sean, Northern Virginia
There is nothing Fred has said in his campaign I disagree with. Thank you Human Events for finally endorsing the man. Hopefully, many other publications will follow your lead! Slow and tired is what I prefer in the White House, as opposed to young, fast, intern-chasing and deploying half-a** in Somalia and the Balkans to deflect from a horrible job (Clinton).
—Matt, People’s Republic of N.J.
My question is: Why in the world isn’t this on the front page of Fox News like Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry was yesterday for Barrack Obama? What does the Fox News team have against Fred Thompson? Give the voters a “fair and balanced” look at Fred—don’t just shun him because he doesn’t play to the media’s tune during interviews.
—Nick, St. Louis
To those who ask if Fred Thompson can defeat the Democrats, I say “electability” is a fraud. Voters will not come out for a “moderate,” which is what many people mean by “electable.” They will go to the polls to support a conservative or a liberal. If they want a liberal, they will support the one endorsed by the Democrats. The most electable Republican is the one furthest from the “center.”
—Steven, Columbus, Ohio
Congratulations HE on making the best choice for your considered endorsement.… It has been hard for me to understand how conservatives could even contemplate supporting Gov. Huckabee or Sen. McCain, based on their record on illegal immigration. I am pleased to see the editors of Human Events join the rest of us who believe Fred Thompson is, without a doubt, the best choice for the Republican Party and our beloved country.
—Bob Blumentritt, Texas
Dittos to Human Events for making this well-researched endorsement of the most conservative candidate on the GOP side. Your assessments of the candidates were refreshingly accurate and unbiased. We need a President who has the resolve to stick to our conservative principals (as opposed to just giving lip service) and who will come down to the right of President Bush, especially in the areas of fiscal policy, illegal immigration, border security, etc. I fear that some of the candidates in this year’s round-up (McCain and Huckabee) fall to the left of Her Highness on some if not each of these areas.
—Don, Harper’s Ferry, W.Va.
I’m rolling on the floor laughing. Human Events wants Grandpa Fred to be our next President. Who are you going to support for his running mate? Herman Munster? Mike Huckabee is going to run away with South Carolina and leave Grandpa Fred to return to what he does best—acting.
—Leprkin, Costa Mesa, Calif.
Leave it to Human Events to pick the consistent conservative. Let’s hope other conservatives take this as their cue to learn more about Fred.
I tried to wake “Half-Dead Fred” up so he could accept your endorsement, but he said he was too tired. Your endorsement of a corpse like Fred Thompson for President just underscores the pathetic state of movement conservatism and the GOP. Dennis Kucinich could beat your candidate in a general election.
—Matt, Delray Beach, Fla.
Thank you, Human Events. I wonder how much fire in the belly George Washington exhibited for the presidency. Not much, as I understand. Yet, he is the Father of our nation. Fred has no “personal” ambition but is passionate about our nation. He is precisely the leader we claim we look for. Now we have him, and we’re upset he’s not fired up? He’s had my vote from the start, and my respect.
—Victor T, NYC
The defense of America from attack and invasion are foremost on the minds of loyal Americans. It is an indisputably legitimate responsibility of the federal government and one which the GOP is clearly in total disagreement with the Democrats. Fred D. Thompson has the clearest mind and commitment about both the need for stopping and reversing the invasion and victory over our foreign enemies. The endorsement by Human Events (which I consult before coming to any political conclusions) is in the best interests of the nation.
San Fernando Valley, Calif.
I loved the write-up. That has got to be the most “balanced” piece I have read to date. I’ve got to say that it cracks me up that “the people” want someone who will tell them like it is with no fluff, they finally get one and still they’re not happy. It is the definition of irony that, of all the GOP candidates, Fred is the only actor and the only one who is not acting.
Fred is a grouchy old f**t with acute indigestion. Telling Fred to “go!” is like cheerleading for the geezers at a senior Olympics wheelchair race: The 40-yard dash in five hours and 20 minutes—a record! The excitement is hard to contain.
—Bosco, Staying in Dodge
I vehemently disagree with this! Human Events, what are you thinking? While this is all very nice and I do support Fred Thompson, he is not an electable candidate. We all know that America elects charismatic, TV-type candidates. Fred Thompson is boring. He’s not the candidate to get the swing votes from Democrats. I’m sorry, Human Events, this is just disappointing.
—Dale, Salt Lake City, Utah
Hooray!!!! Now I’ll give Fred another hundred bucks!
—Don G., Dallas Tex.
Human Events has taken the irrelevant to a new low.
This was a poor choice. Fred Thompson has no chance. Mitt should have been the selection, as he has the most delegates and money and he can actually answer questions. Sad!!!
I applaud Human Events for endorsing the only consistent conservative in this race. Every other candidate has gaping holes: Romney, flip-flopper; Giuliani, not solid on social issues; Huckabee, not solid on national security/defense; McCain, not solid on economic conservatism. Fred Thompson is the only candidate that is strong on the three-pronged stool: strong on economics, social issues and defense.
—Michael Greer, Arizona
Bad choice: Thompson puts people to sleep. It’s fine to have conservative principles, but candidates with a more centrist view are usually elected President. Pragmatism wins elections. The extreme left and extreme right candidates will not win! John McCain may not be completely conservative on all the issues, but he is capable of bringing back the Reagan Democrats that he will surely need to beat Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama! Rudy Giuliani would also have more national appeal than Fred Thompson! Would conservative Republicans really sit on their hands and let this country be destroyed by the liberal Democrats because McCain and Giuliani are not 100% conservative on every issue? That’s not conservatism, that’s dumb.
—Ernie, The Villages, Fla.
Way to go Human Events! Finally, a respected conservative journal/group is encouraging Thompson to step up and demonstrate his conservative leadership ability.
—George F. Ganey, III, Atlanta, Ga.