Fred Thompson is a small town guy who made it from the agricultural communes of south-central Tennessee to Capitol Hill and our TV sets. And while we admire the accomplishments of this distinguished lawyer, Senator and actor, we admire the man even more for seeming to remain grounded to his roots.
Faced with a media establishment that has heightened its opposition to presenting news that makes Republicans look good, Fred Thompson has that rare and invaluable quality of speaking directly to ordinary Americans, saying what needs to be said.
He has ties to Hollywood but is not of Hollywood, which adds legitimacy to his insider knowledge of our media based culture. He is giving voice to that which vexes many of us, that liberal politicians and media elitists increase the risk to this country by downplaying the tyrannical and terrorist enemy in order to win political power. Pointing this out is a talent that has long failed President Bush.
Can anybody imagine President Bush saying what Fred Thompson did a few days ago?
"I listen to the Democratic congressional leaders and I hear them talking about how many (House and Senate) seats they're going to pick up because of this war.... I listened to one of their presidential candidates talk about that this is a phony war, the war on terror. This is what passes for policy today in the Democratic Party."
Can anybody imagine President Bush telling Michael Moore so publicly that the political system he admires in Cuba is nothing but a brutal tyranny? Thompson talked about Castro's abysmal treatment of Cuban journalists, a direct shot at the hypocrisy of the "video-journalist" Moore. The fact that Moore had no memorable response says it all; Thompson scored a direct hit and everybody knew it.
Many of us who loathe Michael Moore cheered silently. Thompson has slyly asserted himself as the easy going but tough guy of the right who also happens to be media savvy, more John Wayne than Reagan. And oddly enough in American politics, it all strikes many of us as genuine.
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