Saturday, January 26, 2008

Article Review: The Failure of Normality

The American Spectator has an interesting article by Andrew Ferguson about Fred Thompson and the fizzling and eventual death of his campaign.

Ferguson begins with a quote from former Federal Reserve Chairman (and Vader-like villain figure in popular culture) Alan Greenspan. Greenspan, in his recent memoir, wrote that he had been pushing his own constitutional amendment: "Anyone willing to do what is required to become president of the United States is thereby barred from taking that office."

Ferguson believes, and I agree with him, that Fred Thompson didn't have the insatiable lust for power and silver-tongued ability to convince ad populum that he was the best man for the job. He didn't have, as Ferguson says, "fire in his belly."

"Fire in the belly" as defined in Safire's New Political Dictionary, is "An unquenchable thirst for power or glory; the burning drive to win a race or achieve a goal."

It is a bad thing, apparently, for a candidate to have no fire in his belly.

The main thesis underlying Ferguson's article is that the "unquenchable thirst" for the presidency is not a good, but a bad thing. It seems to be true that whoever sinks to the lowest level, and yet convinces the people that he is at the very highest, will be President.

This is precisely what Thompson doesn't have. The liberal media called Thompson's departure due to his late entry into the race, and especially his failure to "connect" with voters. Not to mention that he, gasp, did not espouse "change" as an almost divine virtue in every second sentence. This "connection" a candidate reportedly must have with voters is, in mine and Ferguson's views, due almost entirely to the "fire" in their bellies--the ability and inclination to lie and connive to gain power. Witness the increasingly ridiculous not-war between Obama and Clinton. Both claim to be the candidate of experience, of the people, and most importantly of that cardinal virtue, "change."

As Ferguson says,

Thompson withdrew from the presidential race last week. He ended his campaign as he had conducted it, with a minimum of fuss and no wasted words. He released a withdrawal statement over the Internet. It was three sentences long, and he hasn't been heard from since. My guess is we'll be missing him dreadfully by spring.

I'm missing him already, and frankly I'm seriously wondering if any of the candidates are worth even voting for. Perhaps in the near future I will post a reprise of the race--notice the "fire in the belly" implications of that word--and perhaps even a (reluctant) endorsement.

Hey, no comments on my last four posts. Oh well, I love writing.