Sunday, July 8, 2007

No 'Exit Strategy,' Tom?

Is Tom Tancredo our man for the White House? And if not, then who?

It's a pertinent question, and one which we could (and should I suppose), ask ouselves in relation to every other prominent (or not so prominent) candidate on the campaign trail in the not-too-distant future.

As I was making my morning rounds -a thing that has become something of an enjoyable ritual for me lately- along the blogosphere, I ran into excerpts of this Backwoods Interview with Tom Tancredo posted over at VA's.

As I read the entire interview via the link provided, I noticed early on in the discussion that the question was posed (indirectly) and that Tancredo, picking up on and addressing it, refused to nail down an 'exit strategy' for his campaign. According to Tancredo, 'you can't really do that because once you've made the commitment to run, and you've accepted money and other kinds of support from various and sundry supporters who believe in your cause, you feel obligated to stay in the fight as long as you can, and to push your/their main agenda to the fore.'

For Tancredo that main agenda is immigration reform; real immigration reform. That is why he got into the race to begin with. And as the interview makes abundantly clear, that is why he's still in it at this moment, despite his low polling numbers.

I suppose that on a certain level one can use the same sort of approach with regard to the 'war in Iraq,' and the larger 'war on terror.' Many of us believed from the beginning, and still do today, that once we made the commitment to the Iraq war and the WoT, that we were in it for the long-haul, and that seeking an exit strategy too soon would be disastrous for the country and for the cause. But that's really a different discussion altogether, and I only mention it here because I see some parallels here with regard to what the two men (Tancredo, and President Bush) are passionate about and why an exit strategy as such is not currently an option for either of them in their endeavors.

But as far as I can tell by the interview, Tom Tancredo is all that he says he is, as well as all that he says he isn't. And that latter part is significant. The whole of the interview had me feeling as though this man is truly a regular guy just as he says he is. And of course I can identify with a lot of what he exposes in the interview; the travel to and fro would be a killer, and it would just get to a guy, y'know. Not to mention his freely admitting that the campaign necessitates that he neglect certain family things like, for instance, where he laments over the fact that he can't attend baseball games his grandchildren are playing in, and so on.

But one of the things I find so appealing about Tancredo, and that which sets he and one or two more apart from the rest of the pack to my mind is this very fact that indeed, he is a regular person just like you and me. And btw, I'll address all you self-indulging 'irregular' persons shortly...

Those of you who've been there right along with me in the muck and mire over the last couple or three years probably recall that the quality of 'intellectualism' in and of itself carries little weight with me, particularly when it is considered by some to be of the utmost import in choosing a Presidential candidate behind whom one gets and offers his/her full support. Those of us who were there recall all the self-promoting claims of 'intellectual superiority' interspersed throughout the vitriol of one individual whose name I'll not mention here. But I think it's significant because I think that down deep, this is what 'intellectualism,' and/or, one's being convinced of his/her own superiority therein does to a person. And this is one of the main differences I see between someone like Tancredo, and, say, someone like Ron Paul.

Not that Ron Paul has necessarily given me the impression that he thinks himself superior intellectually to his opponents. There is a slight tinge of that in his speeches and interviews and such, but I don't see it as a big problem with Paul. It's more to the point, I think, that a good proportion of those who support him point to this aspect of Paul (his 'intellectualism') as that one factor that should draw us, above all else, to support his campaign.

Now, I should say that I don't believe there's anything wrong with being an intellectual per se, nor is there anything wrong with identifying that aspect of a candidate as something important to be considered. But when too much emphasis is placed on a person's 'intellectualism,' and the lack thereof in his opponents by inference, I for one start to get a little concerned.

Do we seek in our POTUS an intellectual, first and foremost, or do we seek in him/her someone with good, solid character qualities; someone devoted to family, to God, to country; to liberty and justice for all; someone who truly 'bears true faith and allegiance to the same?' As for me I openly admit that intellectualism comes in a distant second to outstanding qualities of personal integrity and character. The 'quality' of intellectualism, or what the term seems to signify these days, doesn't even register on my radar until I have something of an understanding of the internal character of the individual under my investigation. Then, and only then, when I've identified and am convinced that the candidate in question has a good, solid moral foundation; that his/her personal life and political career are marked by such outstanding qualities of personal integrity and moral character, will I begin to consider his/her intellectual capacity and how much that factor weighs into my choice. So to me, for supporters of a particular candidate to point out that aspect of their choice's person as THE quality most appealing in him, tends more to turn me off than to turn me on to the candidate.

So, all that considered, is Tancredo my man? Well, you could certainly come to that conclusion based on the contents of this post. But the truth of the matter is that I've still not decided who that special candidate is for me. At this point I'm just beginning to investigate the different aspects of the different candidates, and as I've said, Tancredo's 'regular guy' qualities are pretty appealing to me. And he doesn't appear to me to be no dummy either.

There are really only one or two more candidates currently in the race that appeal to me at all. One is Duncan Hunter, and the other is Ron Paul whose libertarian undergirdings, very evident in virtually all of his speeches and writings I've read so far, are becoming more and more troublesome. I can't help it, y'all, that's just the way I feel. But you're more than welcome to try to dispel some of the predispositions and notions I have with regard to libertarianism if you like...



John Savage said...

Terry, that’s a very nice case you make for Tancredo here. I have to agree that intellectualism doesn’t get a candidate very far in American politics, and I think that’s mostly a good thing.

I hope I didn’t give you the impression yesterday that I’ve given up on a decent Republican candidate for the next election. I’m still sticking with Tancredo, and then I’ll see what he says if he drops out of the race. If he gives me a compelling reason to support someone else, then I’ll have to take that into account. If he decides to run as an Independent or third-party candidate, I’ll probably do all I can to support his candidacy. However, thus far he’s been using his candidacy mostly as a vehicle to defeat the amnesty bill. He needs to step it up.

I would not vote for Paul unless he started showing some street smarts, which he seems to lack. He’s got a lot of book smarts, if you know what I mean. But unless he shows the street smarts, we’d just be courting disaster by backing him. I blogged on this today.

Thanks for coming over and visiting my blog. I hope to visit yours more often.

Michael Tams said...


Didn't we do a piece on the qualities one would be looking for in a Chief Executive over at the other place? I think you touched on a few of them in your analysis of Tancredo, who I could see myself voting for.

Again, I'd like to see the conservatives get together in a room and hash it out - which one of us is going to run? And then, the other guys work like hell to make it happen, with the understanding that this is what's best for the country and yes, that there'd probably be something in it for them for their efforts. Nothing wrong with that.

I can't bring myself to vote for a Libertarian. I don't know, maybe I need to give the guy a chance, but I just have a problem with the concept.


Terry Morris said...

Thanks for the reminder, MT. Indeed there was such a post put up -Time For A Nationwide Write-In- back in May; May 17th to be exact. Anyone interested in reading it may go to the archives over at the AFB. BTW, that's something else that we (me and the ol' CTO) are going to be working on shortly - a better method for organizing everything, including the archives.

Nah, John, that's not the impression I came away with. It was more of a 'my confidence is quickly eroding' kind of an impression that you gave me. And I understand the feeling, believe me.

And you know what; this response has quickly grown to the point of requiring a full post rather than a short reply.

See y'all over there...