Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Fred Thompson Thinks He's Ronald Reagan

Fred Thompson's got that good, Southern Comfort voice and that authoritative yet "I'm on your team" grandfather thing going on, courtesy of all his low key legal-eagle one-liners on "Law & Order." Mr. 'Watch Your Backside And Get It Done.' Mr. Bottom Line in the Back Room.

Okay, so Mr. Thompson is a former senator (he got Al Gore's seat), and yes, his Washington chops go as far back as Watergate, which was a TV set of another sort. That brand of southern charm and TV-diety charisma and that VOICE do, in this culture, make for a viable candidate. But a really good candidate?

Leave it to the Republicans to figure that out. By themselves, if you please.

But the guy ain't no Ronald Reagan. Reagan had gone full tilt toward the presidency for over a decade before he finally unpacked his bags. Thompson is figuring less is more?

Maybe if you're a Reagan wannabee but NOT Reagan, okay, maybe that is the best tactic. Seem Southern and Royal, Mr. TV AND above the fray. But still, I'd have to say to Mr. Thompson:

Ronald Reagan was, in fact, no friend of mine, but you, sir, are no Ronald Reagan.

Your telephonic voice may lure millions, but then millions more may ask, what sort of candidacy is this? What sort of country is this?

We would prefer a rumbling radio voice to substance? Often it would seem so, though this, I venture, is not the way to strengthen, much less save, our fragile democracy "of the people, by the people, for the people.

There is reason to suspect, but dear readers, let's hope the U.S. hasn't become a tele-ocracy, "of the TV, by the TV, for the TV."


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