My blog has been screaming for more substantive content as of late (I mean, I know my thoughts on wedding dress shopping are really deep.), so I thought I would return to my every so often posts regarding my views on various U.S. Presidential Candidates. Today, I am going to be writing on the possible run of Fred Thompson’s everyone’s favorite District Attorney, or rather an actor who up through this season portrayed himself to be a District Attorney on NBC’s still going, but slowly dying, Law and Order series. I know he isn’t “officially” running yet, but lately, he certainly seems to act like it. And the longer that he waits to announce his candidacy, the more free publicity he gets as NBC can continue to air reruns of him playing DA bringing his folksy, Southern appeal to the courts of Manhattan. (I find this the funniest part of Fred Thompson as DA of New York County because my southern charm didn’t bring alot of courtroom cred when I was a prosecutor in New York.)
What I find the most baffling about Fred Thompson is this – how is it that someone with more experience portraying a leader on television or in film than actually being a leader can have so much support among Republicans without even being a declared candidate? Is that how weak the Republican field is? Are Republicans so hungry for the days of Ronald Reagan that any actor who is a Republican will do? And why is it, when Republicans who are always complaining about “the liberal bias of Hollywood” and about how certain actors should shut up about politics, are so smitten with an actor from their side of the aisle?
Frankly, I think some Americans who are supporting Fred Thompson right now might have him confused with his character on the show. In fact, they might mistake his scripted remarks on the show for his actual views on policy, crime, and other legal issues. They might be in love with his character as a presidential candidate. Of course, I guess his character could be the presidential candidate. I mean, what is the difference these days between script writers for a television series and speech writers and handlers for presidential candidates? This is precisely what disturbs me so much about our political process these days. When people like Fred Thompson, who served a term and a half as a senator, are taken seriously as presidential candidates, I wish so much for something more akin to European countries where experienced technocrats wield the political machinery.
But hey, I am a nerd. I like people who actually know what they are doing rather than people who are elected into office based on their popularity. In middle school, I believed that I was qualified to run for student government because I did my homework, but what my classmates thought made you qualified was being a cheerleader. After all, cheerleaders didn’t need to do their homework when they could just copy off of mine, even if it meant stealing it out of my folder to copy it. I thought, oh, that was just middle school. The adult world isn’t like that. It stops being a popularity contest. Ha! Ha! Ha!
I shouldn’t just fault the Republicans for this. However, it just seems pretty pronounced in this instance. On another day, I will have to post my theories on Barack Obama’s popularity(although, to his credit I would say he has much greater credentials for the White House than being a television actor).