I had to find another candidate to support.
Human Events recently endorsed Fred Thompson as their choice for President, based on his Conservative record. In the endorsement statement they quoted Ronald Reagan: “A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency or simply to swell its numbers."
Several weeks ago I decided that Thompson best fit my concept of what conservatism is, based in part on his interview with Charlie Rose:
Thompson states that his stance on particular issues derive from guiding principles, embodied in the US Constitution and the Declaration of Independence.
Beginning in late spring of last year, I read, studied and considered The Conservative Mind, by Russell Kirk. It's an immense, dense work, and it took me a long time to read it. A basic definition Kirk uses of conservatism is the same concept as Thompson uses -- that our institutions (such as the church) are based on hundreds years of established practices and beliefs, and that they should not be discarded based on a popular idea or the latest fad.
None of the other candidates have struck me as having the same principled basis; instead they seem to have arrived at particular positions based on political expediency. They claim the "Conservative" label, but not with the same credibility that Thompson possesses.
Fred Thompson for President in '08.