Inbox: A Fredhead's Take

Hi everyone. A lot of Fredheads were offended by an item I wrote yesterday about his exit from the race, and I can understand why--it was a quick-hit humor piece about a candidate they admire. So I've posted an email analysis from Tim Schranck, very smart Thompson supporter, just to show how his fans viewed him--and the difficulties his bid encountered. I think Tim's largely correct, and greatly appreciate his perspective. Hope you enjoy. Best, Stumper

By Tim Schranck 

First of all, I think most objective observers would say that few if any candidates in either party put as much thought and substance into putting forth specific policy proposals as Fred did, and whether they fit your political bias or not, they were policies that were roundly hailed by leading conservative publications such as National Review and the WSJ.  Rather, the biggest beef against Fred seemed to be that he didn’t act like other politicians who only know they want to be president, not what they want to accomplish as president.
The failure of his candidacy is as much an indictment of our political system and the media as it is about him.  How many columns of newspaper space and minutes on Fox – FOX!!! – were dedicated to what shoes he wore to the Iowa state fair and the fact that he rode around in a golf cart?  At lot more space than his specific policies.  Tell me, how much more important were the brand of his loafers than this immigration policy?  The media built him up, practically begged him to get in, and then jumped down his throat from the start.  The media and the system conspire in Iowa to give us a lunatic fringe candidate like Huckabee—a guy who literally believes in Creation instead of scientific facts like, take for one example, carbon dating.  Why on God’s green earth do we give them this much say?  Because the media loves the story, and the parties fall in line.
Fred did not behave the way politicians have behaved for the last few decades, and in my mind that was one of his biggest pluses.  He went directly to the voters on blogs and the media can’t stand that because it threatens them.  Could he have campaigned harder?  Sure.  But I, for one, want a candidate who takes time every day to think, read and write about the important issues of the day.  I’d rather have a candidate with policies and positions than one who panders left and right.
In the era of Lincoln-Douglas debates, he would have been a natural.  In this end-of-an empire era when we want our presidential candidates to perform on stage like trained seals, showing hands here and taking questions from cartoon characters on You Tube Debates, he refused to play that game.  And now, because of a whopping 5 or so of our fifty states have ”spoken”, hundreds of millions of other Americans will never get a chance to voice their opinion.  To paraphrase a movie he did not star in, after careful consideration, I’ve come to the conclusion that our electoral system sucks.  Not because of federalism, because of the dominance of the two parties and their patsies in the media, on both the right and the left.
I’ve worked on more than one Presidential campaign in my life.  I had no problem accepting Bush when Dole lost, no problem with any GOP nominee thereafter, but this year, I am left with a sick feeling in my stomach that makes me want to pack up and leave this place for someplace else.
If bread and circus is all we want, then that’s all we’ll get.
God help us, because we surely can’t seem to help ourselves.