I am a conservative and a traditionalist, so naturally that's what I look for in a candidate. That doesn't necessarily mean that I will always vote Republican. There are many Blue-Dog Democrats who won in '06 that I would support for President. Unfortunately, none of them are running. For some reason, the Democrat party is running 3 radical Left politicians which risks alienating a lot of voters. Hillary is phony and much too ambitious. Edwards is an ambulance chaser who would steal your wallet if you turned your back on him. And Obama? Well, to be honest, I like him as a man. I read his book and I truly feel he is honest and devoted to his family. He is a good husband and a good father. However, his Senate record consists of many "present" votes rather than yes's and no's. He gives a good speech, he is honest, but he is a coward. There is no other way to put it. He inspires people because he speaks with passion and makes us feel good, but he has no substance. There is no way he would ever have my vote unless he showed a little backbone and took a stand for something.
First and foremost, the President is the Commander-in-Chief. He must be willing to defend this country with ferocity. He must be unwilling to defer our sovereignty to a UN committee and never allow US troops to serve under UN command. Military experience is not a requirement, but is certainly a bonus. NONE of the Democratic candidates have demonstrated the qualities that I look for as Commander-in-Chief. In fact, I have sincere concern for the military should any of them take over as President.
Foreign policy should be "America First". That means taking on China economically. That means taking care of US corporate interests. That means doing whatever it takes to make America energy independent, regardless the consequences for OPEC. That means cutting foreign aid with a broad knife to any country that is not 100% supportive of our policies, including Mexico. And that means removing ourselves from the UN as soon as possible.
As for domestic policy, here are the key components that I value in a candidate, in order of importance:
- Social Security - I have heard a sound, detailed plan for saving Social Security from only one candidate...the candidate I am endorsing. Both Republicans and Democrats are deeply lacking on this issue. No one wants to tackle it, and I think it's the biggest domestic issue this generation faces.
- Immigration - Tonight I heard my candidate say that America 'should be a nation of tall fences and wide gates where we control when to open those gates'. Amen! I couldn't have said it better myself. I'm ALL FOR immigration, but our laws must be enforced and our borders must be secured and it must be done NOW.
- Healthcare - Any candidate that wants socialized medicine will get nothing but strong resistance from me. Socializing our medical system will ruin quality of care, and access to care will vanish...all at great cost to the treasury. My candidate should be deeply concerned about the number of uninsured citizens in this country, and will put forth a plan to improve access to care via the free market with minimal government interference.
- Energy - Improve technology for cleaner energy and take steps towards energy independence. But that's all long-term stuff. What about short-term? My candidate has to advocate for more nuclear power to help our energy needs while allowing technology time to come up with something better.
- Environment - I believe in responsible policy. I care about the environment. I'm an outdoorsman and a hunter, and it's hard to find more dedicated conservationists than hunters. I want to protect the earth, but I want to do it based on sound science and with methods that will not harm our economy or job market. It can be done, and it doesn't require panic or hysterics.
- Taxes - Must be reduced. My candidate has already advocated for abolishing capitol gains taxes, the AMT, the Death Tax and implementing a fair tax system. A true conservative must fight to shrink the government and MEAN IT! This is one of my biggest gripes with Bush and the Republicans. Spending is out of control. Earmarks have become ridiculous. This must stop. Washington has to stop wasting money and balance the budget, and they need to do this with lower taxes. It can be done.
As far as values are concerned, the ideal candidate must have a strong values system, something unwavering, which means that he must have a religious background. Any candidate who conjures their own set of values will falter in difficult times. Moral relativists can not lead a nation. The ideal candidate will appoint Judges who uphold what is written in the Constitution, not apply their own vision to it. I refer especially to the TENTH AMENDMENT, which many judges conveniently ignore in order to create law and impose their own beliefs on the American people. This must stop and the President must appoint judges who will stop it. The President must be willing to do the unpopular thing if it's the right thing. The President must not govern by polls.
With all this in mind, there are only 2 candidates that meet my criteria. Duncan Hunter has a phenomenal platform and will make a great running mate for the eventual nominee, but he is too deep in the polls to win and he needs to work on his delivery to connect with voters. Therefore, I endorse Fred Thompson for President. He is a true conservative with a solid values system who will be strong on foreign policy. He will likely drop out if he doesn't win in South Carolina, but I am not picking winners, I am picking my ideal candidate.
Vote for Fred!