Fred is interviewed by David Broder at the Washington Post, and plainly states that his campaign will attempt to address issues that establishment politicians would never dare. The entitlement mess, tax policy and the way the Pentagon procures its equipment are all high on the list.
"the former senator from Tennessee said that when he joins the battle next month, he "will take some risks that others are not willing to take, in terms of forcing a dialogue on our entitlement situation, our military situation and what it's going to cost" to ensure the nation's future."
Fred points to the two volume report on government that his Senate Government Affairs committee authored in 2001, and recent GAO reports that raise stark questions about the sustainability of our current entitlement programs.
"Nobody in Congress or on either side in the presidential race wants to deal with it," Thompson said. "So we just rock along and try to maintain the status quo. Republicans say keep the tax cuts; Democrats say keep the entitlements. And we become a less unified country in the process, with a tax code that has become an unholy mess, and all we do is tinker around the edges."
Thompson readily concedes that he does not know "where all those chips are going to fall" when he starts challenging members of various interest groups to look beyond their individual agendas and weigh the sacrifices that could ensure a better future for their children.
But these issues -- national security and the fiscal crisis of an aging society with runaway heath-care costs -- "are worth a portion of a man's life. If I can't get elected talking that way, I probably don't deserve to be elected."
Thompson says he feels "free to do it" his own way, and that freedom may just be enough to shake up the presidential race."
It will be a tough road to hoe, but change in Washington is desperately needed, and it's my belief Fred is just the guy to do it. I just hope my fellow citizens come to realize it as well.