In the end, the American political machine, and it's subjects the American people, couldn't digest the message Thompson was trying to get across. The biggest worry among Republicans was that he didn't have "fire in the belly."
Fire in the belly: For those of us who suffer from acid reflux, this is a phrase full of meaning. In the world of politics, however, the meaning is vaguer. William Safire's New Political Dictionary defines "fire in the belly" as "an unquenchable thirst for power or glory; the burning drive to win a race or achieve a goal." It's bad, apparently, not having fire in the belly. The premise seems to be that vein-popping ambition, unrestrained avidity, is a necessary if not sufficient quality for someone who wants to hold the highest political position in a democratic country.So in our day and age, unquenchable ambition is what we want in our candidates. The desire, above all else, to rise to the top and grasp the reigns of power. This is a good thing?
Read the entire article. Then come back.
I got a little hot in my last post because of the one-liner, poster-board thinking that has become the right's social policy for any given candidate that wants to be seen as a card-carrying member of the Republican right. It's the nations inability to see beyond the headline that causes this, and perhaps we're wrong to look back and envision that 100 years ago, without the sound-bite medium of television, the only way you could get to know a candidate for national office was to spend time reading about them, and more Americans had the time and attention span to get beyond the headline.
Anyway, it's with great displeasure that I lament the dropping of the only candidate who understood that it's not about who's got the power, it's that the government has a roll in the life of a healthy democracy. And ours has over reached that roll in a way that Mt. Everest towers over the pile of sugar I put at the bottom of my coffee cup every morning. His ilk is unacceptable not just to the Democrats (who lost that tendency a long time ago) but alas, now also to the Republicans.