So You Want to Challenge the President: a Note to Brad Thor and Others

So You Want to Challenge the President: a Note to Brad Thor and Others

So You Want to Challenge the President: a Note to Brad Thor and Others

I will admit, I’ve read exactly one Brad Thor book in my life. I was at the airport coming back from a business trip, and I picked it up because I was bored. I didn’t hate it. It was a fun read. He at least appeared to have done some research into the way the US national security apparatus works, which is more than a lot of thriller authors do (hint: every time I read a blurb that mentions “black ops agent” or “special forces operative,” the book goes back on the shelf). Thor has also struck me, based on his Twitter feed, as a solid conservative. He wasn’t a fan of Trump in 2016, but voted for him, because like many Republicans, he couldn’t stomach the thought of a Hillary Clinton presidency.

Photo courtesy of the Tennesseean.com

Now Thor has issued a primary challenge to President Trump, and he’s going to have to put forth some solid conservative policy positions if he hopes to garner any kind of conservative support, and if this isn’t just a goofy publicity stunt.

If this is just some publicity ploy, I’d want to slap Thor upside the head, because issuing a primary challenge to our President shouldn’t be a joke or a scheme to sell second-rate thrillers. But if it isn’t, I would be willing to at least listen and consider my options; I’m open-minded enough to do that.

Good hair and rugged good looks aren’t enough, Mr. Thor! Your books (at least the one I read) appear to be entertaining enough, but the Presidency is not and should not be about entertainment. Leading the greatest country in the world is serious business, and if you’re going to issue a serious primary challenge to a sitting POTUS, there are certain things I’d like to see.

This is not enough. It’s an empty platitude with pretty words, but vapid bromides do not a viable candidate make – even a candidate with a cool name like Thor.

If you want to show that you are a viable candidate and a serious primary challenger, you cannot be just another Evan McMullen Egg McMuffin. Don’t talk about the republic crying out for real leadership, but rather show us where you stand on issues important to real Americans.

Where do you stand on the Second Amendment? Don’t tell me how you support the right to keep and bear arms. Tell me specifically what policies you support. Do you support “universal” background checks, which are really just a way to eliminate private gun sales? Do you believe that anyone on the terrorism “watchlist” should automatically be denied their right to keep and bear arms without due process and without even being notified that they’ve been watchlisted? Do you believe certain firearms need to be controlled or outright banned? How about certain accessories?

How would you go about shrinking the size of the federal government? What specific agencies and departments would you eliminate and how would you go about it? HUD? HHS? Department of Education? EPA? How would you address the inevitable, albeit temporary, rise in unemployment? Tell us!

Under what conditions would you involve the United States in a foreign military conflict? What US interests would have to be threatened? How would you define “existential threat” versus “tactical threat” to the United States?

How would you improve border security? Be specific. What kind of criteria would you use to allow immigrants into this country? How would you address the issue of sanctuary cities?

How would you balance the real need to track terrorist financial transactions and the tools we have to use them with very real privacy concerns of Americans? How would you stop the very real and significant flows of corrupt state and misappropriated assets going through the United States?

What steps would you take to reduce government spending? Be specific. What discretionary spending programs would you cut?

What further changes would you want to see to the US tax code? How about the US trade policy? Do you believe NAFTA should be renegotiated? With what nations should we have free trade agreements? With what nations should we stop free trade?

Would you support a Constitutional amendment banning the burning of the US flag? Why or why not?

What criteria would you use when nominating judges to the federal bench, including the Supreme Court? What decisions would you most like to see the Supreme Court to reevaluate?

Tell me your thoughts on the JCPOA. Do you understand what that agreement involves and how to approach Iran on this issue? Do you understand how economic sanctions work? How would you use them as a foreign policy tool?

What kind of criminal justice reform initiatives would you support as President?

There are other questions that need to be answered. You need to show some knowledge about our military policy, our foreign policy, fiscal, trade, and economic policies. You need to understand current world problems and how we fit into them. You need to clearly define what our priorities should be and how you would approach our relationships with the world’s nations, both as President and as Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces. How do you see our role in the NATO alliance? Do you support NATO expansion? Do you believe the alliance should make stronger demands of its members, instead of benchmarks for defense spending and suggestions about how members should allot their defense budgets?

Words are pretty, but they’re only words.

Caring about America is not enough.

Tell us what you would do differently and how you would do it.

America has had enough of vapid platitudes and populist bromides. Tell us what you stand for, or STFU.

Written by

Marta Hernandez is an immigrant, writer, editor, science fiction fan (especially military sci-fi), and a lover of freedom, her children, her husband and her pets. She loves to shoot, and range time is sacred, as is her hiking obsession, especially if we’re talking the European Alps. She is an avid caffeine and TWD addict, and wants to own otters, sloths, wallabies, koalas, and wombats when she grows up.

10 Comments
  • tokyov says:

    “America deserves a leader who matches that greatness.” Well, at least we’d be getting someone with a Trump/Obama-sized ego.

  • Mike G. says:

    Blue jeans with a suit-coat. An automatic NO from me. The only thing worse is a suit-coat with a T-shirt.

    I’ve read exactly one Brad Thor book in my life, too. Meh, better than Clive Cussler, but not nearly as good as Tom Clancy was in his heyday.

  • mockmook says:

    It isn’t enough to be for all the “right” things.

    A chief executive has to be able to execute — has to be a competent leader, a strategic thinker — a person who accomplishes important goals.

    Trump is a leader and a doer. What has Thor done?

  • GWB says:

    Your books appear to be entertaining enough
    My only problem with Thor’s books was that they seemed to have the same ethos as 24 – breaking rules to achieve “justice”. I know it’s a thing. But it really does rub me the wrong way.

    Otherwise, I support anyone wanting to pull the conversation back to conservative ideals.

    And, yes, Marta, only when he articulates specifics (though I believe he has done so in interviews and such, prior to this announcement) can we decide whether to back him.

    I hope he doesn’t go ugly on Trump, though. We need to not drive away support in 2020, unless we want to see someone worse than 0bama in the White House. (Though there’s an argument to be made for that worse president finally driving the zealous reassertion of our rights against tyrants. Only then will we be better off, in any event.)

  • tps says:

    Big Thor fan.

    I am done now. This can only hurt trump at a time we need to turn our sights on the real enemy.

    Bye Brad.

  • MikeN says:

    Lions of Lucerne is an excellent book.

    Thor tweeted about how the 2nd amendment prevailed when Pamela Geller was shot up at her Mohammed cartoon contest, and the attempted ISIS killers were taken down.
    His main character exhibits a Trump sensibility in dealing with problems, making it a little surprising that Thor opposed Trump to begin with.

  • Cosima Burundi says:

    “There are other questions that need to be answered. You need to show some knowledge about our military policy, our foreign policy, fiscal, trade, and economic policies. You need to understand current world problems and how we fit into them. You need to clearly define what our priorities should be and how you would approach our relationships with the world’s nations, both as President and as Commander-in-Chief of our armed forces.”

    Fortunately, if you add “as well as Trump did before he was elected,” it lowers the bar considerably.

    • Eskyman says:

      President Trump has been on record showing his knowledge of those matters for longer than 30 years; here’s a clip from CNN (his greatest fans, aren’t they!) from 1987, which you can use to correct your ignorance.

      https://youtu.be/CCYQwKNOQCM

      Also, Brad Thor needs to do something besides write fiction for me to think there is any point (besides selling books) in his candidacy. Donald Trump succeeded as a reality TV star, as an author of several best-selling books (sorry Brad, he’s beat you here by far,) a businessman and real estate developer.

      Now, President Trump is one of the most successful presidents this country has ever seen, and he’s not even half-way through his first term! So Brad Thor better pull his finger out, he’s got a lot of catching-up to do!

  • DEEBEE says:

    I see someone using Lady Liberty, I think loose on illegal immigration. So yes please Mr. Thor let’s see some electrifying thunderbolts of conservative wisdom.

  • HC68 says:

    Let’s see who, if anyone, is backing him. That’ll tell us something about what this is all about. If it’s, just for example, Bill Kristol or someone like that, that says something.

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