After fretting for months about the possibility that the 2008 Presidential election would have no anti-Communist candidates, I am faced with an unexpected dilemma - not one anti-Communist in the race, but two - now that Tom Tancredo has thrown his hat into the ring (Denver Post). This means all of us in the anti-Communist community have to choose between Messrs. Hunter and Tancredo.
I supported Duncan Hunter when he first entered this race, and I will continue to do so.
Just so there is no misunderstanding, Hunter and Tancredo are each head and shoulders above the rest of the 2008 field - Republican and Democrat. Either, if they were running alone, would be a lock for the anti-Communist vote. However, the fact that both are running leaves us not choice but to compare - and Mr. Hunter is the better choice.
Firstly, Congressman Hunter has the longer and more impressive resume. Not only has he served in Congress longer than Tancredo (27 years to Tancredo's 9), he has also been Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and has been a leader on the anti-Communist issue for a longer period of time. In addition to the history I listed here, Congressman Hunter was the leading force behind the effort to block Communist China's attempt to infiltrate the Long Beach, California port.
Secondly, Mr. Hunter does not have the general election negatives Mr. Tancredo has. For the most part, this is not Tancredo's fault, MSM has excoriated him on the illegal immigration issue, while Hunter, despite a near-identical record on the subject, has been largely spared. However, Tancredo has, from time to time, brought the maelstrom upon himself needlessly, particularly with his assertion that the United States should at some point close its borders not only to economic refugees, but also to political refugees (speech) - an absolute political (and policy) no-no.
Finally, while Tancredo has an excellent anti-Communist record, his campaign platform is clearly the illegal immigration issue alone. On the political side, it risks him becoming a Johnny one-note, which is practically a death knell at the presidential level. Hunter, by contrast, is clearly more well-rounded in his agenda.
On the policy side, it appears Tancredo considers illegal immigration as a threat to America to be handled at the deprioritization of all others, which is troubling to say the least. It is the only way I can explain Tancredo's assertion that no one in the campaign shares his concern over illegal immigration (Washington Post), all but ignoring Hunter's record. Is Tancredo implying one cannot be serious about illegal immigration and talk about other dangers to America, such as Communist China? Can we not walk and chew gum at the same time?
Again, compared to anyone else in the field, Tancredo's faults could be considered minimal. However, he is not the only anti-Communist in the race; he is not the first anti-Communist in the race; and unfortunately for him, he is not the best anti-Communist in the race.
I mention all of this now because as it dawns on more Republicans and pundits that the GOP presidential nomination is growing more wide open, the opportunity for an anti-Communist to win the nomination continues to grow. However, it will only happen with one anti-Communist in the race, not two dividing the vote, and making it easier for a conservative without good anti-Communist credentials (Gingrich, Romney, Brownback, etc.) to advance at their - and our - expense.
Therefore, it is imperative that the American electorate see only one anti-Communist, and I would humbly submit we should make sure is the best. The best anti-Communist in the race remains Duncan Hunter. As such, I remain his man.