The Joy of Common Purpose

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I planned to get new brakes on my car and to rearrange the storage room in the basement with my week off between Christmas and New Year’s. Solitary tasks.

Yesterday, though, like many of you, I read about the Blog Burst for Fred Thompson. I linked to Captain’s Quarter’s (where I first read the story), then to Rick Moran and John Hawkins, who seem to have launched the effort. For the rest of the day, I found myself e-mailing friends and posting updates about the effort to raise enough money for Fred to run a commercial in Iowa lead up to the caucuses.

My solitary plans fell asunder, as I took part in something larger than myself and my little goals.

With three and a half hours to go, it looks like Fred will get the quarter of a million dollars he needs. The money is only one part of his ambition; the other part is to close the 15-point gap between him and the Huckster. By comparison, the money raising has been a walk in the park. *{continued below}

Helping, in a very tiny way, the noble aims of a larger group gives a satisfaction nothing else matches. Being a team sport athlete (hockey, baseball, basketball, football) and an actor, I am familiar with the feeling. Still, everytime it returns, whether it’s during the opening night performance of a musical or on the internet advancing a cause, I’m surprised. Surprised by joy, to steal a line from C. S. Lewis.

This is all a very long approach to thanking Sean, Rick, Fred, Captain Ed, and the others who’ve put this effort together. It cost me some time and a few dollars, but I’ve already earned interest in satisfaction. I’m sure others have, too. With all the complaining we do about politics, it offers an opportunity for ordinary folks to work on an extraordinary experiment in self-governance–the same experiment Lincoln spoke of “testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure.”

Well, 140 years later, that nation breathes on. A little worse for wear in places. Few of us remember why Jefferson, Washington, Jay, Hamilton, Adams, and others launched this experiment. The notion of small government, educated self-interest, and federalism have become concepts that some can define but few can feel.

Fred Thompson feels these tenets of freedom as vigorously as Hamilton and Madison ever did. The concepts that founded our experiment and to which we are so conceived and so dedicated endure in his heart and mind. They permeate his words.

By taking a few hours and a few dollars to fuel such a noble campaign is tiny sacrifice. With the world ready shovel into America’s grave, Fred–and, if I may be so bold, you and I–stand between the grave diggers and our beloved experiment, yelling “Stop!”

Thank you all.


Gribbit offers much deserved praise for John Hawkins efforts on behalf of Fred.

Also, Fred08 leads off with a video thanking you for your support and a request, from Fred himself, for the final few dollars to put the ad buy blog burst over the top.