Today's most viewed story on the Washington Post is this:
Republican presidential candidate Fred D. Thompson has been crisscrossing the country since early this summer on a private jet lent to him by a businessman and close adviser who has a criminal record for drug dealing.
Thompson selected the businessman, Philip Martin, to raise seed money for his White House bid. Martin is one of four campaign co-chairmen and the head of a group called the "first day founders." Campaign aides jokingly began to refer to Martin, who has been friends with Thompson since the early 1990s, as the head of "Thompson's Airforce."
Thompson's frequent flights aboard Martin's twin-engine Cessna 560 Citation have saved him more than $100,000, because until the law changed in September, campaign-finance rules allowed presidential candidates to reimburse private jet owners for just a fraction of the true cost of flights.
Martin entered a plea of guilty to the sale of 11 pounds of marijuana in 1979; the court withheld judgment pending completion of his probation. He was charged in 1983 with violating his probation and with multiple counts of felony bookmaking, cocaine trafficking and conspiracy. He pleaded no contest to the cocaine-trafficking and conspiracy charges, which stemmed from a plan to sell $30,000 worth of the drug, and was continued on probation.
I am defiantly no supporter of Thompson, but I think this is a little crazy. Should we really be worried about something an adviser did a quarter century ago? One of the problems with this country is its tendency to hold on to past errors in judgement.
So what are we trying to get to; a country that only the perfect person can run for President, one with no ties to people with past convictions? If that is the case then I got a feeling we won't have anyone running. Then what happens if we find these "perfect" people? What next? Will we start judging them on traffic tickets, or perhaps a time they told their parent no?
People make mistakes and they go to jail to pay for their crimes. That is their retribution, but our stuck-up society forces people to pay for the rest of their lives, no matter how minor the crime.
By this very mentality George Washington should have never been President. After all, he was a traitor, along with the rest of the founding fathers, according to the British. It looks like the people who founded this country were a lot more forgiving than those who live in it today.