To be honest, I am not awfully happy with Rick Perry falling out of the race. Not that I am surprised, not at all. As a Texas resident, having the chance to watch Perry as a governor for quite a few years, I knew he was signing up for a game way above his league, intellectually. I knew he was going to make foolish mistakes; and he made them, a bunch of’em. I knew he wouldn’t know much of what he was going to say, neither would he know what he was talking about when he did say something. I knew he would try to copy others, mainly Ron Paul, in his rhetoric: Perry has always been a copycat when it comes to ideas and rhetoric. And not that it is necessarily bad; in fact, with people like Perry or Santorum, or Cain, one feels safer if they don’t come up with new ideas themselves but only follow the ideas of better minds than them. And I knew that when challenged about his ideas, he wouldn’t have great answers. Those of us that have had the chance to watch him in the Texas politics knew very well that Perry is not exactly an intellectual giant.
I am still disappointed. For several reasons.
First, Perry was one of the only two Evangelical candidates left. Not only that, he is one of the only two candidates that made public their profession of faith. Yes, yes, I know, he wore it on his sleeve, but that’s Texas politics. But at least when he made that prayer rally, he stood firm against attacks by atheists and agnostics. I think he was honest. And despite some small shortcomings, there are still very good reasons to believe that Perry’s faith is genuine, even if a little misinformed and theatrical.
Second, Perry was one of the only two candidates that actually donned the uniform – and that by personal choice. Gingrich and Romney dodged the draft – chickenhawks is a good description. Santorum has had the life of a pampered momma’s boy. Perry actually volunteered and flew C-130 tactical airlift for five years – not in combat but still in places like the Middle East where it wasn’t exactly comfortable to fly. And while I disagree with Perry’s views on war, a veteran is a veteran. It takes some guts to volunteer.
Third, Perry was one of the only two candidates that was actually a self-made man, without much financial help from parents or from a political establishment in the early ears of his life. He worked as a door-to-door salesman for the Southwestern Company; anyone who has been in sales knows what presence of character and tenacity of spirit is necessary to survive on such a job. We often look down on salesmen, especially door-to-door salesmen, but we seldom stop to think how hard the job is. And then, he was farming cotton before he went into politics, and it ain’t an easy job either. So, whether one likes the guy or not, one has to admit, he has what it takes to be an entrepreneur, even if he can not talk about the bigger issues of money supply or economic growth.
Fourth, Perry was one of the only two candidates who openly challenged the constitutionality of the Federal Reserve and vowed to audit it if he became a President. Now, whether he understood the larger implications of that is not clear; he backpedaled on it when he was challenged. But at least, he openly said it. Santorum, Romney, Cain, Gingrich, openly declared they are going to keep the Federal Reserve as it is; not very surprising for establishment insiders. But Perry at least threw the gauntlet.
Fifth, Perry was one of the only two candidates with a perfect score as a defender of the 2nd Amendment. He is a Texan, after all, and like the other Texan in the race, gun freedom was part of his platform. If we could expect one thing from President Perry, it would be to repeal all executive orders that limit the use and sale of firearms, and veto any law that limits gun freedom.
Sixth, Perry was one of the only two candidates that actually ran on the idea of states’ sovereignty. If there is one thing that a non-Texan should know about Texas’s politics, it is the utter hatred and disgust with the Federal government. Well, I don’t know how Perry personally feels about the Federal government; but in his rhetoric he at least pays lip service to the spirit of Texas.
Seventh, Perry was one of the only two candidates who vowed to shut down Federal agencies. I think he meant it. The “oops” moment of brain block was a little unfair; and while it was funny, it didn’t necessarily reveal any major flaw in the candidate. At least in his confusion he turned to the right guy for help – Ron Paul – the only other candidate who openly advocates shutting down Federal agencies. He knew he wouldn’t get any help from Romney, Santorum, or Gingrich, who want to expand, not to shrink the Federal government.
Eight, Perry was one of the only two candidates who actually does have some positive pro-life record. Romney is a flip-flopper on abortions. Gingrich has always been on both sides of the fence, cooperating with Nancy Pelosi if necessary to keep Planned Parenthood working and prosperous. Santorum, for all his bragging and self-importance, has a very poor record in this regard, voting hundreds of millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood (“uh, uh, for birth control”), supporting legislation to federally prosecute peaceful pro-life protesters, and supporting the staunch pro-abort Arlen Specter. Perry – outside of his short affair with Gardasil, where he quickly changed his mind when he realized that Texan voters were against him – has no record of voting directly pro-abort. In fact, under him, Planned Parenthood lost state funding in Texas.
Now that Perry is out of the race, there is only one candidate left who is:
2) a veteran;
3) has independent business experience;
4) calls for ending the Federals Reserve;
5) has a perfect score as a defender of gun freedom;
6) believes in the 10th Amendment;
7) wants to shut 5 Federal agencies as a first step to shrink the bloated Federal government; and even has a plan for $1 trillion immediate cuts; and
8 ) has a perfect pro-life record, political and professional.
The choice is very clear.