Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Campaign 2012: We Review Rick Perry

The latest Republican presidential hopeful whom we shall
review is Texas Governor Rick Perry. His state's Lieuten-
ant Governor when George W. Bush was Governor, and
therefore Bush's successor when Bush was elected Presi-
dent in 2000, Perry declared his candidacy for our nation's
top job earlier this year and has made a big initial impact.


Republican politician Rick Perry was born on March 4, 1950
in tiny Paint Creek, Texas to ranchers Joseph Ray Perry and
his wife Amelia June Holt Perry. His father was also the
county commissioner for Haskell County and introduced his
son to politics at an early age. In his boyhood, Perry was
active in the Boy Scouts, making the level of Eagle Scout.
After graduating from Paint Creek High School in 1968
Perry attended Texas A&M University, where he was an
ROTC cadet and a male cheerleader for the school's sports
teams. Upon graduation in 1972 with an bachelor's degree in
animal science, Perry was commissioned an officer in the
Air Force where he completed pilot training and flew C-130
tactical airlift until 1977, when he mustered out as a captain
and returned to Texas. There, he joined his father in the
cotton farming business.

Rick Perry's first campaign for political office was in 1984 when
he was elected to the Texas House of Representatives as a
Democrat. During his three two-year terms in office he backed
Al Gore for the presidency in 1988, serving as chairman of his
campaign in Texas. Being a conservative Democrat and uncom-
fortable with the party's leftward march, Perry switched to the
Republican Party in 1989. In 1990 Perry challenged Jim High-
tower, the incumbent Agricultural Commissioner and a powerful
Democrat in Texas politics, winning the post. He would hold
that office until 1998 when Perry was elected Lieutenant
Governor, ascending to the governorship upon George W.
Bush's election to become President of the United States
in 2000.

A conservative, Rick Perry promotes his social conservatism
above the rest of the political areas in which he also takes a
conservative stand. While Texas' governor he backed a
successful drive to amend the Texas Constitution to prohibit
same-sex marriage, as well as to not recognize such unions.
Strongly opposed to abortion, Perry also signed both parental
notification and parental consent legislation for minors seeking
abortion into law. He gained national attention in 2003 for
signing into law Texas' Prenatal Protection Act, which is
explicit in its inclusion of fetuses in its definition of human
life. Perry gained further nation-wide limelight by attracting
the support of many Tea Party activists for his unvarnished
social conservatism, which was highlighted by his promotion
of "The Response USA", an Evangelical Christian prayer
rally that he co-sponsored with the American Family Associ-
ation this year. Perry himself is a lifelong Methodist.

Rick Perry married his boyhood sweetheart, Anita Thigpen,
and have two grown children, Sydney and Griffin.


Governor Perry is a stout, unapologetic conservative. As such,
he stands out from a field which has some GOP nomination
aspirants that show ambiguousity in their own conservatism.
As Texas' governor Perry has held the line on taxes, cutting
both taxes and spending. His fiscal discipline has brought a
turnaround in job numbers for Texans, with the creation of new
jobs as well as the relocation of jobs from higher-taxed states.
Perry's being governor of one of the most populous states
in the country also has at least somewhat prepared him for
how he must function if elected President. And with many
polls showing a swing in American opinion to the pro-life
side of the issue of abortion, Perry's pro-life bona fides
serve him well. And the derision he receives from the
establishment crowd and the so-called mainstream media
are fueling an increase in support from conservative


Rick Perry has proven to be a disaster in debates, going
by his participation in the GOP debates thus far. Perry
even admits his lack of debating prowess, making self-
deprecating jokes about it in interviews. Sometimes he
suffers a "brain fart", if you'll pardon your favorite Peasant
for this observation, when he is in a debate or an interview.
This has made for some painful gaffes. More worrysome,
however, is his joining the American Family Association
in sponsorship of the prayer rally earlier in the year. The
AFA is a heavily fundamentalist religious group headed
by Bryan Fischer, a controversial firebrand evangelical
figure who wanted to have only Christians attend the
rally; no one from any other faiths, just Christians, and
evangelical/fundamentalist ones at that. Some say that
Fischer and the AFA are part of the Dominionist Move-
ment, a fundamentalist effort to remake the law and
society of our country along strict fundamentalist
religious lines. Picture American mullahs not in white
robes and turbans but fancy three-piece suits. There
is an awareness of this movement among more than
a few disapproving conservatives who, while being
informed by their religious faiths, do not make their
politics correspond to same, and do not want to be
governed by anyone who does make their politics
so correspond. Your faithful Peasant shares this
concern. The $64,000 question: does Rick Perry
share the Dominionist outlook for our country
and its future?


Governor Rick Perry may be an unabashed conservative,
which is refreshing to see, but he may have some views
and ideas which many conservatives could not and would
not go along with. We conservatives do not want statism 
in ANY form; not secular nor religious, not socialist nor
theocratic. Perry has to make himself clear on what his
priorities regarding such are. And why can't his handlers
get him a debate coach?


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