Dressed in a tan Carhartt jacket and a casually worn blue dress shirt, Texas Governor Rick Perry is featured in his latest campaign ad as a rugged but handsome man with honest eyes and a trustworthy smile. He proceeds to tell the American public in his Texan drawl that, unlike some “liberals [who] say that faith is a sign of weakness,” his faith in God gives him strong values and is important to running the American government. But honestly, I don’t have faith in Rick Perry.
On Dec. 3, Governor Perry was able to speak more about his platform on Fox News during the Republican Presidential Forum. In this 15-minute segment, which is available both on YouTube as well as on Governor Perry’s own campaign website, he contradicted himself over and over again. For a man who claims that Federalist Papers contributor James Madison, a proponent of a strong national government, was his favorite Founding Father, it is interesting that one of Perry’s main campaign goals is to set a term limit on Supreme Court justices to prevent “rogues” (as he calls four of our current justices who are strict constructionists) from setting a limit on the federal government’s powers. Yet in the same interview, this Republican presidential candidate also called for increased state government powers by eliminating the Departments of Education, of Energy and of Commerce.
In his interview, Gov. Perry stated that the labor laws being left to the state governments is an innocuous and rather beneficial change to how government is run. When asked which move would be better — eliminating Roe vs. Wade or passing the Human Life Amendment — Gov. Perry replied, “Both,” further confusing whether he supported a strict or flexible interpretation of the Constitution and therefore federal versus state powers.
While I personally see holes in his platform, not just in contradiction but also in logic, the real flaw of the Perry campaign is his extreme conservatism. A leader of the nation is meant to bring solidarity to the American public through the grand ability to see both sides of the spectrum and provide a happy medium to both ends. Of course, I am an idealist when it comes to politics (which is perhaps why I am not a political science major), but at the same time I don’t see Gov. Perry’s campaign as a realistic possibility for our country’s future president. Anyone who has been following the news over the past several months can see that partisanship, not only being at an all-time high but also actively paralysing the effectiveness of our government, makes having such an extreme and uncompromising candidate the last thing our country needs.
If anything, Gov. Perry provides a candidate for the far right-wing demographic in our nation who would rather not vote than vote for a Republican whom they would deem to be “too liberal.” Whether he is meant to curb the amount of voters who “settle” for a sub-par presidential candidate, I believe the Republican party is only hurting itself by stealing funding and support from other Republican candidates who would perhaps provide a better platform to bring both the Republican and Democratic parties together under the single roof of the White House.
By Rosie Brown