Thursday, January 19, 2012
A Salute to Rick Perry- Statesman and Patriot
In breathtaking drama before the second of two well-publicized South Carolina debates leading up to the state's primary elections this Saturday Jan 21st, Republican presidential candidate and former Air force serviceman Rick Perry has abruptly ended his White House bid and endorsed rival Newt Gingrich for the Presidency.
The move came unexpectedly in a race that has already had more than its fair share of twists and turns, and feeds into an already surging Gingrich candidacy fueled largely by his debate performances, (most recently last Monday's debate in which Gingrich once again showed his ability to master both the media and his Republican opponents in the art of persuasive public speech which in former times used to be called rhetoric).
As a somewhat late entering candidate, and beginning with an inability at an early debate to remember all three departments that he proposed eliminating from the federal bureaucracy, Rick Perry, unfortunate to his Presidential aspirations, seemed to take valuable time to get up to speed, even if his policy prescriptions seemed especially suited to appeal to conservatives across the Grand Ol Party.
And appeal they did. From his well-propped proposal for a national “flat tax” (in which he would wave a post card sized return Perry claimed is all a taxpayer would have to send in to the IRS under his proposal), to his promise to eliminate whole agencies of the federal government, Rick Perry's policy proposals were well-thought out and substantive.
Equally, if not more importantly, his unapologetic defense of State's rights under the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution was, at least in this organization's view, a breath of fresh air that brought a badly needed element to the national debate that will be sorely missed, (even if this organization's president and founder often found himself debating the issue of Perry's electability in a general election so soon after the country's less-than-satisfying experience with another swaggering Texan, George W. Bush, with far more zealous and enthusiastic Texas supporters of the Perry campaign).
Of course, it goes without saying that, as expected, (and clearly intended), Perry's withdrawl could not have come at a better time for Gingrich, and was seen by many, including this organization, as a pragmatic nod by Perry of his inability to crack single digits in national polls after early campaign gaffes and the increasing impossibility of winning the nomination, (indeed, such a victory seemed all but inevitable with so many splitting the conservative vote in S.C., including former U.S. Senator Rick Santorum and iconoclastic libertarian-leaning Congressmen Ron Paul).
But that is not all we are able to discern in these occurrences.
Perry's sudden withdrawl appears to be intentionally designed to breath new life into Newt's chances to stop a Romney victory by galvanizing and consolidating conservative voters who have always been wary of Romney's seeming policy shifts and Mormon background into a force for victory in South Carolina and possibly beyond.
In doing so just days before the S.C. primary, it is clear that Perry did so with intentional disregard to his own political aspirations and career, (as his previous decision to abandon a similar plan to drop out after the Iowa caucuses two weeks ago, a decision his supporters, including this party, urged him to reconsider at a time in which such a decision seemed premature).
This time, and faced with even longer odds in light of Newt's rise in the polls, Perry's decision was not so fleeting, even if the timing was unexpected.
Further, as alluded to above, and especially in light of the timing, it appears indisputable that Rick Perry took this action with intentional disregard for his own political position solely to avoid dividing the conservative vote because he felt to do so was in the nation's best interest in choosing a presidential nominee.
Accordingly, and regardless of our one's opinion on whether you agree with his endorsement of Newt or believe Romney is in fact such a bad candidate that such dramatic action was either necessary or desirable, there can be no doubt that the action Perry took was done out of a pure motivation for what he believed was truly best for the country with reckless disregard for his own Presidential aspirations, and as such, constituted a rare demonstration of courage and decency sorely lacking in our Republic today, (and so different, for example, from what we saw in 2008 in which Huckabee ran endless interference for McCain against Romney for seemingly less pure motives and which resulted in the nomination of a seriously flawed candidate in McCain and the 2008 loss to Obama).
Thus, in light of the current events, it is worth a moment of pause in the current blood-sport of national politics in order to reflect upon a man whose obvious conviction and passion for his country and the greatness he wished it to be returned to led him to run for President in spite of the daunting and grueling gauntlet doing so has become in our highly-politicized times.
We applaud this former Air force serviceman for this self-sacrificial act, and especially note Perry for his prior service, courage, and statesmen-like behavior throughout the campaign. You fought the good fight, sir, and most importantly, knew when to stand down in the service of your country, and for that, Governor Perry, we salute you. We wish you Godspeed in all future endeavors to which you might seek. jp