Still, I commend Rick Perry for a number of things that he said and did during his tenure as Texas Governor and as 2012 and 2016 Presidential candidate.
He served fourteen years as the Governor for one of the reddest states in the union, one where the anti-Washington sentiment has not only remained, but strengthened in spite of the blue tinge taking over key departments in the
One of outstanding remarks during the final weeks of his campaign, Perry offered damning critiques of Donald "the cancer of conservatism" Trump (the real-estate media hound is a cancer, but not conservative), while buoying the depressed spirits of the American electorate, including the seemingly fractured Republican base, with hope:
"I happen to believe that conservatism is the future of this country, allowing people to live free from overtaxation, litigation, over-regulation. And that's what we need to be talking about in this country."
To paraphrase New York State gubernatorial candidate Jimmy McMillan: "The Government is too damn big."
Unlike Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, Perry talked about freedom, about choices, about liberation from the onerous state. Today, the federal government, expanding under the Obama banner, still does not fulfill its basic obligations to the Social Contract: to protect the life and safety of the citizenry.
Before his second - and now failed - bid for President, Perry 1.0 presented some startling ideas for this country, which even Ron Paul found more radical than his own. Repeal of the 17th Amendment appeared on his to-do list. An arcane argument to remove direct election of US Senators? Really? For real, since the political class has all but dominated the upper chamber, and apart from well-known conservative stalwards like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, a relentless Big Goverment juggernaut still pushes its way through, only to die in the House.
If US Senators had to listen to the state legislatures instead of intense lobbyists and sometime voters every six years, they would respect the constitution and impose stronger checks and balances on popular and federal interests. Perry understood this inner-baseball political problem, and wanted to do something about it.
|Texas Governor Rick Perry (Gage Skidmore)|
What about Texas under Perry?
The private economy boomed, even while government and the public sector receded. Joel Kotkin, write for Forbes Magazine:
Texas has done what most of other states — notably the blue coastal ones — have failed to do: create jobs. Over the past decade Texas has created 2.1 million jobs — while New York, California, Massachusetts and Illinois have all lost jobs.Tort reform flew into full-swing, and in spite of President Obama's big promises, Texas delivered on health care costs and access.
Kotkin praised some of Perry's reforms:
Jim DeCosmo, CEO of the Austin-based Forestar Group, credits Perry with maintaining a business-friendly regulatory regime and with important steps for tort reform. These, he feels, both encourage Texas businesses to expand in the state and for out-of-state companies to move in.
Infrastructure improved in the Lone Star State, as well. Epikvote comments:
There's been considerable development of the State's infrastructure during Rick Perry's tenure. Texas Governor Perry has directed a lot of taxpayer's money towards improving roads and other infrastructure projects. The improvements are often evident when looking at photographs of Texas a decade ago and comparing them to Texas today. Under Rick Perry, Texas has transformed.
If public money must be spent, spend it on roads and public works, which serve everyone.
In may respects, Perry presided over a state with a low-tax, limited government culture already in place, so the former governor cannot take major credit for the rapid immigration from all over the country. OpportunityLives.com acknowledged that the robust economic growth did not stem from Perry's action, as much as his inaction toward federal overreach, blocking Washington's invasion into education and healthcare.
The thrice-elected governor also achieved one of the most remarkable pro-life records in recent history, courageously stood for natural marriage, and ushered in comprehensive criminal justice reforms to diminish recidivism, engage proactive policing to prevent crime and preserve taxpayer dollars.
Perry would have been a great President, but he was not a strong presidential contender. If he had waited for more years, he could have been an eight year President in the White House and brought the Texas Miracle to the entire country. At least his fitting record and inviting hopes for our country's future can leave the American public knowing that better things remain in store for a country where better leaders lie aplenty.