Rick Perry has long been my candidate of choice for 2012. Watching the past two Republican presidential candidates debates, I reached the conclusion that Perry might not be my ultimate choice after all. Now, almost all candidates have their strong and weak points:
I like Bachmann for her passionate belief in a small constitutional government. On the other hand, she is not a strong candidate because of her style (which at times can sound kooky); after all style usually wins over substance in the modern age.
I like Newt for his bold ideas that highlight American exceptionalism. On the other hand, he holds views, especially on man made global warming, that bother me a great deal.
I like Caine, Pawlenty, and even Ron Paul for various reasons but for one reason or another they are all off my list.
Finally, although I like the oratory skills and the presidential demeanor of Romney on the upside, but his defense of Romneycare in Massachusetts screams "I am a RINO" as I opined earlier.
Perry, on the other hand, was always appealing to me with his defiance of Washington and free market ideals he has been espousing. Two issues, however, have bothered me greatly about him. The less significant issue is that of forced HPV vaccinations for Texas teens. It smacks of government interventionism in people's private lives and has no place in a free society. The more significant issue is his immigration stance - especially his support for giving illegal aliens in-state tuition. This, to me, is unacceptable. I realize that the governor is looking at it as the lesser of two evils: he'd rather have educated illegals than uneducated and unproductive ones.
This is a fallacy; or a Hobson's choice, if you will. First, even if the illegals are educated, they are still illegal and shouldn't be working in the U.S. anyways. So, why do the good citizens of Texas have to subsidize higher education for illegals, many of whom do not even pay taxes? Second, his objection to the building of a border fence shows weakness.
Taken in its entirety, Perry is looking more and more like he is Bush V. 2.0 (well not that bad since he adheres to free market principles more than Bush family could even dream of).
Perry's Democrat roots are showing. Yes, Reagan was also a Democrat but that was in early 1960s (until 1962) when Democrat party did have a few conservative adherents to the U.S. Constitution. As he said, he did not leave the Democrat party, the party left him (just like Zell Miller did 40 years later as he explained in his excellent book "A National Party No More"). Perry, on the other hand, was a Democrat through 1992. He chaired Gores presidential campaign in Texas. Enough said.
Perry is no Reagan: he does not have the oratory skills of the Great Communicator, nor does he have the passionate conservatism Reagan so proudly displayed.
Like a puzzle whose pieces slowly come together, Perry's credentials as a constitutionalist are looking weaker by the day, thus I am no longer an enthusiastic Perry supporter. The only other candidate with realistic chance of winning the nomination is Romney - one of the other RINOs in the race.
Is this what it was going to come down to: Choosing the lesser of the two evils?