Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Governor Perry Speaks

The first time I heard that Texas Governor Rick Perry was considering a run for the White House, my gut reaction was—NO! But after that, I have moderated somewhat and have allowed him onto the list of possibles. 

The thing is, I live in Texas, so I know the flaws. But if I were from some other state, and I looked at the comparative success of Texas, and I heard him talk the way he does about conservative principles, I’d be hoping he’d run. 

There is a list of questionable actions that I wish he hadn’t done. But I think I’ll save that list for another day and let this post just be an introduction of the good side. (And I'd like to add, yesterday he placed the TSA anti-groping bill on the agenda for the special session of the legislature now underway. I may be able to fly again. I wrote about this on May 13th.)

I have heard Rick Perry speak many times. I met him in person once as a guest at the capitol along with a busload invited by my state representative. So we got to shake hands and get our photos taken. Another time we were doing a lobbying day at the capitol for homeschoolers, and my daughter, Social Sphere, got her picture taken with him. I’ve heard him speak at state GOP conventions all four times I’ve been a delegate. And once, as a field trip, I took my daughter to hear him on a nearby campaign stop. Always his language is conservative. And I very much like his Texas straight-shooting style.  

There was a time (before moving to this state) that I thought—“Oh, no! Not another Texas accent!” when some Texan was considering getting into the presidential race. I grew up prejudiced against the Texas twang, because it sounds, well…uneducated. But after more than a decade here, I’m overcoming that prejudice. In this large city, most people speak standard American, like you hear on the news or TV. But the natives are mixed in among us. And I’ve come to find that there’s not much corollary between accent and brains. And some people have a milder accent that isn’t such a strain to listen to; it just sounds straight-forward and honest. Perry has that brand of accent. And as you’ll see below, his style includes some very nice parallel structure, good strong verbs, and a number of other details that let me know he’s thinking clearly about what he’s saying. 

This past Friday Governor Perry spoke, as President of the Republican Governors, at a Conservative Leadership Conference in New Orleans, which got some good reviews. So I listened to it online last night. There were some memorable things in the speech I thought I’d share (times into the video are approximate): 

6:00 in
Will future generations of Americans … wonder, why didn’t somebody do something?

7:00 in
I stand before you today a disciplined, conservative Texan, a committed Republican, and a proud American, united with you in the desire to restore our nation and revive the American Dream.” 

8:00 in
47.8% of all jobs created in American in the last two years were created in Texas. 

I’ve got to brag on Texas conservative values just a bit. We’re the number one exporting state in the nation. We got a balanced budget to boot. And let me tell you that’s what happens when conservative leadership that is willing to take a beating from the liberal left and their friends in the media—we happen to be a bunch of happy warriors. We’ve been working together, we’ve stuck to our guns, and these conservative values.

9:00 in
I distill my economic agenda down to a few guiding principles:
1.      Don’t spend all the money.
2.      Keep the taxes low and under control.
3.      Have regulations that are fair and predictable so that business owners know what to expect from one quarter to the next.
4.      Reform the legal system so that frivolous lawsuits don’t paralyze employers that are trying to create real wealth.
That’s what we’ve done. 

15:00 in
Our loudest opponents on the left are never gonna like us, so let’s stop trying to curry favor with ‘em. Let’s stand up. Let’s speak with pride about our morals and our values and redouble our efforts to elect more conservative Republicans. Let’s stop this American downward spiral. It’s happening because of too much spending, too much interfering, and too much apologizing. 

There’ve always been two kinds of politicians: those who seek office to gain personal power, and those who seek office to give power back to the people.

16:45 in
They will never willingly give up an ounce of power in Washington, DC, until the American people stand up and demand that we adopt reform. Never will they do that. 

17:00 in
He reminds us that his book, Fed Up, is about the 10th Amendment, which he quotes, about states rights. Then he says this:

It’s simple, it’s elegant, and to the point. The framers of our Constitution knew all too well what happens when distant, too-powerful governments hold sway over a nation. And that’s why they decentralized power out of Washington, DC, into the hands of the states. 

When states lead the way, and they compete for ideas and resourced and jobs, free-market principles are allowed to act and great things happen. 

The states are proof that the best leadership is closest to the people, not holed up in Washington, DC, using their one-size-fits-all mandates that try to fit the entire country. Our goal is to displace the entrenched power in Washington, restore the rightful balance between state and federal government. 

In November of 2008 there were too many Americans who voted for some vague promises about hope and change. And they ended up with unprecedented deficits, unrestrained spending, and unacceptable unemployment. America voted for hope and got nothing but greater economic misery. 

20:00 in
In November of 2010 Americans expressed their frustration with that misery, and they voted for conservative Republicans. In the United States Congress and state houses all across this country we have seen Republican leaders turning the tide. November 2012 is not very far away. But we’ve got to be ready to elect Republican leaders up and down that ballot who will make government smaller so that opportunity can get bigger. 

I’m preaching to the choir here; I understand that. But America’s greatness in not found in the size of its government. America’s greatness resides in the hearts and the minds of our people, their innovative approaches to solving problems, and their ability to endure even in the toughest times.

I'm considering listing the flaws tomorrow, because there are things about him as a possible candidate that concern me. But whoever we get to replace Obama, I hope it's someone who talks like Perry just did--and means it through and through. Then there's hope that we'll get change.

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