What’s next for Rick Perry?
By Bernie Quigley
For The Hill on 1/24/12
“Come and take it” – Texas flag at the Battle of Gonzales, March, 1831
Rick Perry takes it back to Texas. He might run again for governor. He should. As Steve Forbes says, he's a great governor with great ideas. I'd make the case that his poor performance in the presidential race is a credit to him as a Texan and a Texas governor. He feels uncomfortable away from home, away from Texas. It is the Jeffersonian ideal and Perry is paragon of these earth-based, sense-of-place values. More than values. A sense of being; at one with the ancestors, at one with God, at one with one’s own place on earth and free of abstractions.
What Perry wanted to achieve for Texas as a Texan was unachievable as a President and Ron Paul should take note. Because Perry and Paul are both in their way “free state” guys. But the freedom and autonomy they seek cannot be granted top down like a benevolent master freeing his provincial serfs in the far provinces. They need to take it. Like his boots say, "Come and take it." If Texas wants it, she’s got to take it.
And right now Perry has a whole posse with similar ideas; the Pauls, Judge Andrew Napolitano, Gary Johnson, Libertarian candidate from New Mexico, Joe Miller of Alaska, Sarah Palin of Alaska, the Tenth Amendment Center – more daily, and tens of thousands of young students who are beginning to listen to the Paul's.
Perry must have seen the problems rising right away when he entered the presidential race; the problems of globalized abstractions superimposed on real people of the desert and big sky in places likeTexas. Gay marriage? Michelle Bachmann wanted to legislate from Washington, D.C. how people live in Vermont and Massachusetts on issues which the federal government has no jurisdiction. It is Tea Party totalitarianism and the tendency was always there which I warned about when I first encouraged Perry to run for president in 2009. Perry called it correctly a states rights issue in his great book , “Fed Up! Our Fight to Save America from Washington”:
“We are a diverse people – incapable of being governed from a faraway capital by people who do not share our values. Recognizing this fact is critical to the preservation of a free state.”
Then he walked it back and fell in line with Bachmann and the others in trying to govern the behavior of Massachusetts and Vermont from D.C.: It is totalitarian when the Chinese tell the Tibetans how to pray, it is totalitarian when Washington tells Vermonters how to make love.
What Perry wants for states, especially Texas, cannot, will not be given by a federal government. It has to be taken by Texas and the few other states which seek free state status and Constitutional government. Rick Perry as Governor of Texas needs a committee of like-minded governors. He should be the leader of this movement. He needs to lead a super committee of governors in sympathetic states.
Texas is ready for self government, so is Alaska, Kentucky, Kansas, Idaho and Utah and few others. That means full Tenth Amendment rights and colloquial consciousness. But this is a job for states and their governors who have the courage to take it, because it will not be given and it is not worth having if it is given by central government. Perry can do this and possibly only he can do it.