Until yesterday, I wasn’t completely sure why I liked Rick Perry so much. I have a list of reasons, but none of them really got to the root of why I like him.
Yesterday the reason finally dawned on me. I watched this wonderful 11-minute video from Ben Howe entitled “The Rick Perry I Know”…
… and I had a revelation: Rick Perry is just like my Dad.
If you were to put a camera in front of my father, and ask him the same questions, you’d get the same mannerisms, the same pauses. Both men are clearly more comfortable doing than talking; both men also clearly possess a great depth of soul which is difficult to translate into words. This sort of authenticity can’t be faked.
You’d get a similar story, too: Just as Perry emulated his father’s service in the Air Force, Dad joined the Navy during Vietnam and became a hospital corpsman, which is what my grandfather did during World War II.
Recall Perry’s response to Mitt Romney’s $10,000 bet: “I’m not in the gambling business, but I’ll show you the book”. That’s a Bill Kauffman quote if ever there was one. You can bet he’s got the book at home, too: If Perry’s anything like my father, he’s always working on one book or another.
Like my Dad, Rick sees the population of the world in three categories: Innocent people, and the good guys, who protect them from the bad guys. This sort of man has a profound and selfless love for the first group; a great admiration and willingness to work with the second; and if you’re the third group… God help you. A few people fall into the category of “I haven’t figured you out yet“, and are treated skeptically but fairly. This might be a simplistic worldview, but it’s an admirable and pragmatic one which has served our species well for a very long time.
“Protection”, in this case, has a much different meaning than it does to liberals: To liberals, it means protecting you from yourself, or from the imaginary monsters known as “the rich”. This gives us a view of Rick Perry’s small-government “street cred”: People who grew up in a rural setting post-World War II genuinely believed most people could succeed through hard work. They’ve also experienced government getting in their way, which breeds an attitude we could call The Golden Rule of limited government: I wouldn’t want to inflict any more government on you than I would want you to inflict on me.
On the subject of Governor Perry’s “gay ad”: My Dad didn’t like gay people much, either, until he really got to know a few; as cliche as it sounds, one of them is a long-time business associate and friend. This shows us the distinction between “old-fashioned” and “bigoted”- a bigot demonstrates hatred, where someone old-fashioned may change their mind with time. I ask you this: If Rick Perry “hated” gays, would he have hired Tony Fabrizio? While I agree it was just plain stupid to run the ad, let’s also bear in mind the blind hatred and intolerance the left has for us: I can’t imagine anyone in today’s left hiring someone of Perry’s background as their high-level campaign operative.
This brings us to Perry’s allegedly “soft” immigration policy: As he’s often stated, he’s lived around and gotten to know some illegal immigrants. He has come to know the particular problems faced by that community. And he’s right- a person would have to “have no heart” to penalize children for their parents’ decisions.
I think all of us know someone like Rick Perry. I’m lucky enough to have gotten my name from one. To men like them, “love of family” and “love of country” aren’t catchphrases, they’re absolute mandates, and having such a man in the White House would be a great benefit to our country.