As I have stated before, I am a full-spectrum conservative. I believe in common-sense, Constitutional conservatism based on the "three-legged stool" - fiscal, social, and national defense conservatism. All three of those legs are important, but my heart is especially with the national defense concerns.
Many long time Redstate readers know me from the posts I started writing on my first deployment. Some of you may think of me as the guy who keeps writing posts nagging us to remember that we are still at war.
As a veteran who served two tours in Iraq and saw good men and women lost, this issue resonates with me more than any other. Although our government has been bent and twisted from the founders' intent, it still holds true that the central role of the President of the United States is that of Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces.
Many have watched with dismay over the last few years as the military has been shackled with insane rules of engagement, resources that matched political expediency rather than mission requirements, more concern over the cultural sensibilities of our enemies than the lives of our Soldiers, and frankly - a CinC who appears to lose more sleep over a bad day at golf than over the deaths of America's finest.
All of the GOP candidates (with the possible exception of Ron Paul), would clearly be much better than President Obama. Other bloggers have made the general case for Rick Perry for President, including a group of Redstate front-pagers. He is a good choice for many reasons. But the most important reason to me - of all of the people seeking the nomination, it is my heartfelt opinion that he is the best choice for Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces. Governor Perry is a veteran himself, who flew missions around the globe. He understands what it means to wear the uniform. However, we only have to look at the likes of John Murtha, John Kerry, and Ron Paul to know that by itself, prior service isn't enough.
Governor Perry already has experience as the Commander in Chief of the Texas National Guard, and he has a reputation in Texas for reaching out to both veterans and gold star families. Marcus Lutrell, the man who lived through what was, at that time, the deadliest single day for American Special Forces, is a personal friend of the Perry family, and endorsed Governor Perry with a touching video:
The following video shows Governor Perry's heart and passion for American troops, especially those in harm's way - and he clearly understands on a gut level what the troops went through in the deserts of Iraq:
Governor Perry's love for the troops and understanding of who and what they are also shines in a video intended for Veteran's Day, featured in another post on Redstate. Of all the men and women who have been on that stage this election cycle, none have my confidence and trust like Governor Perry. Although the last troops(almost) just left Iraq, and the future in Afghanistan is uncertain, the War on Terror won't go away because we wish it so. The troops I trained and led and the ones they train and lead will serve in some god-forsaken ugly place with certifiably evil people trying to kill them, it is a given. I pray that we can be wise enough give them a Commander in Chief that will respect their sacrifice and their devotion to this country, one that will allow them to complete their missions with the resources, RoEs and common sense they require. Rick Perry is that person.
Rick Perry for Commander in Chief 2012
Cross Posted slightly different version at UnifiedPatriots.com