Laying It All On The Line
I want to begin by stating how thankful I am for your leadership in Texas and how proud I am of the work that you have done to make Texas the finest state in which to live. Your leadership as Governor had been admirable, and it has been wonderful to see you apply the principle that an economy is only successful and prosperous when it has been freed from the choke-hold of the government and regulatory agencies. Texas has certainly progressed under your leadership and you have obviously sought to keep government out of the way and allowed the free market to do its work. You have also understood the importance of the family, and the right to life, having consistently promoted life and opposed abortion and agencies that would further the pro-choice cause. As a Christian and human being, I believe that every unborn child has just as much a right to life as any human who has lived 20 or 30 years. That right to life cannot be discriminated against. Not only have you indicated and proven you are a strong supporter of family and freedom, but you have proven to be a leader of faith, unashamed to admit and testify to the work of Christ as King and Savior. There is no greater foundation on which you can stand than the one of faith. So thank you for understanding the principles of limited government and the free market. Thank you for your strong faith in God. And thank you for your record of promoting and defending the family and the right to life.
Now, I have to admit that I don't agree with everything that you have done as Governor, nor would I suspect that most agree with everything. But that's to be expected. No one is perfect, and no one in a leadership role is immune from mistakes. Particularly when you're the executive leader of the second largest state and the fifteenth largest economy in the world. I'm not interested in perfect politicians. In fact, the moment that a politician acts like he's the perfect answer to all of our problems, we ought to immediately tune out and move on. Perfect politicians are perfect liars.
With all of the above in mind, I supported your candidacy for President of the United States, knowing that you had an uphill climb and your work cut out for you. The world is a dangerous place and politics aren't pure and holy - they're as filthy and grimy as a pigpen on a rainy day. You're going to get muddy and you're going to take some hits. To make matters worse, the state level cannot begin to compete with the national level. Things were truly going to get ugly.
This nomination process has certainly been every bit as ugly as we expected, and our choices definitely appear slim as we begin this primary season. We are left with a candidate who has a consistent history of moderate (to say the least) political decisions and associations, another who has failed in his marital vows time and again, one who has collected more than a bundle of earmarks while spending away as a Senator, yet another who fails to understand the proper way to defend this country in the midst of a global society, and you - who only recently has found success in the presidential debates.
Unfortunately, I have to agree with Will Rogers, who once quipped, "The best thing about this group of candidates is that only one of them can win." Additionally, your time is running out, and my ability to stomach the leaders in the polls is rapidly decreasing.
That's why I believe that it's vitally important that you lay it all on the line. Now is not the time to be stressing the nuances of Romney's corrupt capitalist ventures. Now is not the time to nitpick and divide. You need to unite the true conservatives in South Carolina and Florida, and you need to do so under your name. Show them that there's no reason to vote for Newt when he practically endorsed you when writing the forward in your book, Fed Up. Without even attacking him for his marital issues, prove to voters that Newt wasn't kidding when he wrote, "Rick Perry, Texas governor for the past decade, is uniquely qualified to offer a firsthand perspective on why the United States—the most successful civilization in human history—is being threatened with economic collapse. Show the voters how crucial it is that a president has executive experience, and has the financial firepower to win in a general election. Santorum doesn't have this ability, nor does he have the experience.
Your goal in South Carolina should not be to push over Romney - that won't happen immediately. What you have to prove is that you're the answer to those who want someone other than Romney. That you're the true conservative. That you're a firm believer in the Tea Party principles. The goal in South Carolina should be to coalesce the devout conservative voters under your banner because they realize that you have a more consistent record than either Santorum or Gingrich, and not only are you more consistent, but Gingrich has practically endorsed you already! Gain that momentum, and you'll be well on your way to a comeback. Ron Paul's supporters will remain faithful, and Romney's supporters will hold their ground until only one true conservative emerges. Then you'll be well on your way to victory.
Wrapping up, please continue to do what you're doing as you move across South Carolina. Take the time to speak to everyone - to listen to their causes and listen to their stories. Be ready to admit that you're not perfect - that you're not a perfect candidate, and aren't looking for voters that will agree with absolutely everything you say. But point them to your past and your record. Show them that you're the best option over Gingrich and Santorum. Don't spend time nitpicking and tearing down, but build the people up - provide them with the illustration that it's always darkest just before the dawn. And dawn will come. Things will change for the better. Be the candidate that shines that light, and spreads that message, and you'll surely succeed.
Finally, proceed with humility. Be honest with your voters. Remind them how willingly and broadly and enthusiastically they supported you when you entered. Admit that you weren't as ready as you needed to be at the time, but prove that you're ready now. Show them the difference. If there's a spark there, fan that flame. You may have lost support over style, but the substance they were excited about in August is the same substance you bring to the race now.
Once again, I appreciate what you have brought to this race, and I happily acknowledge the successes you have had in Texas. Texas is better for having you as Governor. I can only hope that your momentum is not all lost, and that you can once again spark the imaginations of the conservatives across this nation as you seek the Republican nomination. Thank you for your willingness to serve this nation.
A fellow Texan