Governor Rick Perry has upped the ante after remarks during his appearance at the Tea Party in Austin, Texas. According to news accounts, the Governor acknowledged that independence is theoretically an option, but that it's not currently necessary.
...An animated Perry told the crowd at Austin City Hall — one of three tea parties he was attending across the state — that officials in Washington have abandoned the country's founding principles of limited government. He said the federal government is strangling Americans with taxation, spending and debt.
...Perry called his supporters patriots. Later, answering news reporters' questions, Perry suggested Texans might at some point get so fed up they would want to secede from the union, though he said he sees no reason why Texas should do that.
"There's a lot of different scenarios," Perry said. "We've got a great union. There's absolutely no reason to dissolve it. But if Washington continues to thumb their nose at the American people, you know, who knows what might come out of that. But Texas is a very unique place, and we're a pretty independent lot to boot..."
Some folks will no doubt be concerned that this statement is too strong and will marginalize the growing movement of citizens opposing the actions of our national government in Washington. Some may even characterize it as unpatriotic.
I completely disagree.
The Declaration of Independence is our nation's founding document - its core principles representing the foundation upon which the rest has been built. It is neither unpatriotic nor irrational - indeed it is necessary and affirmatively patriotic - to call out a government that "has become destructive of these ends," referring to our God-given unalienable rights, "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Governor Perry is putting Washington on notice: "Stop messing with Texas." That is his job. It is his job to protect the citizens of Texas from an overbearing, wasteful and largely incompetent national government. The only thing that should come as a surprise is that a governor is finally stepping up and saying "no."
Right now - Governor Perry has to calculate what is best for his 23 million constituents. He has to ask himself the following questions, among many:
- Will America's national defense be adequate enough to protect Texans after the numerous budget cuts and re-prioritizations of the Obama administration?;
- Will America, and thus Texas, be safe with massive cuts in missile defense even as North Korea and other rogue states seek nuclear weapons and missile capability?;
- Will Social Security and Medicare - currently barreling toward total collapse and massive unfunded liabilities - be solvent and viable for the millions of Texas baby-boomers heading toward retirement?;
- Will Americans, and thus Texans, be forced not just to tolerate abortion on demand but be forced to pay for it around the world with their hard earned tax dollars?;
- Will charities be capable of taking care of those in need (recall how much Texans stepped to the plate during Katrina to help those victims from Louisiana, even as Rita inflicted damage on Texas) given cuts in charitable tax deductions and the efforts to nationalize charities recently enacted into law (for which TX Senator Hutchison voted - and for which she should be held to account);
- Will activist judges force Texas to recognize gay marriages instituted in Vermont, New Hampshire, or any other state?;
- Will the massive spending by the national government create an unmanageable debt and cause massive inflation and dramatically damage the buying power and financial well being of Texans?;
- Will Americans, and thus Texans, have sufficient access to domestic exploration of oil, oil shale, clean coal and natural gas - so that the citizens won't face $4.00 + gasoline again, this time in a weaker economy?;
- Will the national government continue to prevent construction of nuclear power plants, and thus access to clean, American-produced, energy?;
- Will Americans, and thus Texans, be forced to buy only cars the size of "Smart Cars" in the name of protecting the planet and making the roads safer?"
- Will Americans, and thus Texans, be forced to go through government-run agencies or other entities to gain access to healthcare - placing a bureaucrat between them and their doctor?;
- Will Americans, and thus Texans, be forced to live with dangerous terrorists release from Guantanamo Bay?;
- Will American workers, and thus Texans, be allowed to work in an environment where private ballots for unions are allowed and supported?;
- Will American, and thus Texan, children be allowed to pray in school, enjoy Christmas assemblies or recognize God at all, or will activist judges continue to bastardize the First Amendment en route to a European style secular state?;
- Will American, and thus Texan, borders be protected from illegal entry or will our borders be protected?;
- Will the United States tax code continue to be incomprehensible and overly focused on social engineering such that it becomes increasingly difficult to manage tax preparation for the decreasing few who continue to carry the tax burden for America?;
This list does not begin to scratch the surface. But it gives one an idea of the kinds of things that Governor Perry and other governors who recognize the total failure of our "leaders" in Washington must consider. It is their responsibility to look out for their consituents and Governor Perry is absolutely correct to make clear that this is his number one priority.
It is now incumbent upon Governor Perry to step up on the substance - to set up a Task Force for the Preservation of Life, Liberty and Happiness in Texas to outline a master plan for Texas to ensure the well being of its citizens in the current climate, as well as to establish a line in the sand of the expectations of our national government. He and his advisors should specifically outline the issues that are important to Texans - issues such as national security, a strong economy, low/simple taxes, high quality and affordable healthcare, effective education, abundant clean energy, secure borders, a strong rule of law, respect for the Almighty and promotion of freedom generally - and then make very clear what we expect out of Texas and out of Washington to get the job done.
Per my previous post, he should do this as soon as possible and work with like-minded Governors such as Sanford, Jindall, Palin and perhaps others to work on efforts to lead America forward irrespective of the people in Washington masquerading as "leaders."
Leaders lead and Governor Perry has an opportunity to continue to do so if he will now take this strong rhetorical move and follow up with strong substance.
God Bless Texas and God Bless America.