There is a great deal of angst about the state of affairs in Washington these days - and more books, websites, posts, tweets and opinions generally about what to do about it. But for the most part, for a host of reasons, most of those opinions focus on Washington itself. But not - at least not for today - those of Texas Governor Rick Perry. Perry is in the heat of a general election campaign against 3 term Houston mayor Bill White after having knocked off the one time seemingly invincible Kay Bailey Hutchison in the primary, and as such, he's focused on Texas.
But his focus on Texas goes deeper than his current race for governor. He understands that for America to be strong - that states need to do their part, and Texas is central to that effort. In an interview this past week conducted jointly by Newsweek Magazine and theTexas Tribune online, the Governor said some very interesting and important things about the future of America.
Of particular note, Governor Perry said, "[t]he future of America is inextricably intertwined with the states pushing back on Washington, D.C." Amen. He added, "[t]he federal government wants to be the epicenter of all thought and policy and one-size-fits-all. It’s very clear that we have very, very different ideas about the structure of this country and how it should work." Again, amen.
We can do all we want to try to replace Senators and Congressmen in Washington - and we must absolutely do that - but unless and until states, and the people thereof, begin to push back on the increasingly destructive and unconstitutional policies coming from Washington, the trend of centralization of power and diminution of liberty will not change. It is not in the nature of those who go to Washington to reduce the size and scope of our national government or to shed the power they wield. Rather, it is in their DNA to find ways to increase their power or to "solve problems" from Washington, whether it is their Constitutional responsibility to do so or not.
This is what makes Governor Perry's comments so important. The article(s) are replete with suggestions by Perry that he fully understands the proper and necessary balance of power between states and national government. To wit:
Re: Healthcare - "I think Texans do not want a government 1,500 miles removed from the state micromanaging health care," and:
For over two years, we’ve had a waiver request in front of the Health and Human Services Committee — before this administration got in place, I might add — that would allow us some flexibility to use federal dollars differently than what’s mandated by the federal government to create insurance opportunities for those who are uninsured today. That’s one example. I think there are a number of ways that, if the states were left to their own devices, you would see substantially more Texans who had access to health care. What we would like to see are ways to create a more efficient distribution and preventative healthcare.
Re: Immigration and Mexico:
The fact is, we shouldn’t have to be doing anything. The federal government’s responsibility has always been to operate the security mechanism along the border. When they proved to us that they did not have the interest or the desire, that’s when we acted. That’s when we put Operation Linebacker and multiple surge operations in place. Those have been successful up to a point, but we don’t have the resources or the manpower to secure the border the way it needs to be. A 1,000-troop National Guard request has been in front of this president for over a year, and no response. We are forced by Washington’s inaction to take action ourselves.
Immigration reform can’t happen until you secure the border. This isn’t a chicken-or-egg issue. You can have all the discussions and the debates you want, but they are all going to be failures unless and until you secure the border.
On being called a hypocrite for taking stimulus dollars:
Texas is a major donor state. We Texans send billions of dollars to Washington, D.C., in the form of federal gas taxes and income taxes. These are Texas-earned, Texas-generated dollars — monumental amounts of money, substantially more than flows back into this state. So the idea that we’re going to be purer than pure and not take any money back because it’s been identified as stimulus dollars? These are our dollars. This is our money.
On the New Deal:
Oh, yeah, since the '30s. If Americans want to really go back and historically engage when we really got off track, it started in 1930, with Franklin Roosevelt and the start of the Great Depression and the maneuvering of Roosevelt and Congress as they started to pull power into Washington, D.C., and create government programs and government agencies.
And when asked again about the New Deal, with clear disbelief, "[y]ou're opposed to the New Deal?"
RIGHT. Say that loudly and proudly, brother. No need to hide behind supposed third rails and intellectual psychobabble about how the New Deal was really conservative (only in the worlds of Frum, Douthat et. al. can this be true...). Say what we all know - the New Deal, and the many government programs that have followed since, have been a terrible expansion of the national government that now is resulting in a nation-on-the-brink situation where we cannot pay for the promises made because Ponzi schemes, are... well, what they are.
The bottom line is this: It is going to take both replacing our national representatives with conservatives AND making sure our state and local representatives are strong, limited government, conservatives who are willing to tell the national government - loudly - that it has overstepped its bounds to get America where she needs to go.
We can do this - groups like American Majority are working to train local and state candidates, and they deserve our support.
Rick Perry may or may not be seeking the national stage - he says he is not. But whether he is or is not, he has consistently recognized the need to take care of ourselves at home and to keep Washington from interfering with our lives. Keep it up, Governor - it's the right thing to do.