During the debate last Wednesday, Perry stood by his Ponzi scheme statement, and much to the chagrin of beltway pundits everywhere, he was not struck down by a liberal lightning bolt.
It turns out that although Americans want the jobs situation to get better, and they want to see our debt come under control, the most important thing they are looking for in a candidate, is someone who is honest.
After the debate Frank Luntz gathered a group of people together to critique the performance. Almost all of them agreed that social security is indeed a Ponzi scheme. They also said that it was important to do more than label it. We needed to work towards finding a solution. It was these people, in this group, and not the punditry that reminded us Rick Perry also promised that those depending on social security now would not be effected by any envisioned changes. The vast majority felt it was time to tell the truth, and even stated that they could handle the truth. In contrast, Mitt Romney started his answer to the Social Security question with “If we nominate someone who the Democrats can correctly characterize as being opposed to Social Security, we will be obliterated as a party”. Romney is well versed in the courtesan ways of Washington, where one says what they think needs to be heard rather than what needs to be said. In essence he answers “You can’t handle the truth.”
The fact is, we clamor the truth. Sure, we have become jaded and we unhappily expect the inevitable broken promises. Obama vowed to fund his campaign with public funds but broke that promise as soon as it didn’t suit him. He insisted Obamacare would save money, while he certainly knew it wouldn’t and even now, he is asking us to spend another 450 billion dollars, or 1,350 dollars for every man woman and child in America on programs, most of which the CBO had previously announced would not be effective, bringing in only 90 cents for every dollar spent. Honesty is not important to him. He bluntly tells the American people that this “jobs” program is paid for, but he will wait 10 days before telling us how, AND he will ask the group of twelve to toss another half a billion of cuts onto their duties. Both show that this program is anything BUT paid for.
We are fed an endless supply of unworkable crackpot theories, garnished in Orwellian Newspeak, by people who have everything to gain by catering to their constituencies and nothing to gain by telling the truth.
Rachel Maddow gleefully picked up the baton during her rantfest on MSNBC, saying that at least Perry was honest. But again, she thinks that honestly is the last thing Americans want to hear.
So along comes Perry. He is blunt and unapologetic. He calls Washington “a seedy place”. He does not look for sugar coated words. He explains that if someone tells us a 25 year old will have the same benefits as people retiring today, that someone is lying, plain and simple. Perry does not say mis-informed, prevaracating, or guilding the lily, he says “lying”. He gives us enough respect to tell us the truth, unadorned.
While the talking heads decry such outspokenness, and actually assume he is dumb for choosing those words, the rest of us applaud. In every poll taken since the debate, it is Perry who does the best against Obama.