Saturday, September 10, 2011

Excuse Me, President Perry

Every day we hear some new crazy quote. Some ridiculous ideology. Some new incredulous sound byte coming from Rick Perry. We all get on Twitter, our blogs, Facebook, etc. and make our quips, rant and rave and share our opinions that collectively come down to this: Rick Perry is a nightmare waiting to happen.

It occurred to me recently that I’ve never really thought about what life would be like under Rick Perry. If, by some unthinkable happenstance, he got everything he wanted, it’s nothing short of terrifying.

To get an overview of where Mr. Perry falls on the evil-meter, here’s a list of Federal laws and programs he has called “unconstitutional” (in alpha-numeric order):

- The 17th Amendment
- Child Labor Laws
- Civil Rights Protections
- Environmental Protection Agency
- Medicaid
- Medicare
- Minimum Wage
- Public Schools
- Social Security
- Student Loans

So what are the implications, and is there be an ulterior motive behind his ideologies? Yes, and yes.

Prayer would not only be allowed, but possibly required in public schools. Would Muslim and Jewish children be forced to swear devotion to Jesus Christ? Parents would be pulling their children out of school faster than you can say “big oil”. Evolution would be presented as some crackpot theory. Then there’s that pesky little business about separation of church and state. Of course he can always fall back on his guiding principal, “it’s unconstitutional”.

If he really had his way, public schools would be a thing of the past, being unconstitutional and all.

As for higher education (assuming you somehow get your child through primary school), he has declared student aid staples such as Pell Grants and student loans, you guessed it, “unconstitutional”. He defends his position with “the government doesn’t have a role in your children’s education”. I think what he means here is the government shouldn’t have to pay for it.

So the next generation, widely uneducated, will be prime candidates for low-income jobs, crime, and poverty, further widening the class gap at a geometric rate. Which, of course, works out beautifully for his wealthy constituents. And we all know about his “no-tolerance” policy on crime. Off with their heads!

Perry has also made no bones about his avid opposition to assisting his fellow countrymen in need. In 2010, he even toyed with the idea of pulling Texas out of the Medicaid program. He gave up on the idea when the state comptroller informed him that it would bankrupt the state. That said, what effect would slashing Medicaid do to an entire nation? And yes, that photo was taken in Texas.

He has also stated that “laws protecting civil rights are unconstitutional”, except for those barring racial discrimination. So are we going to start deciding whose civil rights deserve protection and whose don’t? That seems a bit, well, unconstitutional.

Then there are his religious views, which make a strong showing in many of his policies. Personally, I think it’s nothing but a way provide logic to his insane ideologies - it‘s all “God‘s will“, not because he‘s out of his mind. If we just pray harder, our economic and social problems will get better. Along with his ridiculous policies of course. Regarding the massive oil spill in the Gulf Coast, he commented “From time to time there are going to be things that occur that are acts of God that cannot be prevented.” – C’est la vie…

For me, the scariest of all is Perry’s stance on environmental protection, or lack thereof. Perry calls climate science “a secular carbon cult”, that invents data to prove global warming exists. Pretending global warming doesn’t exist dovetails nicely with the booming TX oil empire in his home state.

In June, Perry signed a largely symbolic bill that allows Texas companies to continue producing incandescent light bulbs banned by the EPA, as long as they are sold within the state. Additionally, Texas is the only state that has refused to put in place the EPA's new rules regulating carbon dioxide and other heat-trapping gases.

I mean if it was wrong, God would let someone know.