The problem with Rick Perry as a candidate for President of the United States is the same problem he shares with most of the other Republican Party presidential hopefuls and a major reason why they’ll have difficulty doing well in presidential elections.
He’s a nice man with some good political ideas just like all the others but unfortunately his avowed goal as a politician is to impose, not just his statist politics, but his ultra-right-wing religious beliefs on all of us whether we like it or not. There are just too many voters today who don’t.
Consider his stand on the issue of abortion, as just one example: "To be clear, my goal, and the goal of many of those joining me here today, is to make abortion, at any stage, a thing of the past," Perry declared to a group of his Right to Life supporters.
Now, I can understand and appreciate rational arguments supporting the opinion that some reasonable restrictions on abortions are valid such as prohibiting late term procedures unless necessary to protect the health of the patient, but no reasonable person can go along with the banning of all abortions regardless of the circumstances simply because some religious belief determines that “God” wants it that way.
That’s his religious belief. Rick Perry believes that “God” wants it that way and therefore he’s determined to do anything and everything in his power to ban or otherwise restrict as much as possible all abortions regardless of the circumstances and irrespective of the right to liberty interests involved.
"While Roe v. Wade prevents us from taking that step, it does allow states to do some things to protect life if they can show there is a compelling state interest. I don’t think there is any issue that better fits the definition of 'compelling state interest' than preventing the suffering of our state’s unborn," says Perry.
As governor of the State of Texas, Perry signed into law a requirement that pregnant women seeking their reproductive rights receive a mandatory ultrasound, “... because we believe that unborn children deserve the respect of recognition before their lives are tragically cut short."
He wants to shame the pregnant woman in an effort to change her mind. Obviously, an ultrasound is not a compelling state interest but an unnecessary and costly medical expense which has nothing to do with her health and everything to do with Perry’s religious beliefs and his intent to impose them upon her.
Perry also took steps to exclude Planned Parenthood from Texas’ subsidized women’s health program solely because that organization assists women in realizing their reproductive rights which is not in accord with his religious beliefs. Likewise, he urged lawmakers to pass a bill which would ban any abortion after 20 weeks gestation, i.e. long before a fetus is considered viable outside the womb.
His latest victory involves a federal court decision that upholds Texas laws which regulate abortion clinics with the same requirements imposed on surgical centers. The affect of this is that many currently operating abortion clinics in the state will be forced to close thereby making abortions much less available to women seeking them.
"Again, the ideal world is a world without abortion," said Perry."Until then, however, we will continue to pass laws to ensure abortions are as rare as possible under existing law." That is hardly a compelling state interest. It’s his own personal religious interest.
If Rick Perry has his way every victim of rape in the USA – perhaps even his own wife or daughter, perish the thought -- would be forced to carry the seed of her rapist to term. Every victim of incest would be forced to bear the result of the crime and carry the psychological consequences of it for the rest of her life. Every pregnant woman whose life is imperiled by her condition would be forced by the state to take the risk – all because Perry’s “God” wants it that way.
That’s the political flaw and the problem with Rick Perry.