In a move that is certain to shake up the Republican Party’s 2012 presidential race, Texas Gov. Rick Perry will officially announce Saturday that he will indeed throw his hat into the ring. Perry, the longest-serving governor in the history of the State of Texas, is staunchly supported by many hard-right-leaning Christian conservatives.
One of the biggest issues Perry will have to weather is the treacherous storm of controversy around his personal beliefs. Perry has long been a not-so-inconspicuous reveler about his Christian faith. Oftentimes, he has gone so far as to insert his prayerful injections into traditionally separated state functions and assemblies. This has deeply swayed much of the non-denominational, Conservative middle from backing his candidacy, as his devout Christianity has been heavily leaned upon in his policy-making endeavors. While there is absolutely nothing wrong in using ones beliefs when legislating, as has been done through history, society has taken a great leap away from organized religion and is burrowing further into an abyss of faithlessness. Perry’s strong faith may have the exact opposite effect as it would have in elections past. Not to mention that he appears to be a bit of a hypocrite to some, as he once was a registered Democrat and campaign manager to Al Gore.
Another sidebar issue is his wavering assertiveness toward American rights. In one particular instance, Perry established an Executive Order to mandate that all girls receive the Gardasil injection, a HPV (human papillomavirus) medication, which was later defeated by the Texas Legislature after a barrage of public outcry over forcibly injecting toxins into the state’s youth. Recent public fears of toxicity, potentially harmful side effects and unnecessary vaccinations have been a huge topic, around the nation. When it was announced that Gov. Perry had ordered the mass inoculation, questions became prevalent that Perry had a financial tie to Merck, the producer of Gardasil, which made the public backlash all the more angered.
This is not the only apparent infringement on American sovereignty that Perry has shown favor to. In one proposal, he attempted to outsource all Texas state toll operations to outside countries. Very few people, especially in Texas, believe this to be even a remotely positive idea. Every day, companies are selling out to foreign sources, shipping hard-working American jobs overseas. By bringing an outside country into Texas to operate the money-collecting road toll system,coupled with his support for the NAFTA superhighway, he places a double -whammy on the economy and offers a double slap to the face of the citizens and country he represents.
Any Republican candidate who wishes to oppose President Obama in the 2012 election is going to need a strong, aisle-reaching base to compete. By splitting the party with his views, Perry can only cause himself a quick defeat. It would take a more dramatic approach, by any polarizing figure, to pull of what he hopes to accomplish. If he is going to attempt to join the party, his focus is going to have to focus on the Tea Party and the new crop of independent, government-distrusting voters. Both of which will be tough to generate support from, given his current practices and personal beliefs.