Fact Checking Rick Perry's Political Foes

Herein follows one of the few partisan political posts you'll find on the Gazette. Read at your own risk.

Now that Rick Perry has officially announced his candidacy for president, we can expect name-calling, finger-pointing, distortions, innuendos, rationalizations, and outright lies to rain down from his opponents - in other words, a typical presidential campaign.

Now, I've never been a rabid fan of Perry, despite his being a fellow Aggie, West Texan, and political conservative. He's also a career politician and I have an instinctive distrust of those folks (even as I grudgingly acknowledge that someone has to fill such roles). Nevertheless, I think he's gotten some unfair criticism from Democrats, and even some centrist Republicans, and that will continue and intensify unless (and perhaps, despite) the actual facts are generally understood by the voters.

To that end, I'd like to draw your attention to a post at the conservative blog, Pesky Truth, in which the author goes into great detail to address Seventeen (17) things that critics are saying about Rick Perry. It's worth reading because it presents a balanced view of the facts that debunk a few widely-held and -communicated misconceptions about Perry's track record as governor of Texas, and about the general state of things in Texas. I learned a few things, and I suspect you will, as well. [Be forewarned; this is a grown-up article, requiring that you actually read a lot of words. But, Gazette readers are accustomed to that. I know you'll do well.]

For example, many people throw out the fact that Texas lags the rest of the country in per student spending for public education. Unfortunately for those folks, the actual results (measured by standardized test scoring) shows that Texas students are actually performing better than the national average in every category. And to my mind, the results count more than the process. (Now, whether standardized testing is a valid measure of learning is a whole other debate.)

The writer also points out that even on some issues where Perry's stance was questionable and even offensive to many Texans - the so-called "Trans-Texas Corridor" being a prime example - once he realized that the citizens were massively opposed, he backed off completely, a huge contrast to the damn-the-electorate, full-speed ahead philosophy of many in Washington, D.C. today. I also liked the writer's response to those who dismiss Texas job growth as being limited to "low-paying jobs": Here's a thought...isn't a low paying job in Texas better than being jobless in another state?

I don't know if Perry is the candidate who can unseat Obama...and that will be my basic criterion for deciding who to vote for. But at the very least, it would be nice if voters would actually do a little homework and apply some fact-based critical thinking to the slings and barbs that will be thrown his way during the campaign. And when one goes to vote, the true question is not whether the country needs Perry's style of politics, but whether it needs Texas's brand of states-rights independence and the unquestionably effective policies that power its economic engine.

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This page contains a single entry by Eric published on August 15, 2011 7:52 AM.

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