As many conservatives had hoped, Rick Perry finally threw his hat in the presidential ring and announced his candidacy. On the surface, Perry seems to be every conservatives dream candidate. He is staunchly Pro-Life and he has advocated for the federal defunding of planned parenthood. He has called Roe v. Wade a “tragedy” and is an advocate for both parental consent and adoption as a viable alternative to abortion.
Perry’s stand on gun control is the dream of gun owners everywhere. He is a strong proponent of an individual’s right to keep and bear arms and is staunchly opposed to any form of gun control. He has said that he believes that rather than imposing gun control, the emphasis should be on educating people about firearms and firearm legislation.
Economically speaking, there are many who believe that Rick Perry is the financial savior of America. His state is doing better than many, if not most other states. In just one year, Texas has seen the creation of over 265,000 jobs, more than any other state in the union. A marked difference from the Obama administration who has promised but failed on its commitment to put America back to work. This, coupled with huge incentives designed to lure companies to invest in Texas, a cap on consumer mortgage loans (something Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac should have had) and the resulting effect of sparing Texas from the worst of the housing crash, all serve to paint a gleaming hopeful picture of Rick Perry.
Unfortunately, statistics can be made to say just about anything, and a little research can reveal quite a bit. Although Texas has managed to create so many jobs, it also has the highest percentage of minimum wage workers nationwide (despite record oil prices). Texas has also recorded significant job losses, and as of June 2011 had an unemployment rate of 8.2%, with 25 states having lower unemployment rates than Texas; and most strikingly (at least to me) is the fact that Texas is now facing a $27 billion budget deficit, the fourth largest in the nation.
Perry has gone on record as saying that a return to Biblical principles will restore America’s economy to its past glory. Perhaps he should have applied those principles to his own state, as the facts clearly show that he has yet to be able to restore Texas’ economy, and if he cannot restore the Texan economy then how can he hope to restore America’s?
There are other issues surrounding Perry which demand clear answers – answers that he has yet to provide. Case in point is his 2007 executive order which mandated that all girls in Texas, as young as 11 and 12 years old, be vaccinated with the drug Gardasil, to protect them against cervical cancer, and thereby removing parents from the decision. Although he advocates parental consent for contraception, he did not for HPV vaccinations. Within hours, however, of announcing his presidential candidacy, Perry recanted his 2007 order saying “[T]he fact of the matter is, I didn’t do my research well enough to understand that we needed to have a substantial conversation with our citizenry.” Almost four years after making this “mistake,” Perry suddenly realized he had made one? This begs the question “How many mistakes will he make as President, only to realize them years down the road when the damage is already done, and cannot be undone?”
Perry’s stand on immigration has also drawn loud praise from conservatives across the nation. Perry is currently supporting a bill that will allow Texas police officers to question those who are detained about their legal status. Similar bills have popped up across America, and all are drawing intense criticism from immigration proponents. As encouraging as Perry’s support for this bill sounds, it is markedly different from a 2001 Border Summit speech in which he said “President Fox’s vision for an open border is a vision I embrace, as long as we demonstrate the will to address the obstacles to it. An open border means poverty has given way to opportunity, and Mexico’s citizens do not feel compelled to cross the border to find that opportunity. It means we have addressed pollution concerns, made substantial progress in stopping the spread of disease, and rid our crossings of illicit drug smuggling activity.” From an open border with Mexico to a closed border policy is a flip-flop that cannot be ignored. I have to wonder if Perry wins the Republican nomination and the 2012 election, if he will flip-flop on other serious issues such as this.
Perry’s stand on Afghanistan is perhaps an even stronger indication of a different set of values running just below the surface. Perry’s policies on Afghanistan are, well, unknown. He has kept his views silent and has not made any solid comment about the conflict, or his opinion on it. In fact, after a farming delegation from Afghanistan visited Texas in May 2011, and after meeting with Perry, he has been even more silent on the subject.
Perhaps this silence can best be understood in light of Perry’s strong ties to the islamic community. Not only is Rick Perry close to the islamic community, not only has he initiated a teacher training program on islamic history, but he counts as one of his long time friends and admirers the Imam of the Ismaili Shiite muslims, Prince Karim Aga Khan, the Aga Khan IV.
If you are not familiar with the Aga Khan, allow me to introduce you to some of his work. The Aga Khan is the founder of the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development, which is also part-owner of the Pakistan-based Bank al-Habib, which has been reported to have ties to al qaeda and the funding of that terrorist group.
The Aga Khan Development Network has signed agreements with the Syrian Government to develop “microfinance, healthcare, and cultural tourism” in Syria. Between 2003 and 2008, the Aga Khan spent $40 million to develop business in Syria. And let’s not forget that Syria is still recognized as a State Sponsor of Terrorism. Among the members and supporters of the Aga Khan Foundation is Syrian General Moustapha Sharba, who was involved in Syria’s covert nuclear weapon program.
The Aga Khan has gone on record as saying that the West should negotiate with Hamas (a terrorist organization), and that the main problem between the West and islam is a “clash of ignorance” for which the West is primarily responsible.
While governor of Texas, Perry introduced a pro-islamic curriculum into the Texas public school system. The curriculum was supplied by the Aga Khan, and through it children are introduced to the “beauty and perfection of the qur’an,” and islam as an “ethical and moral vision for leading a life of righteousness.” Would governor Perry also introduce a curriculum promoting Christianity, which would introduce children to the beauty and perfection of the Bible, and the Biblical teachings of Jesus? Probably not due to the Constitutional prohibition of state sponsored religion. However, this did not stop him from introducing the muslim religion at the behest of his friend the Aga Khan.
Rick Perry does have definite ties to islam, and in fact, those ties are so close, that CAIR (Council on American Islamic Relations – affiliated with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, as well as an unindicted co-conspirator in a federal terrorist investigation) openly supports Perry. Perhaps this is why Perry has yet to address Republican legislators’ proposals to ban islamic shariah law in Texas.
Clearly, when all the facts are in, Rick Perry does not seem to be as conservative as he makes himself out to be; and at least to me, in light of these not so commonly known facts, appears to be more liberal than many liberals I have seen.