Romney and Perry: What Does America Want?

August 30, 2011

by Russell D. Longcore

At this very early point in the 2012 presidential race, two candidates vie for the lead…Mitt Romney and Rick Perry. In my never-humble opinion, there is no other candidate for the Republican ticket that is a viable choice. That is not an endorsement…quite the contrary. It is more of an indictment of what the American people desire in a Presidential candidate, and by extension, a President. I do not believe that Ron Paul has a snowball’s chance in hell of gaining the Republican nomination. His beliefs do fit within the parameters of thought acceptable to most American voters, but scares the American media to death…hence it’s nearly total blackout of Ron Paul news. Yes, yes…I know all about the Tea Party, and how much influence it is supposed to have in America. But I also know that 40% of Americans vote Republican, and 40% vote for Democrats. And in the end, Americans will choose moderates for both parties, not ideologues. At least America won’t choose an ideologue on purpose. They chose Obama in the last election because he campaigned as a moderate. Only after taking office did America find out what an ideologue he is.

Mitt Romney grew up as the son of the Governor of Michigan, George Romney. He got his college degree from Brigham Young University, then got a MBA and Law Degree from Harvard. Mitt became CEO of a very successful management consulting firm before becoming governor, so at least the man knows how to run large corporations. His work made him a wealthy man. He is a former governor of Massachusetts, the home of the Kennedys and hotbed of liberalism. A true conservative ideologue could not get elected there, so Mitt’s obviously a moderate. He invented the socialistic universal health care program now known as “Romneycare.”

Rick Perry grew up on a cotton farm near Abilene, then went off to Texas A&M to earn a degree in animal science. After college, he joined the Air Force and became a pilot. He left the Air Force at the rank of Captain, and went back home to work the farm with his father. His first elective office was as a Democrat Texas legislator in 1984, switching to Republican in 1989. He has been moving up the elective ladder ever since, next the Agriculture Commissioner, then Lieutenant Governor, then attaining the Governorship in 2000 when George Bush became President. He is presently in his third term as Governor. Texas is the single most prosperous state in the USA. Perry will claim credit for it. Truth is that the Texas government is very pro-business and the office of Governor is a weak position.

So, looking at both men’s careers, we see that Romney actually has significant business management skills before his one-and-only 4-year term in public office. But Perry, for the greatest part of his adult life, has earned his paychecks as a government employee. Both have the executive experience of running a state as governor. Both men are handsome and the camera loves them. Both are polished public speakers, not known for being slaves to the teleprompter.

Perry has Texas swagger, and after four years of a metrosexual President, America might like someone who appears to be more manly. Sorry, Mitt. That’s not you. You look ridiculous when you wear flannel and jeans.

Given the choice between Perry and Romney…one more of a government wonk than the other, and one with more business experience than the other, what could be the determining factor in which wins the nomination? Religion.

Perry is an evangelical Christian. At least he wants you to believe that he is. His Christian commitment level is unknown. America thinks it’s a Christian nation. Perry knows all the right buzz words that will make Americans who think they’re conservatives think he’s their guy. The Christian evangelicals like James Dobson, Joel Osteen and John Hagee will throw their support to Perry.

Romney is a Mormon. At least he wants you to believe that he is. His Mormon commitment level is unknown. Most of America does not consider Mormonism to be Christianity. Mormonism is considered to be a cult, even though it is a “religion” with good family values. The HBO series “Big Love” did Mormonism no favors, making being a Mormon synonymous with polygamy.

So, do American Republicans want a guy who’s a Mormon with business credentials, but who invented a universal health care system for Massachusetts? Or do they want a guy who’s a Christian who’s never run a business (like Mr. Obama) and is a professional government employee with his own dubious achievements as Texas governor?

Time will tell. I’m not making any prediction right now…this choice is far too delicious to call at this time. Watching America choose the next Quisling Republican nominee for President will be theater at its finest.

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© Copyright 2011, Russell D. Longcore. Permission to reprint in whole or in part is gladly granted, provided full credit is given.