Rick Perry Dabbles In REAL Reform
by Larry Perrault on November 24, 2010 at 1:24 PM
Someone posted this video of Rick Perry’s FOX News Sunday interview on Facebook on Monday. I’ve been wanting to discuss the sort of radical reform that it seems to me is the only way to truly escape both the consequence of America’s fiscal and moral incontinence (we are wetting ourselves in both regards) and the seemingly ineradicable dispute between those who revere constitutional liberty and those who trust government more than markets to regulate social and commercial morality. I have found only one example in the past year of anyone with any sort of public platform who has been willing to raise what would historically be regarded as drastic and extreme measures. But what is clearly drastic and extreme now is the fiscal and monetary hole that we find ourselves in. And that example was not Rick Perry, though at one point last year he did muse about whether and how long Texas would put up with continued federal overreach and dictation.
However in that Sunday interview, as with so many other speculated about candidates for US President, it was necessary to ask Perry, the new head of The Republican Governors Association, whether he might run for President. I have disagreed with things that Rick Perry has done as Governor of Texas. But his statement that he would support someone that "would go to Washington to work to make Washington as inconsequential to people’s lives as possible" was music to my ears. He has previously made the same statement as the only interest he would have in being President. I have for a long time said that I would like to be President to preside over the diminution of my office.
Perry said that he hoped that Washington would restore proper power and authority to the states. If so, and all of the action is in the states, why would he want to be president? In addition to saying he hoped Washington would “devolve power to the states,” Perry said that Washington “should issue block grants to the states for social functions such as health care. As properly the laboratories of innovation, the states can better devise, test and perfect such things. Sounds great, right?
Well, I certainly agree about the proper authority of sovereign states and the unconstitutionality of federal usurpation of it. But actually, I was left with a bit of an empty taste in my mouth. In the first place, it betrays a cession to the primacy of the federal government that has been the misbegotten lesson of popular culture for so long, to consider that the federal government should tax the citizens of the states and benevolently block grant some of that money…back to the states. How about we just keep our taxes here and leave out the middle man?
But to the larger question…the federal government should “devolve power to the states?” Where in human history has any human agent or agency voluntarily surrendered power? How is one body’s jurisdiction over another body removed from the former to the latter? Upon request? Quite a dream. No, it is demanded and likely will have to be taken. If through the entrancement of size and popular culture media, the power allotted to the states by The Constitution that they devised and approved and which enumerated a relative few powers to a federal government, have been lifted and unconstitutionally appropriated by that same federal government, the only way that the proper jurisdictions will be restored is if those states boldly reassert it, demanding that the federal government back off.
But that could get messy you fear? It is the choice of the tyrant whether to wax messy at the asserted liberty of the tyrannized. But if we cannot rise to the assertion, then we are likely blowing smoke. Kneel then and kiss the ring and save all of these deliberations. Now, let’s get real about this. At the end of last year, I wrote a contemporary statement of the principles and assertions of The Declaration of Independence. I no longer wish to carry on the foolish arguments of my lifetime over unconstitutional questions and exercises of government with people who share no similar respect for the sanctity of human life, liberty and property. It is those arguments that are a fool’s errand. The other side is not simply out to quash the human rights of others. It doesn’t even see or understand the value of them.
The plain fact is that many states have no interest in asserting their proper sovereignty and protecting their liberties. I think it is hardly any coincidence that most of these same states have wallowed in irresponsibility and in fact likely pose their short term hopes in a bailout of such with baseless federally printed currency. I want them to have what they want and sooner to face the consequences of their folly without interference or unappreciated subsidy from the rest of us. But short of an outright declaration of independence, we can restore our liberties and the attendant vitality by reclaiming our identity as sovereign states and decoupling our resources from the pool of federal bailouts, whether of incontinent states or commercial entities “too big to fail.” We can be kind souls and offer both material aide and counsel AFTER other states have met the humility of total failure. States can collect and pay taxes to the federal government.
So Governor Perry, best of luck on your wishes for a gracious return of your jurisdiction. But if you are not so fortunate, you might consider that our options are not entirely exhausted.