The Republican debate this week is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to Governor Perry. On his mandate that 11- and 12-year-old girls in the state of Texas be vaccinated for the human papilloma virus, there are already questions regarding campaign donations from Merck lobbyists to the governor’s campaign. Among the litany of things that could be listed to showcase Perry’s extreme views, his comments that Social Security is nothing more than a “Ponzi scheme that cannot be sustained” is reactive. Most people can agree that Social Security needs reforming, but to compare Social Security to something that Bernie Madoff used to rip off the retirement funds of thousands of people is sensationalistic and inaccurate.
It’s as if Rick Perry is running a west Texas campaign on a national level. Yes, a west Texas campaign will get you attention and the support of right-wing Tea Partiers but will hurt nearly every other voter demographic. Last spring, Perry held a Texas prayer and fasting rally to pray for rain and has been quoted saying that “anyone that doesn’t accept Jesus as their savior is going to hell.” How well do we think this is going to play in the battleground state of Florida with its large Jewish population (or with anyone who isn’t a Christian)? These are just a few small examples of his polarization, and as the election season continues, I’m sure we’ll see even more examples.