Is It Wise For Rick Perry To Campaign on Making Government Inconsequential?

Bookmark and Share    When Rick Perry ended his presidential announcement by vowing to work hard to make government inconsequential in our lives, he set in motion a bumpy national drive down the road to the White House. Those words were chosen very carefully. They were reviewed by conservative test groups. They were compared to other similar tag lines and they were settled upon only once a team of talented strategists armed with positive research results to support their opinion, agreed that they were the right words to speak if Rick Perry wanted to win a plurality of the Republican vote.

Publicly stating that you want a job so that you can work hard to make sure that less is done with it is quite bold and a big risk. But not when it comes to the Republican presidential nomination. Republicans want government to do less. They want it to mange less of their lives, make less decisions for them, create fewer limitations and regulations on their lives, and take and spend less of its money. Indeed, as made evident by the rise of the Taxed Enough Already movement, quite a  number of Americans have come to echo this sentiment. So it can be said that Rick Perry’s call for a government that is as inconsequential in our lives as possible, is a good way to win the Republican presidential nomination. The quote is powerful phraseology that allows Republicans and voters fed up with government, to understand that Rick Perry gets it.

But will the collective thought process of the American general electorate get it in November?

That is the risk that Rick Perry takes in his bold statement.

Perry is banking on the thinking that after seeing an extremely activist, liberal government in action, they have come to understand that government can in fact go too far and do too much. It is essentially an ideological argument. And while the argument has been settled by the Republican and conservative base vote, it has not yet been completely established by the general electorate as a whole. But supporting Perry’s position is some yearly polling done by the nonpartisan Gallup organization.  It has shown that except for three years in the early 2000’s, most Americans identify themselves as being conservative.

Recently, in a years worth of nationwide surveys, Gallup found that there are more self-identified conservatives than liberals in every single state in America. The study even found that Rhode Island is the state with the largest number of self professed liberals at 29.3%,  but even there, 29.9% of the population define their political persuasion as conservative.  That’s a .6% lead over liberals.

This doesn’t necessarily mean that there are more registered Republicans than Democrats but it does demonstrate that the conservative brand has far more positive connotations than the liberal brand does and is much easier to sell than the liberal ideology.

Based upon his powerful statement, Rick Perry is willing to bet that those numbers will hold up next Fall when the American electorate has a choice between possibly him and President Obama.

Rick Perry seems to be ready to make the 2012 election an ideological battle, a referendum between libertarian conservatism and socialist liberalism. Based upon the numbers, on its surface the gambit is a good one.  Or is it?

It did not work for Barry Goldwater in 1964, but it did work for Reagan in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1988. Then again, in 1964, Barry Goldwater’s conservatism was up against a relatively strongly positioned Lyndon Johnson. In 1980 Ronald Reagan’s conservatism was running against the not so well positioned, wounded presidency of Jimmy Carter. and in 1988 George H. W. Bush was opposing a weak candidate with a poorly run campaign.  Under the circumstances, President Obama is probably closer to the Carter position than the Johnson position.   Yet President Obama is actually hoping to make the 2012 election a referendum on ideology.

Doing so will take the focus off of his record, which based on its results, will surely lose. So the distraction of ideology is just what the President wants. And he is probably correct in wanting it that way.

While most Americans identify themselves as conservative, they are also compassionate, hence former President George W. Bush’s 2000 campaign introducing himself as a “compassionate conservative”. It is this compassion that President Obama hopes to distract us from his record with and if allowed to do so, he could win. It is for that reason that President Obama will not let the electorate ever forget Rick Perry’s quote to make government inconsequential, if Perry were to be his opponent. President Obama would appreciate the chance to try to paint conservatism as selfish and greedy ideology that is heartless and inconsiderate and therefore not the America we want to live in. He will paint the conservative ideology as the one of and for Wall Street and big business and the liberal ideology as the Party of the people, the Party that has your back.

To be sure, the Democrats will do this under any circumstances. Their appeals to our emotions rather than our logic is the key to their success and it often works. But Rick Perry is confident that the liberal extremism of the Obama Administration has been a lurch so far to the left that it has given the American public ideological whiplash. He is hoping that the extremist activism of the Obama government has highlighted such an abundant degree of liberal thinking that the American people clearly see how antithetical liberalism is to American democratic principles that voters are willing to lurch quickly and sharply to the right in an attempt to take corrective measures that restore balance and gets the nation back on track. That is exactly why in the 2010 midterm elections, Republicans picked up historic gains in the House.

If things keep going in the direction they are, President Obama’s last hope may be a Hail Mary pass to the emotions that tries to distract the American people, but if Rick Perry can keep the electorate’s eye on the ball, he will be able to intercept the ball and it run it back for a touch down.

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It’s the Ideology, Stupid

Bookmark and Share The road to winning the White House is paved with many issues and many strategies. Issues are the bricks and strategy is the mortar thatsets them together and provides a winning path. The strategies one uses to put the issues together is essential to building a solid victory. And while unknown winds of unforeseen change will most definitely make construction of a victory a hard task to complete, there are some things that will not be easily changed. Thanks to President Obama, in 2012, one of those things is the average American voters comfort level with the liberal ideology that he has championed and that his Party has expended valuable capitol on as they tried to instill it into every fiber of our federal fabric.

President Obama came to office on a wave of change which he rode his words of hope on. He successfully exploited the freshness of his face on the political stage and once he won the Democratic presidential nomination, he successfully exploited his standing as an historic American figure. But lost in this wave was the liberal undercurrent that he would quickly inject into every aspect of American life, from our personal health care and 17% of the economy, to an unprecedented infusion of czars ..unelected, unaccountable, bureaucrats who circumvent the democratic legislative process, to enforce suffocating regulations which are not ikey to be adopted as legislation.

Under the control of a liberal President and a liberal Congress, Americans saw the federal government cap the salaries of citizens employed in the private sector. They saw General Motors become Government Motors, the Environmental Protection Agency try to tax the air that we breathe in a Cap-and-Trade measure that would have amounted to the greatest transfer of wealth in the history of mankind, and then they saw their healthcare put into the hands of a federal bureaucracy that took 2,700 pages to outline, hired thousands of new government employees to enforce, stripped away the rights of states, will destroy competition and incentive within the medical field, produce a shortage of healthcare workers, and actually drive up premiums rather than lower them.

In the end, President Obama successfully reawakened older generations and alerted new ones to the effects of liberalism. His fervent ideological extremism lurched the country to the left so quickly that it generated a type of ideological whiplash so stinging, that even the most casual of political observers could not help but finally discern the difference between the cost of big government and the value of limited government. The Presidents liberalism was so dramatic and shifted Americas political center so far to the left, that it generated a new appreciation of the United States Constitution and gave birth to a political movement that began to police the constitutional legitimacy of many government actions, and moved the G.OP. further to the right. And in the end, it drove Democrats out of Congress and put Republicans in control of the House.

Now, as President Obama enters the second half of his first term, Americans are facing an economy that is standing on crutches and thanks to record levels of unsustainable federal spending, has created a national debt so unfathomable in its size, that it has become a threat to our nation that has, rightly or wrongly,overshadowed terrorism.

Yet despite these existing circumstances, traditional thinking still gives President Obama favorable odds for getting reelected. This thinking became commonplace even after he took what he called a shellacking, in the 2010 midterm elections. Not long after those elections, a string of events helped stem the Presidents downward spiral. In December, during a lame duck session of Congress, the incoming Republican controlled Congress forced President Obama make a deal on extending a series of tax cuts that were scheduled to end. Then there was the tragedy in Tucson which killed several, wounded many and left a member of Congress with a bullet in her head. A shocked nation stood still for a moment and in time President Obama offered a poignant, non-political speech which allowed him to do what Presidents are suppose to do .. unite the nation and heal its wounds. That was then followed by his State of the Union address. This string of events helped inspire some forward momentum in his favorability among Americans. However; as it turns out, thefebruary up tick in the Presidents approval was merely a temporary, goodwill sentiment that is seemingly short-lived

More than a month out from the late January, early Februarybounce that the President saw, a Rasmussen poll shows that 72% of voters believe the nation is on the wrong track, the highest it has been since he took office. Another extremely significant number is the 10% drop in favorability the President has seen among the crucially important Independent voting bloc. A month ago he had a 47% favorable rating among them. Now it is at 37%. But some of the most important numbers exist among those which suggest how big a role ideology will play in electing a Republican President in 2012.

61% of the voting public believes that President Obama is more liberal than them. In addition to that, 53% of all Democrat voters believe that the congressional Democrats behind President Obama, are out of the mainstream and too extreme. This is all the result of a President who seems to have a tin ear to the desires and concerns of mainstream America and who at times, seems detached from their reality and in some far off land of liberalism that more resembles a European democracy than the American republic we fought to create. In my estimation, these numbers are a result of the ideological whiplash I referred to earlier. And that is why I say..its the ideology, stupid.

For the next Republican presidential nominee, the ability to draw the American people a picture that shows two distinctly differently Americas will be critical to avoiding a second coming of Obama in 2012. Their words will have to conjure up an image of the America made byliberalism and the one created by conservatism offer. The G.O.P. must create a vision of an eagle in a cage made of liberal regulation and legislation, and another of an eagle flying in the free skies of conservatism Then they must ask which eagle they want to be? The one that is caged or the one that can fly freely? The next Republican presidential candidate must demonstrate how liberalism puts government in the business of bureaucracy and how conservatism gets government out of the business of bureaucracy. They will have to show voters that they can cut through the red tape that liberalism ties us up in. Then the final point to get through to voters is, if President Obama was willing to be so extreme in his liberalism during his first term, how extremely liberal do you think hewill be in a second termwhen heneed not concern himself with reelection?

Ideology alone will not win an election. To win the support of voters, along withproving theircontentofcharacter, leadership ability, and experience, our nominee must show an abilty to implement their ideas and most certainly focus on the jobs and the economy. But thanks to President Obamas ideological extremism, he has forced voters to look closer at their political belief system and to reexamine the direction they want to see this nation take. Thats why the next Republican nominee will have to understand that as they try to pave a road to the White House in 2012, they must surround each issue with a strategic mortar of ideology and realize that this time around it isnot just the economy,stupid.

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