First, Rick Perry is going to be the GOP presidential candidate. No question.
With that in mind, picture this:
Tall handsome Christian conservative “just folks” white guy with ultra-photogenic hair vs. skinny, nappy-headed, big-eared black guy who turned out not to be the savior of the world.
Every Republican, conservative, tea-bagger and anti-Obama voter in the U.S. is going to go to the polls and is going to vote for Perry. Between now and the 2012 election, every conservative talking head in the world is going to urge them to do so, with all the loony socialist-Muslim-birther-whatever invective we already know so well.
About that “Christian” bit on Perry’s resume, I could probably come up with 20 reasons why mingling religion and politics is a bad idea, but the simplest reason is this:
Elected officials should represent ALL of their constituents, not just some of them.
If a black president said “I’m the president of black people. The rest of you can go spit.” If a Jewish president said “I’m the president of Jewish people. Tough luck for all you gentiles, huh?” If a white president said “I’m a WHITE president, and all you non-whites can just suck it.”
… we’d know those things were bad.
They wouldn’t even have to say that “suck it” second part, would they? If they just made pointed remarks about the first part — “I’m the BLACK president”; “I’m the JEWISH president”; “I’m the WHITE president” — we’d know there was a problem.
This is what Rick Perry is doing. Speaking out on the campaign trail in a way that leaves no doubt:
Rick Perry is going to be a — perhaps, ‘the’ — CHRISTIAN president.
“Rick Perry’s a more overt, less subtle guy than George W. Bush, and he is going to be more overt in his policy statements and his statements about his faith,” said Richard Land, a longtime leader of the Southern Baptist Convention who has spoken with Perry about his faith. “He talks about his faith in terms that evangelicals will find completely identifiable.”
As Rick Perry’s presidential campaign moves forward, he is devoting enormous energy to wooing religious conservatives, including participating last weekend in a two-day retreat with evangelical leaders on a remote Texas ranch.
The meeting received little public attention, though the 200 or so in attendance included luminaries of the Christian right such as Focus on the Family founder James Dobson, California pastor Jim Garlow, Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council, Richard Land of the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission, and Washington-area Bishop Harry Jackson, who presides over one of the largest African American churches on the East Coast.
According to attendees,
Perry proclaimed his fealty to Christian conservative positions on abortion, gay marriage and schooling. He also discussed the economy and related the issue to biblical teachings.
Imagine any social issue on which you have strong feelings that differ from the positions held by evangelical Christians. Rick Perry is not going to be your president.
Imagine any social issue on which A MAJORITY OF AMERICANS have strong feelings that differ from the positions held by evangelical Christians. Rick Perry is not going to be THEIR president.
I have more than a few friends who are pissed off at Obama. Saying “I’m not going to vote for the bastard; he’s a conservative in progressive clothing.”
And I won’t go into the long list of things he said he would do that he has either actually or arguably done.
Yeah, there are things that I care about that aren’t going quite right under this Obama White House.
But in this real world we live in, things can be so much worse.
You can vote or not vote, carp or keep silent, get on board or sit this one out.
But my second prediction is this:
When (if) Perry gets elected, oh man are you going to be sorry.