Scary Perry and the Anti-intellectuals Threaten America
Why grades and colleges should be the distinguishing criteria in the 2012 presidential election.
IN Westerns, there are two American archetypes that are often played against each other.
There’s the nerdish Eastern lawyer who lacks the skills or stomach for little but the familiar gentrified living. He’s often contrasted with the tough and honest Western rancher who has little patience for such incompetency.
This duality was vividly illustrated in John Ford’s 1962 classic “The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance.”
In the movie, Jimmy Stewart plays an in-way-over-his-head attorney who heads west but ends up years later as a U.S. senator after gaining fame for shooting the bad man Liberty Valance (played by Lee Marvin). John Wayne plays the rancher, a rugged individual who is later revealed to have actually shot Valance as he knew the hapless Stewart was incapable of handling the task. Ford’s movie is a powerful and illustrative reflection of the reality we may soon face where if given half-a-chance, another “rugged individual” is certain to shoot our nation, perhaps lethally.
At the cusp of the 2012 presidential race, we have a cultural collision featuring a strong, smart, and experienced Democrat president (a lawyer at that) enjoying unprecedented success in the rough and tumble world of Washington. He faces off against a square-shouldered troglodyte Republican cowboy who offers no appreciation for our worldly, suave, Marlboro smoking, certified-organic arugula eating Democrat president.
Rick Perry, from the West Texas town of Paint Creek, is no John Wayne: we know that to be true because a Google search reveals Perry was born in 1950 and Wayne was born in 1907. But Perry still inexplicably wears a pair of cowboy boots with the legend “Liberty” stitched on (perhaps not as a salute to freedom, but more likely a nod to the evil antagonist Liberty Valance in Ford’s classic). Not content with just wearing boots, Perry also plays up effete-versus-mesquite stereotypes in his second-grade manifesto, “Cowboy Up, America!” This is in stark contrast to our subtle and nuanced scholar-in-chief who boldly placed his powerful intellectual credentials on full display with his profound and movingly ghost-written hagiography “The Bodaciousness of Me.”
Trashing the so-blue-they’re-really-reds People’s Republic of Massachusetts, Perry writes: “They have government-run health care, human-to-animal marriage, and elected John Kerry and Barney Frank repeatedly — even after both had been declared clinically brain-dead! Texans, on the other hand, elect folks like me, the guy who packs a Magnum Research 45-70, and shoots the face off the coyote that threatened his daughter’s pot-bellied pig.”
At a recent campaign event, Perry even offered, “I’m actually for gun control — I use both hands, especially with that big Magnum Research and my backup, a Smith & Wesson .500.”
In Lynchburg, Va. to speak to students at Liberty University, Perry made light of his bad grades at Texas A&M when he should have hung his head in shame. Studying to be a veterinarian, he stumbled on chemistry and made a D one semester and an F in another. “Four semesters of organic chemistry drove me into the arms of the Air Force,” said Perry, who went on to become an Air Force pilot, a career move reflecting a deep and disturbing militaristic streak, and one befitting the mind and motor-skills of a true simpleton.
“His other D’s,” said objective Perry-observer, scholar, and writer Richard Oppel, “included courses in the principles of economics, Shakespeare, ‘Feeds & Feeding,’ veterinary anatomy and a course called ‘Red Meats and You.’ ” Perry even got a C in phys ed. Please: our current law-school-graduate-in-Chief no doubt has a better P.E. grade to offer, even as he’s refusing to release it out of personal modesty. Plus, Obama almost certainly earned straight A’s in teleprompter, Keynesian economics, and unconstitutional law.
Perry conceded that he “struggled” with college, and told the 13,000 young people in Lynchburg that in high school, he had graduated “in the top 10 of my graduating class — of 13.” Even my own stilted and unwitty pseudo-intellectualism looks brilliant compared to Perry’s insignificant barn-yard exploits of leading a physically gigantic and populous state, getting government out of the way of job creation, enacting lawsuit-endangering tort reform, and corresponding regulatory roll-back (along with a terrifying dose of personal freedom thrown in along the way).
Because of guys like Rick Perry, our education system is going to hell. Average SAT scores are falling because we don’t transfer enough money to teachers’ unions and we’re spending only about $10,000 per student per year. Also, America is slipping down the list of nations for college completion, a threat to our many college bureaucrats. And with all this going on all around him, Rick Perry can still somehow not take himself too seriously. Contrast this to our own lovely lawgiver who has brilliantly led the country into unprecedented economic achievement, improved governmental integrity and transparency, and who possesses myriad foreign policy accomplishments.
And speaking of accomplishments, it seems the Texas governor may have helped his former chief of staff who went to lobby for a pharmaceutical company that donated to Perry. So while Perry may have a rudimentary knowledge of the arithmetic of back scratching, it can in no way compare to our bold and experienced regulator-in-chief with his recent crony-capitalism LightSquared and Solyndra exploits.
Finally, Perry even had the nerve to tell the Liberty students, “God uses broken people to reach a broken world.” Does he not understand the constitutional requirement to separate church and state and freedom from religion? And can such an offering be taken as other than a bold-faced insult to our known-to-be-spotless-lamb and not-a-crook almighty-in-chief?
This all means the Republicans are the “How great is it to be stupid” party. The right wing of the party offers a Farrelly Brothers “Dumb and Dumber” primary in which evolution somehow lacks explanatory power. Meanwhile, Democrats have the proven science of intrusive government intervention under the leadership of a real-life Jar Jar Binks.
Having grown up with a crush on John Edwards, John Murtha, and grand dragon Robert Byrd for their manly intellectual prowess, integrity, and homemade sex-tapes, it’s terrifying for me to think the G.O.P.’s message may be resonating with the American public. Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann (neither of who have anything to do with this column and who I despise in a ‘mirror, mirror, on the wall’ fashion) probably don’t even know how to read. And should I be wrong on their ability to read, they likely spend their time looking at vulgar and popular newspapers and magazines instead of using the job creating benefits of having their staffs prepare detailed briefings for their use or taking advantage of this thing called the internet.
Some say the occupational hazard of democracy is the know-nothing media or the sycophancy of that media. Because I’m a part of it, I disagree and for the political future of our brilliant intellectual-and-savior-in-chief, I hope you do, too.