Rick Perry has presided over a large increase in government hiring in the state of Texas. Our bureaucracy is on the march. Perry’s sweetheart deals with corporate buddies from foreign contractors for toll roads to sordid domestic ilk like Countrywide Home Loans are legendary. The legislature has provided him his own slush fund that he sometimes doles out to buddies for special projects.
Perry’s attempt to rule by decree in regard to his mandate of the Gardasil vaccine, where Merck made the expected and customary monetary contributions, fortunately failed. Most legal scholars doubted whether the Governor had the legal power to mandate the vaccine. The legislature in a rare fit of wisdom concurred.
Where the worst side of Reagan for a conservative was managerial, Perry’s dark side harkens back to the days of slick good ol’ boys and clumsy favoritism.
The Cold War and what most regard as a very real threat to our very existence helped to minimize the political effect of Reagan’s domestic policy foibles. Ronald Reagan faced an enemy worthy of central casting. The Soviet Union – the Gulag was a constant reminder of who it was – was Mordorlike, playing every angle in its efforts to gain victory over the West.
Atheistic values and what passed for morality lived to serve the state. Communism was playing every card in its attempt overcome the huge shortcomings of a state-directed economy in an attempt at global dominance. Guerilla fighters were trained by instructors in the Soviet Union in everything from terrorism and torture to firing an RPG.
Those students of mayhem were exported worldwide. Sometimes they just taught others. An American General was even kidnapped in Italy by the Red Brigade. Meanwhile, the tortured Soviet economic system was strained into overdrive to provide high-tech weapons to contest the West.
Where moderate Republicans and then floundering Democrats such as Jimmy Carter had practiced a strategy of give and take with the Soviets, Reagan decided to face them head on. Accelerating a build-up of defense forces that was actually initiated under Carter after the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, Reagan all but dared the Soviets to try to match it.
Suffice to say, the Soviet economy was never even as strong as the American intelligence community told our public that it was. Documents released since that time indicate that the Soviets were simply not able to keep up with the West’s and especially the United States’ defense build-up under Reagan. Non-Ivy Leaguer and former actor Ronald Reagan was right, and much of official Ivy League-trained Washington had been wrong. The Soviet system collapsed under the weight of its own imperial ambition, paranoia and hubris.