Extremism in government has ascended to new and greater heights these days. It seems that many Republicans now determine a candidate’s eligibility for the presidency by a thorough examination of his religiosity. In our nation where separatism of Church and State is specifically referenced in our Constitution, this development may be troublesome to some. It seems odd that we adapt a superior attitude to Muslim and Arab sects which see supreme leaders as earthly representatives of the Creator, and yet here in 21st century America, that is the very direction toward which we seem headed.
Texas Governor Rick Perry is moving forward in polls as an unannounced candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination. Rick Perry recently called for the good people of Texas to pray for rain. Nothing wrong with that. As Governor of the State, Perry declared April 22-24 to be “Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas.” At that time Texas was experiencing devastating draught and wildfires.
Governor Perry has taken the plan a step farther; he has made the coming August 6, “A Day of Prayer and Fasting for Our Nation.” With no small degree of eloquence, Perry has asked Texans to pray for “The healing of our country, the rebuilding of our communities and the restoration of enduring values as our guiding force.” Perry’s co-chairman of the days of prayer designations is Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council; Perkins concedes that public demonstrations of faith will make a “big difference” to evangelical and social-conservative voters.
Rick Perry is a champion of States Rights and the 10th Amendment to the constitution. Federalists such as Perry seek to remove considerable power and authority from the central federal government in Washington and to assign much stronger authority and privilege to individual States. The term “federalism” describes a system within government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units, such as states.
The original wording of the 10th Amendment was “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” Of late, the Tenth Amendment is interpreted as giving individual states authority to, for example, publish school books and prepare curriculum of their own determination.
The theory of evolution often comes up in these discussions; some individuals, some states, we know may prefer their children be taught “Creationism,” or “Intelligent Design” instead of the common standard evolution. Also, there have been cases of historical events being reinterpreted by school districts. In one case, the capture of African people and their transportation to America and slavery has been written in far different ways from those traditionally and previously taught. These differences in education may cause difficulties to students from remote areas who may someday find themselves hoping to achieve some greater success in, say, New York City, or Los Angeles.
On the issue of Federalism, States would have greater authority in punishing crime, or regulating the influx of illegal aliens. Governor Perry has specifically said that the individual should be able to choose to smoke marijuana. His general viewpoint is clearly evident in his statements about gay marriage. “Our friends in New York six weeks ago passed a statute that said marriage can be between two people of the same sex. And you know what? That’s New York, and that’s their business, and that’s fine with me!” Does he mince words? Does he distinguish between what might be right for New York, and for Texas? Or for the entire country? And if pot is okay with Perry, do other drugs also come into alignment with his views?
In a very recent poll, 17% of voters are favoring Mitt Romney, but already, 15% are looking for leadership from Texas Governor Rick Perry. For the record, behind Perry is Sarah Palin with about 12%.