Rick Perry Climbs Back On The Horse

'The Wagon Boss" by CHarles Russell
‘The Wagon Boss” by CHarles Russell
Rick Perry’s full announcement. (Runs 27 Minutes).

As could have been predicted, Rick Perry picked himself up, dusted himself off and has climbed back up on his charger for another run at the GOP nomination for President in 2016. Get ready for the deliberate proliferation of fake cowboy imagery. The chic, connected people who deride places like Texas as the rear end of “flyover country” like to make fun of cowboys. They are throwbacks, Neanderthals and stuck in the 19th Century. It’s an easy kill-shot to write off a two term governor from Texas by highlighting the vogue, negative stereotypes invoked along with the post-modern critique of the cowboy as an American cultural icon. The Marlboro Man, according to this narrative, gave John Wayne butt cancer.

What this boilerplate Salon or Nation article view of cowboys overlooks is the positive side of the cultural icon. Cowboys grow up expecting a certain amount of failure and drink it straight without chaser. They assume it implies deferred success and pick themselves back up with a certain humble dignity. The cowboy ethos also implies self-reliance. It means you handle your own rig and don’t expect the cavalry to ride over the horizon if your stuff is in the wind. Thus it came as a shock to the bi-coastal establishmentarians but not to those who have ever knocked hardened clay off a pair of Redhawks when Rick Perry responded to how he would relate to Wall Street and the “Too Big to Fail” syndrome thereupon.

“If they make bad decisions, let them live with them,” – Rick Perry on Wall Street

Perry points out the Texas had no housing bubble during the 2007-2009 Economic Crisis. This occurred because you can’t borrow more than 80% of the value of a home. That’s it. That’s the Texas Dodd-Frank in response to the land-swapping fiasco of the 1980’s. It is simple, unambiguous common sense and can be enforced by average civil servants of goodwill and reasonable diligence. That’s government regulation for dummies and when it’s done correctly, it works for the rest of us.

His rhetoric came off as populist. If so, I’ll give Popularism a 2nd look. Perry’s cowboy philosophy applies to Wall Street as follows.

“I hear you.” He continued, “For small businesses on Main Street struggling to just get by, smothered by regulations, targeted by Dodd-Frank: I hear you, you’re not forgotten. Your time is coming. The American People see a rigged game, where insiders get rich, and the middle class pays the tab. . . . Capitalism is not corporatism. It is not a guarantee of reward without risk. It is not about Wall Street at the expense of Main Street.”

So maybe he’s not perfect. We saw the same euphoria when he took up the gauntlet back in 2012. It didn’t work out so well. The same thing happened to Michael Jordan the first couple of times he ran into Larry Bird and The Celtics in the NBA Playoffs. Perry won’t get six title rings – there’s a Constitutional Amendment against that sort of thing. However, he is bringing a needed perspective to this year’s debate. Unlike 2012; he’s just said something that makes me think he’s got a real point. I’d think carefully and watch him ride for a bit this time before we write him off as a “one-trick pony” or a sad, lonesome cow-pike riding off into the sunset.