Will Rick Perry’s National Downfall End His Reign As Texas Governor?

Sofia Colorado, Lifestyles Editor

   “Those of you that will be 21 by November the 12th, I ask for your support and your vote.” —Rick Perry, flubbing the voting age.

   After a couple fumbles throughout his presidential campaign, Perry had a rough year in 2011. His presidential campaign came to an abrupt end right before the South Carolina primaries.

   He had been trailing the other candidates, and it didn’t seem as though he would be able to recover from the tremendous downfall that he was in. He fell behind the other candidates mostly due to a series of mistakes he made on live television; mistakes such as forgetting the voting age, forgetting the name of Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor and then mixing up how many judges are on the court, and mistakenly saying U.S. ally Turkey was run by Islamic extremists. The most well-known slip Perry made was when he was at a debate, in the middle of talking about taking away three agencies if elected president, but could only remember two of them. 

    This infamous moment during the race for the Republican nomination, not only humiliated Perry, but also the thousands of Texans he represents when he was on stage. The image of Texas was tarnished almost as badly as when former president George Bush was in office. As a result, 40% of Texans do not approve of the job he is doing. In addition, more than half of the people who participated in a state-held poll said that they would rather Perry not run again for governor in 2014. Regardless of the polls, Perry spokesperson Ray Sullivan says that it will not influence Perry’s decision to run for his fourth term as governor.

   It is evident that what the constituents want does not have a role in Perry’s role as governor, or policy maker. As shown through the countless marches on education in front of the capital building throughout 2011, Texans, especially Texan teachers, are not happy with the educational system in Texas. In 2011, Perry called for nearly $2 billion in cuts in education, and another $2 billion from health and human services. All these actions were deemed “necessary” in order to maintain taxes at a low rate. The people do not like policies that are damaging children’s education, and more importantly, in 10 years Texas is projected to receive the lowest standardized test scores in the country. Education needs to be taken more seriously, along with the voices of the people.

   As Perry’s unpopularity continues to escalate, we can only hope that the longest serving governor in history will realize that now is the time to step down from the throne.