Rick Perry’s newest ad, “Strong” is the kind of political ad that only a desperate or crazy man would run. Correction: A desperately crazy man could have made it as well. In Rick Perry’s perfect world, gay soldiers are covered in camouflage and told to shove their sexuality into a little birdhouse in their soul.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m a Christian, but you don’t need to be in the pew every Sunday to know there’s something wrong in this country when gays can serve openly in the military but our kids can’t openly celebrate Christmas or pray in school. As President, I’ll end Obama’s war on religion. And I’ll fight against liberal attacks on our religious heritage. Faith made America strong. It can make her strong again. I’m Rick Perry and I approve this message. (Emphasis added.)
If someone wants to be the President of the United States of America, is it really a good idea to start dividing people before they’re even elected? Barack Obama doesn’t have a “war on religion.” Were his gay paratroopers landing in Texas and ripping Bibles from the hands of babes? If so, I didn’t see them. I also haven’t seen a lot of jobs created since Barack Obama has been in office, so perhaps the Perry campaign would have been better off talking about the things people care most about—things like putting food on the table.
Question: When that openly gay solider with his legs blown off in Afghanistan wakes up in his hospital bed and turns on the television, does he really deserve to have Rick Perry denigrating him be the first thing he hears? When Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was repealed how many Republicans in Congress made a fuss over it? Not many. In fact, the GOP was mighty silent up on the Hill for that one. Sure, Barack Obama was busy capitulating to the Russians at the time and screwing over our allies (i.e., the New START treaty), but members of Congress certainly let it be known that they weren’t up for a spirited discussion about gays in the military.
What makes Rick Perry’s ad even worse is that he feeds into all the ugliest stereotypes of Conservative Christians. He pulls out his big fat wedge issue and rams it into parts of the American discourse where it doesn’t belong. There’s certainly the proper entry point for the cultural dialogue he seeks, but instead the Texas governor goes the route that causes the most amount of bleeding. Sure, he feels good…but it leaves the rest of us feeling raw and violated.
Get off…the stage, Rick Perry. You’re a joke.