Friday, December 9, 2011


If Rick Perry hadn’t already sealed his unfortunate political fate, his latest campaign ad should put a cap on his candidacy. Watch:

At this point, knowing as we do that Perry is not going to represent the Republican party in next year’s election, this ad has broader implications. Look to your left on this blog and you will see the story of Jonah Mowry, the young boy who is tortured by other children who belittle him because of his sexuality. If Jonah Mowry turns on the TV and watches the ad you just watched, how will that affect his own personal development? Here he sees the Governor of Texas, a GOP presidential hopeful, essentially telling him that he is worthless, and telling him that people of “faith” would never be able to validate him as a human being, because he’s gay. That’s what Rick Perry accomplishes with this video. Ostensibly he made the video to bolster his chances of being president, but its effect on the culture around him is anything but presidential. The ad will go down in this year’s campaign history on the same level as Herman Cain’s cigarette smoking ad and last year’s Christine O’Donnell “I’m Not a Witch ad.” The difference this time is that the damage from this ad is already done.

Someone should have told Rick Perry, in the lyrics of the Broadway play, “Into the Woods”… Careful the things you say; Children will listen. It was irresponsible and borderline cruel of Rick Perry to approve of the ad and to tape it and allow it to be distributed. Trusting in the general reasonableness of the American people, as I do, I believe this ad will backfire on Perry. Within hours of the ad’s release, video parodies had hit the web in force. Rick Perry impersonators appeared in settings similar to the one in the ad, starting their messages out with statements like, “I’m not afraid to admit I’m an atheist,” or “I’m not afraid to admit I’m an asshole.” Sophomoric humor to be sure, but remember humor is often just the stylized expression of rage. I think Perry’s ad elicits feelings of rage among many of us.

The number of gay children and young people who have taken their own lives in the past few years because society messaged them that they were inadequate human beings has skyrocketed. The Jonah Mowrys of the world are numerous and often desperate. Rick Perry’s actions fuel the fires of their discontent in a way that could invite further fatalities. If I could ask Perry one question now it would be this: How can you defend your contention that you want to strengthen the country when through your own words you marginalize and attempt to weaken entire segments of the U.S. population?

Perry’s blanket dismissal of the rights of gay American service men and women is arrogance personified. Perhaps he has forgotten about people like U.S. Army Major Alan Rogers,(left) a gay service member who died while on patrol in Iraq in January, 2008. Would Perry diminish the fact that Rogers sacrificed his life for a country that made him hide his homosexuality in order to fight for it? I wonder how his dismissive attitude would go over with the family of Cpl. Andrew Wilfahrt, reportedly the first U.S. soldier to be killed in Afghanistan after President Obama’s repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell. Both Rogers and Wilfahrt were blown up by IED’s. Blown up, while serving their country. And somehow, in an ill-conceived 30-second campaign spot, Rick Perry equates the human rights of these young men with an issue of holiday celebrations in grade schools. It is disgusting.

The political process has gone awry, fixating on issues that are not germane to the public interest. The public is served by a focus on dignity, in the form of respect as citizens, the right to work for a living and the privilege of owning a home in America. The public is further served by presidential candidates who understand that one’s sexuality does not define him or her. Alan Rogers and the hundreds of other gay soldiers who died in Operation Iraqi Freedom were there with the same patriotic intentions of all other service men and women. When Andrew Wilfahrt’s (right) body exploded he felt the same terror and ripping apart of his flesh that any other soldier feels at the moment of impact. All who loved them felt the same flood of grief that befalls any other dead soldier’s survivors. Rick Perry is obviously not enough of an evolved human being to comprehend this.

It is time for Rick Perry and others in this GOP race who share his limited, bigoted mindset to step down from this race and quietly disappear into the masses. We don’t need them, and we most certainly do not need anyone to lead this country who cannot understand their responsibility to respect all American citizens, regardless of their biological makeup.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for knowing this.

Jeff Wilfahrt, father of CPL Andrew Wilfahrt, 552nd MP Company, KIA 2-27-2011,Kandahar, Afghanistan

seoinheritx said...

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