Rick Perry is running a campaign based on ignorance.
As an educator, this runs counter to the very core of my being, but it doesn’t surprise me that the governor of the state that ranks second to last in America’s public school dropout rate, values ignorance over knowledge.
In denying Texans the opportunity to see Rick Perry in a televised debate with Democratic challenger Bill White, Perry, or more precisely, Perry’s handlers are bargaining that it is more beneficial to Perry’s image if Texans remain in ignorance how the two men stack up in a head-to-head debate. White is the better speaker of the two, and comes off very well when speaking extemporaneously. Perry lacks White’s ability to put complex thoughts together in a way that an 8th grader can understand what he means.
In other words, Rick Perry would have no trouble understanding what Bill White was saying, but would have great difficulty not looking like a complete fool responding to him.
So he stays away from debate. It worked for him in the primary against Kay Bailey Hutchison. Perry ran on ignorance and brass and handily defeated Hutchison. He expects to do the same against White.
But now we hear that Rick Perry will not even sit down with editorial review boards of the major newspapers and media outlets for a vetting. For an endorsement. This is slightly riskier because when a newspaper is not given a choice between candidates it has spoken to, it might just opt for the person who was willing to talk to them.
So one would think.
Trouble is, that’s not true either. Perry pulled the same stunt in refusing to be vetted by news media during the primary, but garnered the endorsements of those same media outlets anyway.
So for Rick Perry, Ignorance is Strength. The less people know about him the more likely it is that they will vote for him.
It is as if Perry’s campaign team have adopted the first sentence of the Doctor’s Oath: “First do no harm.” It’s just ironic that in this case harm is done by the spread of knowledge, and good is done by the preservation of ignorance.