Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Scariest Thing Rick Perry Has Said

Of all the crazy things Rick Perry has said or written that are now being revealed, this seems to me by far the scariest:
“Sometimes the rules must protect society at large at the expense of individual expression when that expression is deemed harmful to others and society at large.”

-- Rick Perry, Fed Up! (2010)
I doubt Perry means simply outlawing people from yelling Fire! in a crowded theater. And this from someone who claims to cherish liberty and freedom. But clearly he wants a country that will only tolerate freedom if it's an expression of freedom that he agrees with. Absolutely chilling.

As Dana Milbank writes, Perry is a theocrat. He's dressed up as a populist, but that's just to get elected. I hope voters keep in mind that history shows that it's during times of crisis that the worst people have found a way to power -- but I doubt that they will.

Dana Milbank and Ruth Marcus have more, as does Steven Levingston.


Anonymous said...

It's certainly very easy (not necessary valid but easy) to read that as Perry saying he'd approve of things similar to, for instance, the fatwa on Salman Rushdie. Presumably non-fatal things and not necessarily for religious reasons but it does sound rather like that.

Steve Bloom said...

Time to start toting up the parallels between our current circumstances and the Weimar Republic?

Actually I don't think Perry has much ideology beyond opportunism.

David Appell said...

Anon: Perhaps. Read some of the things Perry wrote about homosexuals, from the Milbank article I linked to.

Anonymous said...

Now that I've read that, yes, it more or less fulfills my expectations. Not having read it before the first comment, I didn't want to overreach. You could also read the quote, in isolation, as expressing support for something like hate speech prohibitions. Which I'm inclined to agree with libertarians are overdone in some jurisdictions but which I certainly wouldn't claim are as vile as the Rushdie fatwa.

Anonymous (the same one)