06 October 2011
Governor Perry would probably make an above-average president (perhaps even as good a president as anyone can be under our political system), but his position on illegal immigration is troubling, and for more than one reason. The first reason is simply that his stated opinions on this subject are erroneous: he (objecting that what we need are "boots on the ground," as if the deployment of guards and of agents were an alternative rather than a complement to the erection of a stationary defense) opposes a border fence as "idiocy," and he signed into law a program that reduces tuition for students who are children of undocumented aliens, thereby giving Mexicans yet more incentive to cross the Rio Grande illicitly. The second reason is his possible motivation for this position: the fact that Texas has one of the highest Hispanic populations of any State makes it hard to avoid the suspicion that he is sacrificing border security and cultural cohesion to appease that segment of the electorate. Anyone who's going to be chief executive of this country not only needs to be in the right; he also must be willing to oppose the majority of the people when they are in the wrong.