Perry Calls on Texans to "Imagine the Possibilities"

By:  Rick Perry
Date: Jan. 16, 2007
Location: Austin, TX

Perry Calls on Texans to "Imagine the Possibilities."

Gov. Perry cites Power of Example, Power of Ideals, in Shaping the Texas of Tomorrow

In his third gubernatorial oath-of-office address, Gov. Rick Perry called on Texans to embrace the ideals of freedom, equality and selflessness. He challenged Texans to imagine the possibilities of a Texas with limitless opportunity.

"Imagine the possibilities in a Texas where every child is educated, every graduate has access to a good job and every life deemed precious. Imagine the possibilities in a Texas blind to color, class and ethnicity and where no one is invalidated because of their heritage, but valued because of their humanity. Imagine the possibilities in a Texas where every man, woman and child is able to put behind the past, to grab hold of their promise, to press on to be who they were created to be," Perry said.

Perry said that even though Texas has not had a history of complete solidarity, he called on all Texans to come together and embrace the common ideals of freedom, equality and selflessness.

"My vision for Texas is a tremendous tapestry of diversity woven together by common threads. We are of many faiths, traditions, heritages but we are all Texans. And in Texas, it is not your identity that matters most, but your ideals," Perry said. "And even when we disagree, we can engage our differences in a discussion that unifies rather than divides and that lifts up the hopes, dreams and aspirations of all people without casting a single soul aside."

The governor said that a free society has a responsibility to those in poverty, the young and the aged and to those who are sick and live with disabilities. He also said we have a responsibility to future generations to leave them a world that is safe, an environment that is healthy, an economy that is strong and a government that is honest.

"Young Texans must never be taught about rights without also learning about responsibilities," Perry said. "For more than a generation our culture has emphasized a message of self-indulgence at the expense of social obligation. We have reaped the consequences in the form of teen pregnancies, divorced and broken families, and a cycle of incarceration that joins young men with their fathers behind bars."

"The fabric of our society is not government or individual freedom; it is the family," Perry said. "And the demise of the family is the demise of any great society."

Perry addressed the divisive issue of border security and immigration by quoting the prophet Isaiah: "come now, and let us reason together." "We are both a nation of laws and immigrants; the former protect us, the latter enrich us," Perry said. "We must secure the border with manpower, not unmanned walls. We must have a guest-worker program that recognizes the economic contributions of foreign workers and the desperate conditions that bring them here. And we must oppose amnesty because those who come here illegally should not be able to receive citizenship ahead of those who migrate here legally."

Finally, Gov. Perry outlined his bipartisan agenda for a new term. "Together, we must work to make our border more secure and our neighborhoods safer. We must find solutions to the high rate of the uninsured and to the high cost of health insurance. We must commit to excellence in higher education as it prepares the workforce of the future, and we must ensure that property tax relief is not only substantial but long-lasting. We must pass budget reforms that protect the taxpayers," Perry said. "Texas is better off when Republicans and Democrats work together because our potential is too vast to be spoiled by a politics leavened with partisanship."

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