Billionaire Ross Perot (June 27, 1930-July 9, 2019) was an honest politician, which is a rarity in today’s divisive political climate. He ran for the highest office of the land in 1992 and once again in 1996. In 1992, he obtained 18.9 percent of the popular vote, but he did not receive any electoral votes. In 1996, he ran for the Reform Party and won 8.4 percent of the popular vote. Despite the fact that he never won the election, he still remains the most successful independent candidates in US history.
During his run for office, most of the votes that Perot acquired came from the middle class and the upper middle class. Since he was a self-made billionaire, he truly understood the needs of the middle class. He was not born into the affluent class and worked very hard to become wealthy. Perot’s childhood was centered during the Great Depression. In his hometown of Texarkana, Texas, he delivered newspapers on the back of a pony. Perot’s family survived the Great Depression by being frugal. As a boy, he already learned the work ethic and matured very quickly.
As a proud patriot, he served in the US Navy. After completing his military service, Perot became a salesman for IBM and surpassed his competition with flying colors. In 1962, he left IBM to start the Electronic Data System (EDS) Company in Dallas Texas. EDS helped other companies manage their computer networks. Perot’s company, EDS, got its big break when the federal government needed assistance running Medicare and Medicaid programs. When the federal government chose EDS to help with Medicare and Medicaid, they now had plenty of contracts to handle claims.
Despite the fact that billionaire Ross Perot acquired great wealth from EDS, he never forgot our finest Americans who served in the military. Most of the employees, who worked at EDS, were servicemen. Being an honest man with integrity, he showed how proud he was to be an American through his strong business ethics.
When the government of Iran imprisoned two EDS employees over a contract dispute, Perot helped get them back home safely. Colonel Arthur D. Bull Simons, who was a retired US Army Special Forces Colonel, led the successful operation. On the Wings of Eagles, a bestselling work written by Ken Follett, describes the rescue of the EDS employees. In 1986, there was a 2-part television mini-series based on Wings of Eagles. Burt Lancaster played the part of Colonel Simons. By organizing the successful rescue of his two EDS employees, Perot already showed that he had diplomatic skills to become a politician.
As billionaire Ross Perot progressed in the world of business, he was already involved in politics, even before becoming a presidential candidate. During the Nixon administration, he was engaged in the matter of US prisoners of war. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger asked him to lead a campaign to improve the treatment of POWs held in North Vietnam.
Not only did millionaire Ross Perot make a difference in the lives of POWs, he also continued to expand his business. In 1988, Perot founded Systems Corporations in Plano, Texas. Eventually, his son, Ross Perot Jr. succeeded him as CEO. In September 2009, Dell purchased Perot Systems for $3.9 billion.
Billionaire Ross Perot used his own wealth to fund his campaign. He spent $123 million of his own money to purchase half-hour blocks of time to explain his political agenda to Americans. , He showed his sense of humor by singing and dancing to the song, “Crazy.”
Many Americans heard Perot’s message loud and clearly as his infomercials garnered an audience of 10.5 million viewers. Compared to other conventional candidates, some Americans saw Perot’s politics as a breath of fresh air.
Billionaire Ross Perot was pro-choice, a supporter of gay rights and a supporter of tougher gun control laws. He also believed in increasing funding for AIDS research. In order to cut the national debt, he wanted to cut government spending. Increasing taxes for the wealthy was also on his political agenda, and he would use the funds wisely. In order to make the economy stronger, he wanted to give a tax break to those entrepreneurs who started new businesses. Perot’s ideas are still discussed in political debates today. For his contributions in helping to rescue EDS employees from a prison in Iraq, he received the Winston Churchill Award. With his honesty and strong American values, Ross Perot would have been a great president.