8.12.2005

"santorum"

I didn't really have much of an opinion about Rick Santorum, aside from thinking his stance in the gay-marriage debate was, like the President's, wrong and reeked of political posturing. Now I really don't like him. I read this quote on BuzzMachine the other day:

(From an NPR piece on Santorum's book, "It Takes a Family")

This whole idea of personal autonomy — I don’t think that most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. And they have this idea that people should be left alone to do what they want to do, that government should keep taxes down, keep regulation down, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, that we shouldn’t be involved in cultural issues, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world. And I think that most conservatives understand that we can’t go it alone, that there is no such society that I’m aware of where we’ve had radical individualism and it has succeeded as a culture.

Uhhh, right. What Americans really want is to be told what to do by a sanctimonious prig. The "conservatism" he's talking about bears no resemblance to the conservative notions I've heard espoused by Republicans in every election since I've been alive. So what gives? Is he saying what other Republican congressmen think and believe but never say, or is he alone in this?

Ronald Reagan famously said, "Government is the problem, not the solution." Now, I've been slow to see the wisdom of this statement in and of itself, because somewhere along the line I decided that history would remember Reagan was a hack and a fool. As I've gotten older, my view of him and his basic conservative philosophy has tempered to the point that I'm now finding myself agreeing with him (on some of the big stuff anyway). Reading this tripe from Santorum, the third most powerful Republican congressman, makes me wonder how much the recent up-and-comers from the GOP took Reagan's conception of conservatism to heart, or whether they were just paying it lip service to bide time for the big power grab.

How long will it take for the more libertarian/Reagan-style Republicans to reject Ricky and his power-trip and what will it look like? I will be disappointed if it doesn't come to pass, but of course if it's to happen, Republican's are going to have to break Reagan's 11th Commandment, "Thou shalt not speak ill of a fellow Republican." Here's hoping...

2 comments:

Andrew said...

I would have to agree with your assessment of Santorum. Like Delay I cringe every time I hear that jackass’ name on the news. I blows me away that it’s the supposedly religious people that apparently value free will the least. There isn’t a single cultural phenomena discussed in his book that one can’t simply “choose” to not partake in. It’s ridiculously hypocritical for religious right conservatives to ridicule the European “Nanny State” out of one side of their mouth and advocate a cultural nanny state out of the other.

Last weekend I was in South Central Kentucky – long story – and found myself in a place that was 75 MILES away from the nearest place where you could buy a beer. In other words I was in the center of a no beer zone with an area of over 17000sq miles. When told this by the clerk at the gas station it didn’t compute. Now I’m not a stranger to “dry” counties. The county I grew up in had the distinction of being the only dry county in Wisconsin until 1985, but you could still get beer with extremely little effort. Not having a freedom that I very much take for granted (and I would say the KY experience requires alcohol) definitely triggered a surprising amount of rage. I do not like it when ignorant individuals take my ability to choose away. I’m an adult, and judging by the typical socioeconomic conditions of that region, they don’t know better.

I think 2008 will be the year that the GOP either becomes the the dixiecrat party of Santorum or the more libertarian party of McCain. If it’s not the latter we can kiss our free market economy good-bye because people will always choose social liberalism over economic liberalism (classical).

Joe said...

I also hate that fucker.