Santorum for Ayatollah 2012

by | Jan 12, 2012

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has reportedly said that every child has a “God-given” right to a heterosexual set of parents — meaning man and woman, not two men or two women. He argues this in defense of a Constitutional amendment to ban gay/lesbian partnerships or marriages. Think about the implications of this assertion. They […]

Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum has reportedly said that every child has a “God-given” right to a heterosexual set of parents — meaning man and woman, not two men or two women. He argues this in defense of a Constitutional amendment to ban gay/lesbian partnerships or marriages.

Think about the implications of this assertion. They go way beyond any debate over gay marriage or homosexuality in general. If somebody has a right to something, then they’re entitled to it, via force, if necessary. We don’t yet know how Santorum would implement this right, if given the chance. But since he’s running for President — the highest government office in the land — he clearly believes that government should have some kind of role in enforcing this right.

Santorum’s belief is an example of Big Government applied to personal matters. A liberal or socialist Obama supporter would never agree with Santorum on this point. But a socialist supporter of Obama will say, “Every child has a right to health care. Every child has a right to child care. Every child has a right to ….” Fill in the blank with just about anything you can imagine.

A conservative like Santorum will claim to be against Big Government, but he’s all in favor of it when it comes to shaping personal or family life in the way he wants to see it shaped. His campaign website states, “As a husband and father, Rick Santorum knows the importance of protecting and providing for your family.  He believes that at the core of the American experience is the family, and that without strong families, we cannot have a strong and vibrant nation. During his time in elected office, Rick Santorum fought for the preservation of the traditional American family and for the protection of the most vulnerable in our society.”

Notice that Santorum does not merely want life in America to be economically vibrant, free and therefore good for families — as well as for individuals in general. He takes it a step further. He sees the purpose of government, in part, as one of preserving the American family as we know it. In his mind, as in the minds of other social conservatives, anyone who steps outside the boundaries of traditional American families as we know them — his personal preference — is a threat and a possible target of government. He doesn’t go so far as to say, “People who don’t engage in traditional family associations should be jailed.” But he does favor legislation which at least impairs or undermines the freedom of consenting adults (of whom he disapproves) to engage in behavior or contractual associations as they see fit. He might not literally be an Ayatollah, ready to chop off the head of someone he feels isn’t moral. But he is ready to cut into their livelihoods, or other aspects of their well-being, and to use government force to do so.

It’s the exact same principle.

Santorum is also quoted as recently saying that marriage is not a right, but a privilege. Oh, really? Does a person get married only at the consent of the government? Are heterosexuals allowed to engage in marriage not because it’s their right to associate, personally and financially, as they see fit but only because the government says this is OK?

And if marriage is not a right but a privilege, then where does it stop?

Today, in 2012, government can say, “Marriage is OK if you’re heterosexual.” But what’s to stop government, at some future date, from saying, “Marriage is OK for heterosexuals, but under the following conditions … for instance, that you have a certain number of children by a certain time.” Santorum, after all, has a large family. No doubt this is the kind of traditional family that he considers best for America. Shouldn’t everyone be required to have a large family, then?

Santorum, of course, would say no. He would say that it’s the right of people to decide how many kids they want, and can afford, to raise. But on what principle? If marriage is a privilege and not a right, and one purpose of government is to foster large, traditional families, then Santorum doesn’t have a leg to stand on.

Like all social conservatives in the Republican Party, Santorum collapses from his own contradictions. He has the same moral and political principles as an Iranian ayatollah. Unlike the ayatollah, he lacks the consistency and unblinking firmness to carry them out. Maybe that’s a relief to some, but it makes me more than uneasy to think of such a mentality getting anywhere near the White House. Just as Obama has been, and remains, a wrecking ball for the economy, somebody like Santorum would be a wrecking ball of a different kind, if elected.

I completely agree with Santorum on most other issues, by the way. I agree that we should repeal ObamaCare, and replace it with a free market in medicine. I agree that law-abiding people have a right to own handguns. I agree that we should have a strong military and foreign policy to tame or topple Iran. But for the life of me I don’t understand why he’s so hostile to Iran. Iran favors the same sort of religious fundamentalism as he does, if only in a more consistent and violent form. One can only assume that Santorum is friendly to religious fundamentalism when it’s Christian, and opposed to it when it’s Islamic.

Santorum’s pledge to use Big Government to impose his form of “family values” — not just on gays, but on heterosexuals who don’t share his vision of family life — makes it impossible to take his claims of wanting to restore economic freedom seriously. At the end of the day, people either love and cherish freedom or they mistrust and hate it.

Santorum is passionate when he talks of imposing his values, by force if necessary, on the whole of the American population. In the unlikely event he managed to become President, we could be sure that liberty would animate his policies no more than it does Obama, as different as the two men are on the surface.

If Rick Santorum represents part of the soul of the Republican Party, then it’s no wonder that the Republican Party is rotting from within.

That party is not about liberty, freedom and individual rights any more than Obama’s party. That’s why America is in such trouble.

Dr. Michael Hurd is a psychotherapist, columnist and author of "Bad Therapy, Good Therapy (And How to Tell the Difference)" and "Grow Up America!" Visit his website at: www.DrHurd.com.

The views expressed above represent those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the editors and publishers of Capitalism Magazine. Capitalism Magazine sometimes publishes articles we disagree with because we think the article provides information, or a contrasting point of view, that may be of value to our readers.

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