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Fear and Loathing in Rick Santorum's Presidential Bid
I haven 't written anything political lately and, in truth, I felt there were so many political opinions out there that adding mine would be a waste of time and energy. I changed my mind because of the deep fear I feel when I consider the presidential run of Rick Santorum. I don’t think enough can be said about this man in a bid to stop him in his tracks.
I’d like to think the American people see extremism wherever it is, but I fear there is such an intense hatred from so many for the current president, that they’ll willingly latch onto the polar opposite.
Yes, I suppose that means I don’t have much faith in my fellow Americans. After the last presidential election, you’d think I would, but then there were the 2010 elections and any faith I had dissolved.
Which brings me to the overwhelming concern I have regarding the tone of this presidential race.
Full disclosure – I lean center-left. I am an atheist. I am pro-choice. I am a Barack Obama supporter – though I voted for Hillary. I believe everyone has the right to their religion just as I believe everyone has a right to no religion if that is their choice. I resent all attempts to merge church and state.
Rick Santorum would have his god’s law as US law. His faith is so palpable that he and his wife brought his dead baby home from the hospital, slept with the infant’s dead body, then presented this tiny lifeless child to his other children, all with the purpose of “showing them that all life has meaning and worth”.
I have never lost a child, so I cannot say what I would do beyond suffering the obvious gut-wrenching agony of that loss. I can, however, say with certainty that I would not sleep with my dead child’s body. My respect for life and an individual’s dignity would not allow for that. I fear Rick Santorum’s actions show an unstable, warped and dangerous thought process.
I worry also how his faith – and horror-movie effort to show that ‘all life has worth’ – will affect the way he would govern.
Women who are raped and become pregnant would be forced, under his watch, to bear their rapist’s child. The discussion a woman has with her doctor would be subject to governmental scrutiny. The choices a woman now makes regarding her own body, her own future, her own reproductive options, would no longer be hers to make but his because of the laws of his god – whether or not your god, if you even have one, is the same.
This man’s extremism not only worms its way into the uterus of every American woman, but also tromps on the beds of consenting adults. He slides effortlessly from a discussion about homosexuality into a discussion about polygamy, pedophilia and bestiality as if they are all equal. His faith would have him overturn civil union and same-sex marriage laws, thereby nullifying those vows, ripping families apart and feeling, believing, he’s saved the country from some evil.
What’s odd to me is how this man, whose religious fervor is so obvious, resents the very basic notion of his faith – caring for those in need. His stance on health care for all, for example, is so at odds with what you’d expect from a man of faith. We all know that President Obama’s Affordable Care Act has flaws, and we all know compromises could be made to create a system that works well for nearly everyone. But the basic principle of it is to provide affordable health care for all Americans. Simple. What does Rick Santorum have to say about every American having health coverage? That those in a better financial position should have access to more comprehensive health care than those who are in need but cannot afford it. See for yourself from his sarcastic statement:
“No, we have to have something for everybody! We can’t have people having access to better health insurance than other people. No! It all has to be the same! Is that American? Equality of result? Is that what built the greatest country in the history of the world? No. That’s what’s destroying most of the countries in the world."
So seeing to needs of the poor is not American?
That he received second-place status in the Iowa Caucus is terrifying. How can so many Americans support such extremism?
Some have described his thoughts on merging religion with politics as, Christian Sharia . Maybe the comparison itself is extreme, but I wonder if that isn’t just the term we should to latch onto if we’re to adequately describe the chasm between his vision for this country and that of the moderate American.
As if the points already made are not enough, take the shocking and disturbing comments this man made regarding President Obama’s wish that all American children attend college:
“I was so outraged at the President of the United States standing up and saying ‘Every child in America should go to college.’ Well, who are you?” Rick Santorum said. “Who are you to say that ‘every child in America go’? I mean, the hubris of this president to think that he knows what’s best for you…This is the kind of snobbery that we see from those who think they know how to run our lives. Rise up America. Defend your own freedoms. And overthrow these folks who think they know how to orchestrate every aspect of your life.”
Perhaps the best way to underscore Rick Santorum’s extremism and hypocrisy, and to argue against his bid for the presidency, is to close with the very words he used to disparage President Obama’s wish for an educated America:
“Rise up America. Defend your own freedoms. And overthrow these folks who think they know how to orchestrate every aspect of your life.”