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The "Gift" of Santorum
Santorum's Social Views
Rick Santorum has been getting a lot of press lately – including this hub and another by me. He’s the conservative’s rising star. He speaks with a fury, a passion indicative of a US presidential candidate at peace with himself and his vision for this country.
Unfortunately, his vision is narrow and ultra right – as in “extreme” not “correct”.
His intolerance of homosexuality and same-sex marriage is well documented by now. As is his view on abortion and women in combat. He has back-pedaled his comments regarding a state’s right to outlaw contraception but has now taken up the mantle against government funding for prenatal testing.
In his view, prenatal testing is provided as a means to “cull the ranks of the disabled in our society”.
What About "Knowledge is Power"?
It’s true that if a woman is given the heartbreaking news that the fetus in her womb might not develop as she’d anticipated or hoped, she might opt for an abortion. Thing is, last I checked, abortion was a legal option in this country. Beyond that, a woman who has received difficult news during prenatal screening, and indeed the medical staff charged with her care, would have the opportunity to prepare for a potentially difficult pregnancy and delivery, to consider intrauterine therapy, to make employment or living adjustments and more.
Bottom line? Not everyone would choose to abort. Some would grieve for the child they would not have, then move on to learn about and prepare for the child they would have.
Even Sarah Palin – an ultra conservative if ever there was one – is pro-prenatal testing. At least she was back in 2008 when, referring to her own amniocentesis, she said:
“I was grateful to have all those months to prepare. I can't imagine the moms that are surprised at the end. I think they have it a lot harder.”
A lot harder to be sure.
But Rick Santorum, if he had his way, would rip those months of preparation from those women, would prevent them from learning about options available to help make their lives and the potential life within them, easier. Why? Because they might consider an option of which he does not approve.
Normally, the more moderate among us could – and would – simply ignore this man and his extremist views. Unfortunately, he is a presidential candidate who happens to be flying the highest right now. That means he and his words have to be heard – and dissected, debated and, in a perfect world, disavowed en masse.
Unfortunately, the more attention he receives, the more extreme his views have been shown to be.
The Don and The Gift
As the campaigns move forward, part of me hopes Santorum maintains his momentum. My reason is one that Donald Trump, of all people, stated just days ago.
"There's nothing - there's no gift, no Christmas gift that could be given better than Rick Santorum to the Democrats...and, you know, I don't think they believe it's going to happen. But boy, would they like it to happen because that would be an easy election."
Another part of me wants a healthy, even and fair race to the White House. Why? Because if Santorum wins the Republican nomination, my worry wouldn’t be whether President Obama will occupy the White House for another term. He will. As I would hope. My worry, however, would be that a majority of Republicans found the reprehensible, misogynistic, ultra-conservative view of that man to be worthy of the office of the president.
If that’s the intended “gift”, I suggest you hang onto the receipt.