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Rick Santorum, a man of the 1850s

Last Sunday, I  read an interesting article by Katharine Seelye of the New York Times.  Basically she discussed the show on ABC’s “This Week” with George Stephanopolous.  George interviewed Rich Santorum.

Santorum is sounding more and more like a person from the 19th century, or before.  He doesn’t feel, for example, that everyone needs to go to college because they have different skills and interests.  OK, so far I would agree.  But then he goes on to say that colleges are liberal bastions that are hostile to students who are conservatives.  I take issue with that.  I was a student at the University of Michigan many lightyears ago.  Some of my views were similar to my peers and some were not.  Now, my peers were bright, inquisitive people and on many occasions I was forced to defend my views – just as I sometimes forced others to defend theirs.  Some of my ideas I could successfully defend, and some I could not.  So, yes, sometimes I gave some deep thought to long held views.  Sometimes I changed and sometimes I did not.

 Colleges are a marketplace of ideas.  It was true then, and it is true now..  No one can force you to change your mind.  I would like to ask Mr. Santorum, a man who has a dad with a Medical Degree and he, who has a Law Degree, what are you trying to say?   Why didn’t you drop out if you found the intellectual atmosphere too challenging for you?  Are the rest of us not smart enough to embrace your ideas of misogyny and religious absolutism?  Is that what it is?

Santorum went on to say that 62% of the students who enter college with some sort of faith commitment leave without it.  I would be curious how he arrived at 62% but, be that as it may, what is wrong with growing up?  Most of those college students are away from home for the first time.  If they were brought up in a religious household and, maybe, didn’t feel comfortable with it, college is the chance to examine their feelings.  In my case, there was a very vibrant Hillel House with lots of activities for Jewish students (actually, it was open to all).  I examined all the options regarding religion and no one ridiculed me.  I liked the fellowship that religious organizations brought, but decided that the God of the Old Testament was one of the most unpleasant characters in all of fiction.  I had no desire to be associated with him.

By the way, I have personal experience in my family of a young lady being brought up in a non-religious CHRISTIAN household, going to a Catholic college and embracing Orthodox Judaism!  Believe me, NONE of this is an exaggeration.

Mr. Santorum talked about the conservative principles that “made this country great”.  Wow!  In 1776 when the radical revolutionaries wrote the treasonous Declaration of Independence, the conservatives, ( Torys ) either kept their mouths shut, reassessed their position, or moved to Canada.  The idea of giving up a king, casting away the nation from which most of their ancestors came from, and declaring that the country would be ruled by “the people” is not exactly what we would call “conservative”.  In fact, the idea in the 18th century of not being ruled by a king might be called ULTRA radical.  A few years later, the Constitution came along – another radical piece of literature.  Was there anything that we did at the time that WAS conservative.  Well, we did allow slavery to continue.

Let’s take another example, closer to the present: Under the administration of Teddy Roosevelt (1901-1909), a Republican, the United States stepped up regulation of business and trust busting.  President Roosevelt formed the Food and Drug administration.  Would any conservative even consider anything like that today.  Last time I checked they were trying everything possible to weaken its authority.  Were Roosevelt’s actions the conservative principles that Santorum keeps talking about?  Hardly!

Mr. Santorum and Mr. Romney are continually trying to “out-conservative” each other.  I don’t really know what that means or what they are trying to prove.  Is “conservative” a new religion?  I think that to have any creditability they ought to define what they mean.  Personally, I feel that Mr. Romney is a 1920’s style conservative — you know, right before the great depression, doing nothing and letting the US sink.  He has gone on record as being willing to let the US auto industry sink.  In Mr. Santorum’s case, I would say that he is an 1850’s style conservative.  The civil war, as you know, started in 1861.  No doubt in my mind that Santorum would be very comfortable with a few slaves around the house — after all, both the Old and New Testament (as well as the Quran) condone it.  You can’t be on much more solid ground than that, can you Rick?

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One comment on “Rick Santorum, a man of the 1850s

  1. If Rick Santorum becomes president we would soon be having religious wars in America……and among Christians. Sactorum brags that he is Catholic. Does that mean that he will sending out the Catholic police to make us all part of the Roman Catholic church? and if so, How would the Protestants and Jews feel about this? Will America then become another Northern Ireland involved in a never ending civil war? …..Another take on all this is that Rick Santorum is just kissing up to the GOP right wing religious nuts to win votes. Either way, the guy is dangerous. The last thing we need in the White House is a Christian Taliban as president.

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