Santorum Stands for Big Government because He Stands for Collectivism

Rick_SantorumMight Republicans select as their presidential candidate someone who wants even more government controls over our lives than Mitt Romney, father of Massachusetts’s health-policy fiasco Romneycare? Their sudden embrace of Rick Santorum, who won a close second in the Iowa caucuses, threatens just that outcome.

Santorum’s commitment to government controls is well-documented. Conservative Erick Erickson of Red State points out that, while in Congress, Santorum supported steel tariffs, more federal control of education, the welfare-ballooning prescription drug benefit, the ludicrous Bridge to Nowhere boondoggle, milk subsidies, and job-killing wage controls. As David Boaz summarizes, Santorum “wanted to be known as a porker, an earmarker, and Senator Pothole.” The Huffington Post reports that Santorum thinks states have the right to ban birth control. In a 2005 article, Jonathan Rauch quotes Santorum: “Some will reject what I have to say as a kind of ‘Big Government’ conservatism.” Let us hope so.

Santorum explained his motivating principles in a video interview released in 2006. He said, “I don’t agree that people should be empowered to do what pleases them the most. We have a responsibility beyond [ourselves].” Santorum characterized the “liberal view” as “anti-responsibility,” saying it holds, “I should be able to do whatever I want to do as long as no one gets hurt.” He continued:

Particularly in the area of sexual freedom and personal issues, this is the mantra of the left. Which is, “I have a right to do what I want to do.” And that is not the kind of freedom that our Founders envisioned, and it is not the kind of freedom that makes up a society that is devoted…to the common good. …The definition of liberty as our Founders understood it, was freedom with responsibility. Responsibility to who? To themselves? No. It was a responsibility to others. It was responsibility to your family, but not just your family. It was a responsibility to your neighbors and to your country.

Santorum complained that we have “an entire culture that focuses on immediate gratification and the pursuit of happiness and personal pleasure, and it is harming America.”

While Santorum claims to invoke the Founders, his views are diametrically opposed to theirs. The right to the pursuit of happiness is one of the “unalienable rights” the Founders sought to protect in creating America. That’s why it’s specified in the Declaration of Independence.

Santorum conflates the pursuit of immediate gratification with the pursuit of happiness. But that’s ridiculous. As every rational adult knows, the pursuit of happiness involves responsibly following through on one’s chosen commitments to one’s family, friends, businesses associates, and fellow citizens.

But Santorum does not advocate the pursuit of happiness. He wants to jettison this founding principle of America in favor of collectivism.

If the phrase “sexual freedom and personal issues” in Santorum’s statement were changed to “economic freedom and business issues,” Barack Obama could have made the same case in one of his speeches and everyone would have seen it as collectivism. Americans need to learn that all calls for sacrificing the individual to “others” or “the common good” or “your neighbors” or “your country” are variants of the same evil. Obama and Santorum differ only on the kind of collectivism each hopes to impose on America.

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Image: Gaga Skidmore


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  • lsmith263

    Beware those who speak of sacrifice… it is not the sacrifice of themselves to you they speak of!

  • lsmith263

    Beware those who speak of sacrifice… it is not the sacrifice of themselves to you they speak of!

  • Anonymous

    We must also not forget the outrageous anti-evolution Santorum Amendment (Wikipedia).

    For him (from a YouTube video), “… our faith filled founders knew that faith was not just an essential element but the essence of civilization.”

    For a rebuttal of the “faith filled founders” propaganda, see the book Liars For Jesus by Chris Rodda. This is not an intellectual-history book; she only looks at the specific historical events and documents now being used to fight the separation of church and state. I’d like to see the book reviewed at TOS.

  • Mel_M

    We must also not forget the outrageous anti-evolution Santorum Amendment (Wikipedia).

    For him (from a YouTube video), “… our faith filled founders knew that faith was not just an essential element but the essence of civilization.”

    For a rebuttal of the “faith filled founders” propaganda, see the book Liars For Jesus by Chris Rodda. This is not an intellectual-history book; she only looks at the specific historical events and documents now being used to fight the separation of church and state. I’d like to see the book reviewed at TOS.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ON6XIAUNN2764JCZF2FON5QCVI Alexander

    He is just as dangerous as obama, only from the other side.  Feels like the world is filled with fanatics and idiots, and there’s hardly anyone else in between.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_ON6XIAUNN2764JCZF2FON5QCVI Alexander

    He is just as dangerous as obama, only from the other side.  Feels like the world is filled with fanatics and idiots, and there’s hardly anyone else in between.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Tristan-Charles-Mason/546889551 Tristan Charles Mason

    Also, for a self-proclaimed Christian, Santorum doesn’t seem to know his bible too well. He said of gay marriage, “Are we saying everyone should have the right to marry? So anyone can marry anyone else? So anybody can marry several people?”  According to Kings 11:3, ” [Solomon] had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.” Santorum’s beloved book allows this, yet he denounces both gay marriage and polygamy. hmm

  • Tristan Mason

    Also, for a self-proclaimed Christian, Santorum doesn’t seem to know his bible too well. He said of gay marriage, “Are we saying everyone should have the right to marry? So anyone can marry anyone else? So anybody can marry several people?”  According to Kings 11:3, ” [Solomon] had 700 wives, who were princesses, and 300 concubines. And his wives turned away his heart.” Santorum’s beloved book allows this, yet he denounces both gay marriage and polygamy. hmm