Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Santorum's Politics

Santorum’s Politics
P. Schultz
January 18, 2012

I was asked recently why I was so “down” on Rick Santorum. Well, it is a legitimate question and here are some of the reasons why.

“The Santorums’ youngest daughter was born with a chromosomal disorder. They spoke movingly about their love for their daughter and Karen Santorum welled up. But as they went on, it became apparent that Rick Santorum has no policies to help the disabled. He argues that the families that can afford to should do everything they can to care for their children. But what about those who can’t afford to do so?”

To oppose government sponsored health care at this point is illogical. At one time, some time ago, it made sense. Financially, it no longer does as businesses recognize. Like most Republicans, Santorum knows this and he is only trying to arrange things so that some groups or organizations will make a lot of money from the government program. This is true of Democrats as well, which is why a single payer system ala’ Canada is never seriously considered.

But what bothers me most is how Santorum dresses his argument up in the guise of “family values.” “Hey, if you disagree with me, you must want the government to replace the family as the most important ‘care giver’ for those with significant special needs. You are anti-family but we, my wife and I, are not.” This is just, well, bullshit but it is also how Santorum characterizes those who disagree with him on foreign policy. “Hey, if you disagree with me you must be unpatriotic.”

“Santorum executed a similar dodge on gay rights. A woman from Greenville, South Carolina, said she supports Santorum, but her youngest son is gay. Her son has no problem with Santorum’s opposition to gay marriage, she claims, but he hears from his friends that Santorum hates gays.
“Karen Santorum reassured her. “It’s very sad what gay activists have done to Rick: they’ve vilified him. Rick doesn’t hate anyone. He just said [gay] marriage shouldn’t happen.” Karen Santorum even had the audacity to accuse said “gay activists” of “backyard bullying” of her husband. "

Here is Santorum trying to turn the victims into the victimizers, which is what a lot of those who think “homosexuals” are perverted or unnatural do. It is also what victimizers of all stripes do, from the some in the Catholic Church to those who abuse their spouses. O.J. said his ex-wife was “a slut” so he was or his kids were victims and he was defending “family values” – in his mind – when he slit her throat.

“Then Rick Santorum explicated why he opposes gay marriage.”
The real issue is not gay marriage or gays serving in the military. The issue is whether being gay and lesbian is a  legitimate “lifestyle” or, better, a human way of being [in the world]. “Being gay or lesbian:” unnatural or sinful or a part of the natural order? Those like Santorum just muddy the landscape by focusing on particular “policies” such as gay marriage or serving in the military, issues that could be decided either way even if one admits that being gay or lesbian is as natural as being “straight.” That is, one could oppose both gay marriage and military service for gays – although given the Spartan example it is unclear why one would oppose military service for gays if one wanted a ferocious military – even if one argued that being gay or lesbian is no less human than being “straight.” Santorum’s way is also a way of providing cover for those who do “hate” or “dislike” gays and lesbians. They can hide their personal prejudices behind these policy questions by saying, e.g., “Hey, we are just defending ‘traditional’ values.” This is most evident in his wife’s attempt to turn Santorum into the victim, arguing that he is being “victimized” by gays and lesbians. Oh, poor Rick! 

These are some of the reasons I am “down” on Santorum. One last one to cite here is his recent endorsement of assassination as a policy tool. And this guy says he is “pro-life!” Not so much. And, besides, you would think that the assassination of JFK would have alerted people to the drawbacks of such a policy, to say nothing of it being unjust to kill people merely to advance a political agenda. Hey, isn’t that terrorism? Oh, I forgot: It is our terrorism so it is justified.

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