Former Sen. Rick Santorum’s (R-PA) victories last week in three primary races in Missouri, Minnesota and Colorado have injected new enthusiasm into his bid for the GOP presidential nomination, along with the additional scrutiny that comes with the spotlight of front-runner status in a presidential campaign.
Despite Santorum’s recent surge in the polls and electoral victories from preaching his message of economic populism and hawkish foreign policy to the Republican base, his original claim to fame comes from the unorthodox nature of his positions on social issues in American politics that stand far outside the mainstream of most voters today.
Although fancying himself a free market conservative, Santorum pays only lip service to the idea of small government, given the radical social policies he touts.
He’s a rabid culture warrior for the radical Christian Right. The summation of his warped ideology regarding the role of the state in family, culture and religion is outlined in his 2005 best-selling book “It Takes a Family” — a rebuttal to former First Lady and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s 1996 publication “It Takes a Village.”
His book contains cultural diatribes and apoplectic rants that would make Mitt Romney blush and Pat Robertson swoon.
Santorum’s thesis in his book points the finger of family decline and cultural decay at the traditional evils ailing conservative America, namely the ACLU, the courts, the abortionists and, of course, gays and lesbians. If you only add the pagans and People for the American Way, you’d probably hear Jerry Falwell cry out an amen from beyond the grave.
In an NPR interview plugging the book, Santorum blamed “big government, big media, big entertainment and big universities” for the incestuous cesspool of rampant consumerism, sexual deviance and cultural depravity that America has now become.
Seeking to return women to their role of being domesticated kitchen animals stripped from both the workforce and the military, Santorum wrote, “the radical feminists [have] succeeded in undermining the traditional family, convincing women that professional accomplishments are the key to happiness.”
In an interview with The Associated Press, Santorum rejected the notion of a personal right to privacy by saying that “this right to privacy that doesn’t exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution, this right that was created, it was created in Griswold,” referring to the landmark Supreme Court case of Griswold v. Connecticut (1965) which permitted married couples the freedom to purchase contraceptive devices as fundamental to the individual right to privacy under the doctrine of penumbra rights implied within the Constitution.
The former senator would go on to compare consensual homosexual activity with pedophilia and bestiality, earning him the Internet honor of his name being forever slimed, now synonymous with the anal by-product of his least favorite sexual position.
Santorum’s belief that we could collectively rid ourselves of our social evils if only Blue America were more like Red America, but with more guns and God (and fewer gays), is wrong.
Despite all of the moralizing from the Christian Right within the red states, the Pew Research Center calculated that although 41 percent of all American births resulted out of wedlock, a disproportionate amount came from the reddest of red states.
Naomi Cahn and June Carbone, in their 2010 book “Red Families vs. Blue Families,” argue that the antiquated social model that Red America puritanically preaches proves no safeguard against the evils that Santorum fights against in the media, academy and government.
In fact, if you run the gamut across the board of social ills, from teen pregnancy to divorce to single-family households, you find that the states preaching abstinence only and prayer in school are not getting what they are wishing for from the Almighty.