Rick Santorum will destroy conservatism

He claims to be the conservative alternative to Mitt Romney, but Santorum is a big spender who'd be happy to let government run your life the way he sees fit. What's so conservative about that?

WASHINGTON, March 24, 2012—The Republican Party has a true identity crisis on its hands. Rick Santorum is Exhibit A in an enormous pile of evidence that proves Republicans no longer believe in limited government.

Santorum has billed himself as the true conservative alternative to Mitt Romney in the Republican nomination process. While this might be like claiming to be taller than a midget, even this analogy gives the former Senator from Pennsylvania too much credit.

Santorum has launched many attacks questioning Romney’s conservatism. First there are his all-too-frequent assaults on Romneycare, which has been well-documented as the blueprint for Obamacare.

While there are many legitimate reasons to criticize this policy, Santorum seems to have forgotten his support for one of the largest expansions of government in medicine ever: Medicare Plan D. Many conservatives overlook this absurd growth in government for the simple reason that it took place under President George W. Bush. As he was one of Bush’s loudest cheerleaders, it should surprise no one that Santorum was a very vocal supporter of this expansion of Medicare.

Another charge that Santorum makes against Romney is that spending wouldn’t decrease under a Romney administration. But this is true of the so-called “conservative alternative” as well. Santorum’s plan offers no significant cuts at all, but only cuts in proposed increases. This should surprise no one who is familiar with Senator Santorum’s big government voting record. Voting for an increase in the debt ceiling time after time and voting for No Child Left Behind leaves Santorum very little credibility with regards to being a conservative.

One of the biggest threats to conservatism and the Republican Party is Rick Santorum’s focus on social issues in his campaign. Limited government does not seem to apply to these situations, according to Senator Santorum. He would rather make “gay marriage” a federal issue than leave it to the states. “We can’t have fifty different marriage laws in this country. You have to have one marriage law.” Someday Santorum will have to explain why a “one size fits all” federal mandate on marriage is more conservative than the 10th amendment policy of leaving these difficult issues up to the states to decide.

Philosophies of conservatism may differ within the Republican Party, but how anybody could confuse Rick Santorum for a conservative is beyond any known logic. It’s a wonder the Republican Party even accepts Santorum as one of its own when it is clear that he has nothing but contempt for individualism.

“One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a ‘Libertarianish’ right. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do. Government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no such society that I’m aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.”

Apparently Santorum has forgotten about his very own society, called “The United States of America.” Has he forgotten that the Bill of Rights was written for the sole purpose of protecting individual rights? Perhaps he would prefer a society with higher taxes and more regulations, or maybe one where we value collectivism over individualism, which he seems to despise. An attack on individualism should be expected from those on the Left, but it takes a great deal of ignorance for someone on the Right to buy into the argument as well. Santorum betrays the very idea of conservatism by wanting to utilize big government as a means to his ends. This makes him just as guilty as those he criticizes on the Left.

It is an astonishing feat for a Republican presidential candidate to attack virtually every pillar of conservatism, re-write history, and somehow make an argument that he is the true conservative. Maybe Santorum is running for the nomination of the wrong party, because he certainly does not agree with the philosophy of his own.

 


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Conor Murphy

Conor Murphy is a graduate of Virginia Commonwealth University with a degree in political science. As a former radio talk show host on WVCW, Conor hosted two popular shows, Murphy’s Law and Son of the Revolution.

In addition to this, Conor was also a contributor to the Commonwealth Times and a founder of the Broad Street Journal.

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