Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Rick Santorum: The Right Standard Bearer

It is truly unthinkable that as conservatives decide who should be their standard bearer to unseat President Obama, they have ignored the one candidate who has all the virtues they look for in a conservative candidate: Rick Santorum.  No one can question his commitment to the principles of Federalism which mandates a government of limited powers, the necessity of defending our national interests, the reigning in of government spending and the reduction of taxes to spur economic growth, and most important of all, the protection of the unborn and the strengthening of the Family. Indeed, Santorum has nothing in his record he needs to explain away, as Mitt Romney does with Romney-care.  Romney derives much of his support from those who say the only issue of importance in this election is the economy and government spending.  Romney does have business experience, but Santorum has a record of accomplishment in reducing government. He was one of the authors and primary sponsors of welfare reform in the 90’s which vastly reduced the size of welfare rolls and mandated that welfare recipients seek employment.  He is well versed in foreign policy and defense matters and has been the only Republican candidate consistently speaking on such matters such as the danger of Iran acquiring nuclear weapons.  When Bill Clinton lost reelection as governor of Arkansas, he re-branded himself as a moderately conservative candidate. Santorum has not altered what he stands for despite losing his Senate seat in 2006.  Like everyone else, Santorum understands the importance of the economy in the next election, as well as the issue of repealing Obama-care. Yet he has neither moderated his stand on social issues nor swept social issues under the rug.  This is in contrast to Romney who highlighted social issues in 2008 but has ignored them this election.  The media would like to ignore a candidate who brings social issues to the forefront; this is why Santorum is asked so few questions on anything in the debates.  Yet there are many Republicans who would like to see Santorum and candidates like him marginalized.  These Republicans see issues such as abortion and marriage as distractions in any election. They maintain that social issues are so divisive that they lose elections for Republicans. These Republicans look upon social conservatives as unreliable partners in a coalition with those mainly concerned with economic and foreign policy.  Yet experience has shown that social conservatives like Santorum remain active, reliable partners in the Conservative coalition while those who would wish social issue conservatives would just go away cannot be trusted to stick to their guns.  They are the ones who seek compromise with the left.  Not only is Santorum a reliable conservative, he can articulate conservative principles extremely well.  Romney is also articulate; we just don’t know if what he articulates today is a reliable guide to how he would govern tomorrow.  Michelle Bauchman is also a reliable conservative and would be a good president. Yet she has not demonstrated any ability to move beyond slogans and clich├ęs in articulating her positions. All the Republican candidates are able to make the case against liberalism and the Obama record.  But only Santorum has the imagination and rhetorical ability to articulate a conservative case that is not just a denunciation of Obama’s record but a positive vision people will want to vote for.  That was the difference between a Reagan and a Goldwater; this is the difference between Santorum and the other Republican candidates.  But this is not the only difference.  Santorum understands the nature of our system of government and its foundations better than the rest of the Republican field.  While his support for the Tenth Amendment is just as strong as any other candidate’s, the Tenth Amendment for Santorum is not the foundation of our republican form of government.  The rights of all mankind declared in the Declaration of Independence, which come from God, limit what individual states can do. States can not do whatever they want to.  They cannot violate the inalienable rights of anyone, nor can they violate the principles of God’s laws. This is the answer to those who use the Tenth Amendment as justification for allowing states to legalize same-sex marriage within their borders.  This understanding of the Tenth Amendment far superior to Ron Paul’s libertarian philosophy. As all the other anti-Romney candidates have risen and fallen in the polls, its time to take a look at Santorum. With his conservative credentials and personal attributes, conservatives should be at peace nominating him as the conservative standard bearer.  With such a standard bearer as Rick Santorum, the conservative message will not fail to elect conservatives to Congress and make the current occupant of the White House a one term President.              

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