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Rick Santorum: The Most Anti-Reagan Republican


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#1 Ed Hudgins

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 04:25 PM

Rick Santorum: The Most Anti-Reagan Republican
By Edward Hudgins

January 6, 2012 - With his virtual tie in the Iowa Caucuses, Rick Santorum is the final flavor-of-the-week conservative alternative to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

While it might be tough for voters to decide which Republican candidate best represents the principles of Ronald Reagan, it is easy to determine who is antithetical to the Gipper’s values: that opponent of liberty is Rick Santorum.

When Republicans leaned toward liberty

Conservative Republicans favor traditional values, seeing families and religion as essential to social order. In contrast to libertarians, they would sometimes allow government to interfere with lifestyle choices, especially sexual morality. But most conservatives, like libertarians, favor individual liberty and free markets, with government strictly limited in scope and power; they rightly fear that the state is the greatest threat to the traditions they value.

Thus Barry Goldwater, the 1964 GOP presidential candidate wrote, “The first thing… [a conservative] has learned about man is that each member of the species is a unique creature. Man’s most sacred possession is his individual soul.” The 1964 party platform stated that “Every person has the right to govern himself, to fix his own goals, and to make his own way with a minimum of governmental interference.”

When Reagan ran for president in 1980, the platform began with a section entitled “Free Individuals in a Free Society.” It read “It has long been a fundamental conviction of the Republican Party that government should foster in our society a climate of maximum individual liberty and freedom of choice. Properly informed, our people as individuals or acting through instruments of popular consultation can make the right decisions affecting personal or general welfare.”

Santorum the collectivist

Santorum fundamentally disagrees.

According to Santorum, “This whole idea of personal autonomy—I don’t think that most conservatives hold that point of view.” Specifically, “One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right.”

Concerning libertarians—though he tends to confuse them with liberals—he says “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 regulation low and that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues, you know, people should do whatever they want.”

Santorum will have none of it. His book It Takes a Family was meant to be an answer to Hillary Clinton’s It Takes a Village. We see that his goal is not to move us away from government interference with families. Rather, it is to move the government away from protecting individual liberty.

Santorum argues that American liberals “say ‘it takes a village’ but really what their ideology is based around is the individual.” No Rick! A village is a collective, not an individual. Liberals favor majority votes in villages trumping the liberty of individuals. Libertarians favor individual choice.

Santorum continues “We understand that the basic unit of society is the family, that the individual needs to be nurtured and supported and molded and shaped through this family structure, through the real village, which is the church, the community organizations….”

Freedom as slavery

Santorum’s campaign banners read “Faith, Family, and Freedom.” The inclusion of the last term is disingenuous. He would replace the “freedom to be left alone” with the Orwellian notion of “the freedom to attend to one’s duties—duties to God, to family, and to neighbors.” And if you don’t want to travel the path of self-sacrifice that he, our would-be ayatollah, prescribes, you will be, in the words of Rousseau, “forced to be free” by the government.

In his breathtaking distortion of history—he can’t be this ignorant—Santorum rejects the notion that the Founders endorsed the pursuit of individual happiness as a right the protection of which is the purpose of government. Does he have any clue who Thomas Jefferson was? Does he have any apprehension that “happiness,” along with “life” and “liberty” as listed in the Declaration, are attributes of individuals, not groups?

More Obama than Reagan

Santorum has more in common with Barack Obama than Ronald Reagan. He is a collectivist, only his collective is the family, not the village nor, as with Marx, society as a whole.

Traditional conservatives and most libertarians acknowledge the importance of families in a free, stable society. But they understand that the moral unit, the living, breathing entity that thinks and chooses and acts, and that has goals and aspirations, is the individual. They thus agree that in society with others individuals must seek values such as career and family based on mutual consent, respecting the rights of others.

Santorum might mouth support for free markets and limited government. But as a committed anti-individualist he is probably the Republican who would most endanger liberty. Those Republicans who favor what was the core value for Reagan and Goldwater had better understand what Santorum is all about before they enter the voting booth.

EXPLORE:

"The Need for a New Individualism" Edward Hudgins, January-February 2005.

#2 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 05:07 PM

Just keep in mind that it was your buddy RWR who was delivering $1.75 worth of government for every $1.00 collected in taxes. He was telling us not to worry about the loss on each transaction, we will make it up on volume.

The Republic wild deficits started with your buddy RWR.

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#3 Peter Taylor

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 05:09 PM

Well said, Ed. I printed a list of Santorum’s voting record on the Mitt Romney for President thread.
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#4 Ninth Doctor

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 05:26 PM

With his virtual tie in the Iowa Caucuses, Rick Santorum is the final flavor-of-the-week conservative alternative to former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.


Flavor of the week indeed. I think Santorum is this cycle’s Huckabee. He’ll be in the toilet before long. His Iowa placement is just froth, he’ll soon slip and fall on his ass like a stripper working a pole coated in lube.
http://blog.spreadingsantorum.com/

I'm trying to fit in the other key words, and can't seem to do it gracefully, so here goes: Santorum, anal sex, fecal.

The Republic wild deficits started with your buddy RWR.


Sure you don’t mean the Democratic Congress, especially the House, that he was stuck with? Interesting how the supposed surpluses of the later Clinton presidency coincided with a Republican controlled House.
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#5 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 05:55 PM


Sure you don’t mean the Democratic Congress, especially the House, that he was stuck with? Interesting how the supposed surpluses of the later Clinton presidency coincided with a Republican controlled House.


The economy started going into the tank even before 2000. Remember the dot com fiasco?

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#6 Ninth Doctor

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:05 PM

The economy started going into the tank even before 2000. Remember the dot com fiasco?


Of course. You brought up the correlation between deficits and the occupant of the White House, all I did was dispute that point; it’s just not that simple. Now are you saying Clinton was responsible for the dot com bubble?
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#7 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:07 PM


The economy started going into the tank even before 2000. Remember the dot com fiasco?


Of course. You brought up the correlation between deficits and the occupant of the White House, all I did was dispute that point; it’s just not that simple. Now are you saying Clinton was responsible for the dot com bubble?


No, but the conditions for the "bubble" existed during his watch. His policies did nothing to discourage it.

This country has been going into the crapper since the time of Teddy Roosevelt and Woodrow Wilson, and probably even before that.


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#8 Selene

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:30 PM

It was Bushes fault!

WWI was his fault also!
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#9 Ninth Doctor

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Posted 06 January 2012 - 07:40 PM

No, but the conditions for the "bubble" existed during his watch. His policies did nothing to discourage it.

I don't think the Government should either encourage or discourage asset bubbles. Under a fiat money system, however...
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#10 studiodekadent

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 02:52 AM

I absolutely agree that Santorum is pure, unrestricted evil.

Regarding Reagan, he said a lot of nice things but his actions were scarcely libertarian beyond the tax cuts. He increased the size and intrusiveness of the government, ramped up the war on drugs, and gave the social conservatives a 'seat at the table.' Ironically, I think a (plausible if not necessarily true) case can be made that Jimmy Carter did more to make America's economy in fact more-free than Reagan did.

Reagan however was a good rhetoritician.
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#11 BaalChatzaf

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 06:05 AM

I absolutely agree that Santorum is pure, unrestricted evil.



Hurrah for Santorum then. Why settle for the lesser of evils? Go first class. Since C'thuluh is not a citizen we will have to choose the next worst thing.

Besides, he promised to bomb Iran. That appeals to me.

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#12 Merlin Jetton

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 07:40 AM


The Republic wild deficits started with your buddy RWR.

Sure you don’t mean the Democratic Congress, especially the House, that he was stuck with? Interesting how the supposed surpluses of the later Clinton presidency coincided with a Republican controlled House.

A significant component of the deficit during the Reagan years was interest rates. Interest rates reached the high teens. See the bottom graph here.

A significant component of the low deficits during the Clinton years was the stock market. With high stock prices came higher tax receipts from capital gains and exercise of stock options that employers granted employees (especially dot.com companies). See the graph here.

#13 Ninth Doctor

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 09:11 AM

A significant component of the [snip]


Indeed. I say leave the assigning of credit and blame to the partisan hacks. I know a very silly one who insists that 9/11 wouldn’t have happened if Gore had gotten into office; it was 100% Bush’s fault. Things are rarely so clear-cut, unless you’re working in the ax-grinding trade.
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#14 blackhorse

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Posted 07 January 2012 - 12:25 PM

Rick Perry......other than Paul, has said and proposed the most radical steps to re-establishing liberty in the United States. Here's my quick mash of the other candidates; Santorum is ok, but a bit of a theocrat------Romney is Bush III (enough said)-----Gingrich has flip flopped like a fish out of water on a plethora of issues-----Paul is a quasi anarcho-isolationist with too much love for the 10th amend.-------Huntsman who?

#15 studiodekadent

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 08:25 AM

Rick Perry......other than Paul, has said and proposed the most radical steps to re-establishing liberty in the United States. Here's my quick mash of the other candidates; Santorum is ok, but a bit of a theocrat------


Rick Perry is almost as theocratic as Santorum. And Santorum as "OK but a 'bit' of a theocrat" is a bizarre understatement. Santorum has made FREQUENT philosophical statements attacking individual liberty and individualism. The man is sheer evil, pure and simple.

Romney is Bush III (enough said)-----Gingrich has flip flopped like a fish out of water on a plethora of issues-----Paul is a quasi anarcho-isolationist with too much love for the 10th amend.


Paul is associated with some free-market anarchists but clearly isn't an anarchist himself. He's also not an 'isolationist', he's a non-interventionist. Big difference. And yes, his love of State's Rights is potentially dangerous but the US has enough jurisdictional competition to lessen the danger of this. Plus, Federalism has the advantage of taking social issues out of Federal politics.

Santorum is a warmongering Jesus-fascist psychopath.

Paul, whilst clearly imperfect, is easily better than everyone else in that race. Unless, of course, you think that one can Genuinely Champion Reason by bombing Iran.
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#16 PDS

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 10:43 AM

With respect, I wouldn't count this as one of Ed's most well-written or well-reasoned essays.

I'm pretty sure Santorum has a "clue" who Thomas Jefferson was, by the way, and a clue about that clue would be the philosophical differences Madison and Hamilton (and others) had with Jefferson. Santorum follows in the tradition of the Founding Fathers with the view that religion can shape the nation and Constitution without strangling it. This is hardly a new line of thought.

And no, I will not be voting for Santorum, or any other Republican, unless I can get past the notion of Romney's choice of undergarments.

#17 Peter Taylor

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 11:20 AM

PDS wrote:
And no, I will not be voting for Santorum, or any other Republican, unless I can get past the notion of Romney's choice of undergarments.
end quote

That might matter if you were an emergency room technician who frequently sees objectionable underwear. For the record, I have never asked a girl out, but only if she first showed me her underwear. I don’t vote that way either, because a politician’s underwear can only be legally examined and contemplated in a Tell All with Pictures book called, “I did the President’s and First Lady’s scandalous Laundry, a White House Diary.”

Rethink your jesting statement about not voting for Mitt Romney. Ayn Rand thought that religion was a primitive philosophy. It was an attempt to explain reality. Faith in a God does not necessitate bazaar thinking. There are many positive thoughts in many religions but to the extent that religion undermines a rational life is the extent to which it is evil. There are problems with Mormonism as there is with any other religion.

One difference is that Mormonism was created not two thousand years ago, but in a more modern society in 1820. It evolved for twenty years or so into its current form until 1840, with infrequent revelations and changes since then. Yet, they also claim miracles like our Christian Old and New Testaments. Because it was created just after The Enlightenment which lasted from 1630 until around 1800, its dictums for life may be more rational than other religion’s original precepts.

Give Mitt a chance.
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#18 Selene

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 11:31 AM

For the record, I have never asked a girl out, but only if she first showed me her underwear.


My "girl" "dates" are not permitted to wear underwear.

Simplifies the issue.
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#19 PDS

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Posted 11 January 2012 - 11:52 AM

PDS wrote:
And no, I will not be voting for Santorum, or any other Republican, unless I can get past the notion of Romney's choice of undergarments.
end quote

That might matter if you were an emergency room technician who frequently sees objectionable underwear. For the record, I have never asked a girl out, but only if she first showed me her underwear. I don’t vote that way either, because a politician’s underwear can only be legally examined and contemplated in a Tell All with Pictures book called, “I did the President’s and First Lady’s scandalous Laundry, a White House Diary.”

Rethink your jesting statement about not voting for Mitt Romney. Ayn Rand thought that religion was a primitive philosophy. It was an attempt to explain reality. Faith in a God does not necessitate bazaar thinking. There are many positive thoughts in many religions but to the extent that religion undermines a rational life is the extent to which it is evil. There are problems with Mormonism as there is with any other religion.

One difference is that Mormonism was created not two thousand years ago, but in a more modern society in 1820. It evolved for twenty years or so into its current form until 1840, with infrequent revelations and changes since then. Yet, they also claim miracles like our Christian Old and New Testaments. Because it was created just after The Enlightenment which lasted from 1630 until around 1800, its dictums for life may be more rational than other religion’s original precepts.

Give Mitt a chance.
Semper cogitans fidele,
Peter Taylor



Peter, I was, as you probably surmised, simply being a poor man's Hitchens (may he rest in peace, ironically...), who put it best:

"If candidates can be asked to declare their preference as between briefs and boxers, then we already have a precedent, and Romney can be asked whether, as a true believer should, he wears Mormon underwear. What's un-American about that? The bottom line is that Romney should expect to be asked these very important questions, and we should expect him not to obfuscate and whine anymore but to give clear and unambiguous answers to them."

Interesting thoughts by you on the possibility of Mormonism being more rational, because of its late entrance onto the scene. Unfortunately, that late entrance also makes their beliefs more easily verifiable, and therefore quite less verifiable. :cool:

#20 PDS

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Posted 14 January 2012 - 10:51 AM

And don't forget, Santorum has also ruined sweater vests for the rest of us.

Perhaps I will give Mitt a chance, notwithstanding his penchant for onesies.




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