I know some social conservatives personally and I love them dearly. They can believe me when I tell them, I will fight unto the death to protect their rights to believe in their principles. Many of those principles are not unlike mine, but there are some stark differences in some key areas. Even in those areas where we disagree, I am not committed to denigrating them for their moral consciences. With that said, I have to point out one shining example as to why I am not a fan of candidates that run their social issues as the main components of their platforms.
Let’s take a look at the latest from Rick Santorum via this CBS report. Speaking about his rival Mitt Romney, here’s the excerpt that is important to note:
“You win by giving people a choice,” he said. “You win by giving people the opportunity to see a different vision for our country, not someone who’s just going to be a little different than the person in there. If you’re going to be a little different, we might as well stay with what we have instead of taking a risk with what may be the Etch A Sketch candidate of the future.”
Let me state unequivocally Mr. Santorum is dead wrong an several levels. The first level was later tweeted by Newt Gingrich:
“Rick Santorum is dead wrong. Any GOP nominee will be better than Obama.”
I agree with Mr Gingrich and would add, there are some Democrats that would be better than Obama too, mainly because Obama has been a failure on many levels.
This statement by Santorum is troubling and openly demonstrates why social conservatism causes so much apprehension in people who embrace libertarianism. By making this kind of statement, he fails to take into consideration the wide economic differences between Romney and Obama. With the exception of the healthcare issue, Romney is a free market capitalist. His background in the corporate world is as far from Obama’s past, which is a past that consisted of learning how to agitate the community through intimidation and promoting mob rule. Other than a school newspaper, Obama has not been responsible for anything of any value (and the value of that, alone, is worthy of some debate) before his election….and it shows greatly.
Meanwhile, the only issues that seem to be important to Santorum are the social wedge issues that are intrusive in personal lives. That is to say, they are the ones that are marked by an absolute right or wrong. The issue of birth control is only one example. While I do not believe it is government’s role to provide (or mandate someone to provide) it to all women upon demand, it is equally not the responsibility of government to openly condemn, discourage, or prevent its use.
Those who came to this new world did so because they were not free to practice their faith, as their consciences dictated to them. At very least it would seem hypocritical to come to a new world, only to lay down the same oppressive methods that drove them to brave the unknown. To some degree this happened, in the form of the Salem witch trials. As a libertarian, I believe that the Left has no business telling anyone how to live their lives. They have no right to denigrate and suppress freedom in any way, to include both spiritual and secular. By the same token, the Religious Right has no right to do it, either.
If someone wants to be a Christian, Muslim, Wiccan, Buddhist, Jew, or anything else, it is their right to be such. The only exception is when a religion openly preaches the killing of innocent people to advance their beliefs.
I have not been Romney’s biggest fan and neither has Gingrich. But the Speaker and I both can easily recognize huge differences between the Governor and the President. In one act of pure desperation brought on by immaturity (and some questionable measure of instability), Rick Santorum has just demonstrated why he should not be president. And while he would be better than Obama, I cannot imagine having to choose between two people who want to control people’s choices, albeit they are different choices.
“My way or the highway” is not good government. Good government is allowing people to govern their own lives, up to the point where they do not infringe on other people’s rights. When Santorum speaks so irresponsibly as he did in this case, he gives people the distinct impression of being no different than the progressives.
This is why I think it’s time for Santorum to drop his bid for the presidency. At very least, I think it’s time for him to apologize and retract his statement.