Friday, February 10, 2012






The People Rick Santorum Believes God Forgot



"Populist" Rick Santorum is at it again.     First, he compared buying drugs for a child with a rare genetic disorder to buying an iPad.      Then, on Tuesday night, the triumphant working-class hero claimed

Look what happens when the government gives you rights. When the government gives you rights, unlike when God gives you rights, the government can take them away. When government gives you rights, the government can tell you how to exercise those rights.

The following night, featuring a comparison of health care to execution by guillotine in France, the former senator from Pennsylvania/Virginia remarked

They are taking faith and crushing it. Why? Why? When you marginalize faith in America, when you remove the pillar of God-given rights, then what’s left is the French Revolution. What’s left is the government that gives you right, what’s left are no unalienable rights, what’s left is a government that will tell you who you are, what you’ll do and when you’ll do it.

Santorum is all for big government when it's in your bedroom, preventing you from having sex with someone of your gender or utilizing contraceptives; in the doctor's office, where it must prevent a physician from terminating a pregnancy; in a consumer's pocketbook, where it must act to keep the prices of prescription drugs artificially high; in the appropriations process, where it can subsidize an energy company if it's a major donor; or in the Pentagon, which must make plans to bomb Iran.

Still, Santorum's opposition to government intervention on behalf of the consumer or the individual is akin to libertarianism, which David Atkins notes

run(s) counter to human nature for the same reason: power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely. The people with the money and guns will always abuse the people who don't have the money and guns, unless there are multiple levels of checks, balances, and legal and economic protections to ensure the existence of a middle-class tax base with a stake in maintaining a stable society. The modern welfare state didn't arise by accident or conspiracy: it evolved as a means of avoiding the failures of other models.

Libertarianism is a naive philosophy, as is Santorum's ideas of the origin of rights, at least at first appearance.        He seems to believe that most, if not all, rights emanate from God, a startling notion given the prevalence of authoritarianism across the globe.        According to the Democracy Index of the Economist Intelligence Unit, an independent unit within the Economist Group, there are 51 authoritarian regimes in the world:

North Korea
Chad
Turkmenistan
Uzbekistan
Myanmar
Central African Republic
Saudi Arabia
Guinea-Bissau
Libya
Guinea
Laos
Syria
Equatorial Guinea
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Eritrea
Djibouti
Togo
Tajikistan
Vietnam
Zimbabwe
United Arab Emirates
Sudan
Iran
Qatar
Republic of the Congo
Yemen
Tunisia
Oman
Gabon
Afghanistan
Swaziland
People’s Republic of China
Azerbaijan
Côte d’Ivoire
Algeria
Belarus
Angola
Bahrain
Kuwait
Niger
Kazakhstan
Cameron
Cuba
Nigeria
Comoros
Burkina Faso
Rwanda
Morocco
Egypt
Mauritania
Jordan

One can reasonably ask Senator Santorum why he believes that the Lord has blessed the people of approximately 25 nations with a "full democracy," of 53 nations with a "flawed democracy," and 37 nations with a "hybrid regime," and left behind well over a billion individuals to suffer oppression.      

Santorum might argue that the Almighty blesses only Christians or Christian nations (possibly Jews, also) but that runs counter to the experience of, at least, Swaziland, in which the population is 71%-90% Christian.      

It's a romantic notion, that rights come from God while government contributes nothing but darkness and evil.     But if Santorum is a serious candidate for President of the United States of America, someone ought to ask him why he believes God favors some nations, and some groups of people, over others.        That might tell us more than we already know about Rick Santorum, and it probably wouldn't be pretty.





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