Today many Tennessee conservatives are cheering Rick Santorum’s victories in three Republican primaries: Minnesota, Missouri and Colorado. But I wonder how many Tennesseans will continue to applaud when they finally realize that Santorum has the puritanical beliefs and tyrannical attitude of a medieval inquisitor?
Santorum looks like a freshly scrubbed choirboy, but appearances can be deceiving. If he becomes president and his words are any indication of his future actions (as words usually are), Santorum will actively legislate against not only all forms of abortion, even in cases of rape and incest, but also against all or most forms of contraception as well as perhaps even the “naughtier” forms of sex.
Santorum is so far right that he makes Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush look like flaming liberals. After all, they never suggested that the government should pry into our sex lives or deny us the right to buy and use contraceptives. But Santorum has repeatedly made it clear that he not only subscribes to “be fruitful and multiply” but also to the Roman Catholic dogma that sex is only morally justifiable when procreation is the goal.
Does it matter what presidents believe? Yes, it does. Andrew Jackson was a white supremacist who despised Native Americans. When he became president, he acted on his beliefs and forced innocents to walk the Trail of Tears. Richard Nixon was a paranoiac who thought everyone was out to “get” him, so he used government agencies to spy on his political opponents and engineered the Watergate break-in. Thus, beliefs obviously do matter.
Perhaps the best way to determine what Santorum would do as president is to examine what he’s said.
In an interview with the Associated Press, Santorum opined that mutually consenting adults do not have a right to privacy in bed, saying, "[The] right to privacy ... doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution." He also compared homosexuality with “man on child” and “man on dog,” causing the interviewer to say that Santorum was “freaking” her out. He furthermore said, “ ... [if] you have the right to consensual [gay] sex ... then you have the right to ... adultery.” But of course most Americans think their sex lives are their own business and don’t want the government dictating what they can do in bed.
Santorum wants to ban contraceptives: "One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is ... the dangers of contraception. ... It's not okay. It's a license to do things in a sexual realm that is [sic] counter to how things are supposed to be." In other words, Americans should have sex in the missionary position and breed like rabbits, or give up sex altogether.
After the South Carolina primary, Santorum said “Game on! ... Thank God for those [Americans] who cling to their guns and their Bibles.”
Santorum again: "The idea that the Crusades and the fight of Christendom against Islam is somehow an aggression on our part is absolutely anti-historical ... What I'm talking about is onward American soldiers. What we're talking about are core American values." But during the Crusades the Catholic church’s armies invaded the Middle East and massacred multitudes of Jews and Muslims. How, exactly, does murdering people of different races and creeds reflect “American values”?
Echoing Newt Gingrich, Santorum recently denied the human rights of millions of completely innocent Palestinian women and children, saying: “There is no ‘Palestinian.’ ” This is the type of racist “thinking” that led to 9/11 and two decade-long wars.
Santorum is a cult of one in American politics, and a man so far removed from American ideals of personal freedom and individual conscience that he has no business trying to mind ours. He would turn Americans into serfs subject to medieval beliefs and continue our headlong rush toward World War III.