Yes, there is someone out there that thinks Rick Santorum has a liberal streak. As if to prove what I’ve continually said about the variety of conservative views out there, I found someone that actually made at least a semi-valid argument about Santorum being liberal.
Pittsburgh’s Conservative Examiner, J.J. Jackson, offered the argument that Santorum’s promise to wage war on pornography is anything but conservative. Jackson offers the radical concept that conservatives should be for limited government. The people don’t need the government to protect them from pornography.
I can hear the screams of social conservatives everywhere on this one, but the fact is, Jackson makes a very good point. While he made the argument fairly well, he didn’t take that final step to point out that it just isn’t about Santorum trying to protect the people from things he personally finds objectionable. It is also about legislating religious beliefs. And it’s not like this argument against the social conservative agenda is new either.
On religious issues there can be little or no compromise. There is no position on which people are so immovable as their religious beliefs. There is no more powerful ally one can claim in a debate than Jesus Christ, or God, or Allah, or whatever one calls this supreme being. But like any powerful weapon, the use of God’s name on one’s behalf should be used sparingly. The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both.
I’m frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in “A,” “B,” “C” and “D.” Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me?
And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of “conservatism.”
Barry Goldwater made that statement years ago. The irony is that he might be considered a RINO today, because of his refusal to mix religion and politics. Toward the end of his life, Goldwater was presumed to have drifted left, primarily because of his “hands-off” stance on gays. I’d argue that he didn’t shift left. He simply recognized that placing people’s personal life decisions on the political chopping block was not something conservatives should do. People’s right to privacy started trumping moral arguments in his mind. Given his already well-established distaste for religious leaders dabbling in politics, that’s not at all surprising.
Pundits have been dissecting the current primary from just about every perspective. One common theme, particularly from the left, is the contention that the GOP is suffering from an identity crisis. They’re probably right. By polarizing everything within the party, running about calling people RINO’s, and engaging in mini-negative campaigns against each other, the GOP is weakening itself and its message. Perhaps we need to adopt a “ballot positive” attitude. If someone is saying that they intend to cast their ballot in favor of the GOP candidate, that person is either a Republican or a Party supporter. It doesn’t matter if the voter worships a “sacred” potato in his bedroom, is a nudist in his own home, watches internet porn obsessively, and smokes pot morning, noon, and night in his basement gameroom. While any one of those behaviors might be objectionable to many people, it doesn’t matter, since it is all happening in the privacy of his own home. The vote is what matters, period.