Thursday, January 12, 2012

Why I am Supporting Rick Santorum

By Gene Wisdom

Vicki and Gene Wisdom
This year’s field of Republican candidates doesn’t give one a lot of hope. Fault lies both with the candidates (there is no Ronald Reagan) and us the Republican voters (there is no Ronald Reagan). We had our dream candidate in the 1980’s and are still looking for that hero. We keep hoping Reagan will top the next hill and fight off the liberals for us again. He ain’t there, folks.

And we see a reprise of 1980--George Bush played by Mitt Romney and a bunch of Gipper wannabees auditioning for the role. Mind you, if there is a role to strive for it is that of Ronald Reagan—principled conservative, who knew deeply what he believed and had been in the trenches struggling for those values, stepping onto the stage as a voice for the first real conservative Presidential candidate, Barry Goldwater. Reagan further was the voice for, well, Reagan Democrats, understanding that everyone benefits from a freer economy and society, not just the wealthy.

“Where is our Reagan? Where is our Reagan”, we cry. Our nation’s predicament is perhaps more dire than then—a Democratic President with a history deep in American socialism, who has buried our grandchildren in government debt, adding crushing layers of regulation to a weakened economy, bows to foreign leaders, and has sought to strip our military capabilities to the bone. And recently tossed the Constitution to the curb with illegal appointments. He makes Jimmy Carter, by comparison, look like a cross between Milton Friedman and George Patton.

Do we have someone, though, principled to the core, who fits quite comfortably into President Reagan’s boots? I believe we do, in Rick Santorum.

In areas that matter to conservatives, Santorum is one of us. On social issues, he is of course opposed to abortion. As a Catholic of deep faith, he is also opposed to contraception. While not a kooky, extreme idea (it is a core tenet of Catholic teaching) it is certainly a minority position even among conservatives. He has specifically said he would be against imposing that view. It is a personal position of morality. Are conservatives so co-opted by the mainstream that we have no appreciation for firm moral values?

Same-sex marriage is also an area to ask this question. There are certainly different positions in a spectrum of opposition to this experiment ranging from Ron Paul’s personal opposition while saying that marriage is a personal event that has no place for government at all to Rick Santorum’s position that the family is such a central institution (nay, THE, central institution) that it must be protected on a national level and that societal order calls for avoiding a hodgepodge of state laws. I don’t know what the polls say but I would venture to guess that even the mainstream in this modernized society agrees with conservative affirmation of traditional marriage between a man and a woman. Modernization is not necessarily progress. That is a core understanding of conservatism.

It is these same core values that animate Santorum’s principled belief in limited government. Government is not the key to a stable and secure society—strong families are. Government should not replace fathers, an insight reinforced by the studies and insights of George Gilder, Charles Murray and neoconservative Democrat Daniel Patrick Moynihan.

Neither should government replace the market. Ronald Reagan knew that freedom was both right and that it works. Rick Santorum sups from that same wellspring of values. Many cling to this notion that Rick Santorum can play only one note when the truth is he knows well the symphony that is conservative political philosophy. His program is one that speaks to stopping the madness of crushing federal spending and deficits, and regulations that stifle production and jobs.

Do I agree with all that Rick Santorum proposes? Of course not. On his website he proposes freezing defense spending. With military budgets already slashed and military capabilities withering in a world brimming with challenges around the globe it is shortsighted even though rooted in the knowledge we can’t send future generations over the cliff of national bankruptcy. Our military capabilities, that is, our ability to defend our interests (which does include keeping commitments to allies) around the world are already cut into muscle. Our Navy is at pre-World War I levels, the Air Force mission is severely compromised as the F-22 was frozen and now there is talk of cutting the F-35. Our nuclear arsenal is aging and losing reliability while the missile defense program to protect us from nuclear attacks by such freak states as North Korea and Iran, not to mention the growing threat of China’s nuclear arsenal and the renewed threat of a rebuilding Russian arsenal, continues to be cut. I do believe, though, that Rick Santorum has voiced a clear understanding of the threats to our nation and that he will act intelligently on that understanding.

Electability? Let’s not forget a key reason conservative voters have been so passionate about finding the right candidate in this race—Barack Obama. He is the reason that any Republican starts with a strong measure of electability in this race. His Administration has been a failure at nearly every level, except that of advancing this country on the path to socialism, economic ruin, and weakening us militarily.

Even the successes of the defensive war against radical Islam are due to the measures put in place by his predecessor and which Obama opposed in 2008. Rick Santorum understands this is a war begun by barbarian enemies. It is a war that requires both clear sight and resolution. The “electable” candidate has neither. Clear sight would have kept Governor Romney from flip-flopping on important issues and from defending the program that inspired Obamacare.

But Obama’s failures do not guarantee Santorum’s success against him. It does, however, give him a baseline to work with. He has added to that baseline with firm values and a firm understanding of the principles that conservatives understand to be the bedrock of America and the reason for her exceptionalism.

Electability? That is what some said Gerald Ford had against Jimmy Carter in 1976. He failed where the clear-eyed conservative beat Carter four years later. Had we nominated the candidate in 1976 who had “that vision thing” that Bush 41 derided we might have avoided the four painful Jimmy Carter years. Electability in the case of Gerald Ford, and I believe Mitt Romney may not mean clarity of values.

Rod, you asked why you should vote for my candidate. You should vote for Rick Santorum because both you and he are conservatives. You may disagree on some important, even key, areas but at bottom he is a candidate who holds deeply to the view that government is not the source of our nation’s strength, and certainly that a bigger, stronger government actually saps that strength. He doesn’t hold to the atomistic individualism of Ron Paul, nor the muddle-headed “pragmatic” establishment Republicanism of Mitt Romney. Nor is he simply a committed 2nd and 10th Amendment conservative who doesn’t understand the roots of those beliefs as I believe is the case with Rick Perry. Vote for Senator Santorum because he is a clear-thinking, well-spoken conservative who believes firmly in reducing the role and size of government and keeping our nation free and secure. 

Just like you do.

Gene Wisdom is an Alabama native, has lived in the Nashville area since 2007. He, his wife Vicki, and their dog Savannah live near Nolensville. 

Gene submitted this article in response to my call for readers to tell me who they are supporting for the Republican presidential nominee and why.  I would like to hear from you. Please leave a comment or submit an essay for publication and please vote in the poll posted to the left.

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  1. I, and many Conservtive brighter lights, absolutely disagree that Santorum is remotely interested in limited government. His own quotes back that up:

    "One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a Libertarianish right. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to to do whatever they want to do. Government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. That is not how traditional conservatives view the world. There is no society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture"

    Santorum quite obviously supports the notion of having government be as intrusive as his ideology and religion would permit.

  2. I too took a long look at Santorum. He is a good social conservative and that is honorable, however, we are in great need of both a social conservative & a constitutional fiscal conservative. Our country is horrible debt. We must have someone that has a great plan and knows how to put the plan to work. I have long respected Andy Roth of the Club for Growth group. They keep track of the real conservatives and report their findings. They reported on each of the candidates and Rick Santorum from a fiscal voting record didn't pass the test.
    They gave Rick Perry the top grade for the candidates. I will include the You tube to watch in case you haven't seen it.
    Unfortunately due to Rick's first few debates, which have improved 100%, people don't seem to want to give him a second look. The liberal media including Fox News have blackballed him. That should tell us something.The media is all for Obama, Fox News wants a moderate conservative. They are pushing Romney or Gingrich. Perry can’t get his positive messages out because they only report the areas that they think will hurt him. This is most unfortunate for our country. All the candidates have flaws, but Perry has the least and he is a real true conservative and has been long before it was the snappy thing to say.
    I hope he can move forward past South Carolina, but if not, there will be no true Constitutional Fiscal Conservative left standing. If this happens we will get Romney or Newt. Both big government men. The Tea Party looses. Only with a miracle and the grace of God will we Americans have the kind of President we long for. We all must keep our prayers going to save America. If Obama has four more years America is finished.

  3. I know the author, Gene Wisdom, and that he is a thoughtful and studious patriot. While I appreciate patriots like Gene and his reasons for supporting Rick Santorum, I must respectfully disagree. While this is a really good article by Gene, Rick Santorum is not a good Presidential candidate.
    Restore the Constitution. Preserve the sovereign Republic. Balance the Budgets. End the Fed. End the Wars. Secure the Blessings of Liberty. Vote Ron Paul 2012.

  4. Somehow I found your site via The Tennessean. I found your summary of our current administration, it's goals and accomplishments, as well as your synopsis of Mr. Santorum's platform and values fascinating.

    In all sincerity, you should consider utilizing the world wide web to do some fact checking. If you only hear one side you are missing half the story.

    PS: I absolutely agree that the county clerk needs to lose his job. If a secretary working for the state earned 100 thousand dollars on the side while on "company" time, she would have been out the door in a flash.

  5. Gene Wisdom wrote:

    "Our military capabilities...are already cut into muscle. Our Navy is at pre-World War I levels, the Air Force mission is severely compromised..."

    Honestly? America spends 41% of ALL military spending WORLDWIDE. And the Navy is at WWI "levels"? There is no context or fantasy that can justify such a statement.

    Thanks to Neo-conservative blogging similar to Mr. Wisdom's, the American Rightwing has an (justly?) deserved image as bizarre people cut off from reality. The comment about the Navy being in some way as weak as in WWI is ridiculous, but not any more than the in the hysteria prior to the Second Iraq War. Does Wisdom believe that there were actually WMDs in Iraq in 2002? Or that Irag was part of the 9/11 attacks? It would not at all be surprising to hear that he does, just as Sean Hannity and Dick Cheney have said as much silliness over the years. Ever wonder why the average voter would sooner re-elect a failure like Obama over the plainly delusional Republicans? Here, in Wisdom's blog, is as taste as to why.

    Wisdom aslo wrote:

    "With military budgets already slashed and military capabilities withering in a world brimming with challenges around the globe it is shortsighted even though rooted in the knowledge we can’t send future generations over the cliff of national bankruptcy. "

    Well here we are in 2013, "over the cliff", indeed. Bankruptcy is here, and nary a conservative cared when deficits were blooming in the Dubya, Bush I, or Reagan Administrations. When will you self-described "conservatives" admit that the leap "over the cliff" was first taken when Dubya dragged us into a Neo-Con war of occupation in the Middle East. When will you admit that it was Ronald Reagan who "proved that deficits don't matter"? When will all of you admit that the largest and most pathetic instance of socialism in world history is your beloved Pentagon? And why in hell is the USA still in NATO, defending rich European nations from a non-existent communism?

    And tell me, conservatives, have any of you noticed the PATRIOT Act?