Skip to comments.Why Santorum's anti-libertarianism is a problem
Posted on 02/16/2012 1:31:23 PM PST by Responsibility2nd
Nobody expects the Republican presidential nominee to be a libertarian purist, but it helps if he or she at least has a libertarian streak. In Rick Santorum's case, he's actively hostile toward libertarianism, and that's an obstacle not only to him winning the nomination, but also to having a chance in a general election against President Obama.
With Santorum emerging as a true contender for the Republican nomination, he's been coming under fire for his many votes to expand government. He took earmarks, voted for the Medicare prescription drug plan and backed No Child Left Behind. He pushed dairy subsidies, steel tariffs and sided with unions over workers.
On the other hand, should he win the Republican nomination, he'll come under fire for his views on social issues. To be clear, it's one thing to make a moral case for protecting the right to life of the unborn, which Santorum does passionately. But it's another thing to argue, as he did in an interview last October, "One of the things I will talk about that no President has talked about before is I think the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea." Well, there's a reason why no president has talked about these things -- because the president has absolutely no business lecturing Americans about their sex lives. If there's a discussion to be had about sexual promiscuity in society, it should be left to churches and other private institutions.
As Cato's Gene Healy noted in his Washington Examiner column on the topic this week, Santorum explicitly declared, "I am not a libertarian, and I fight very strongly against libertarian influence within the Republican Party and the conservative movement."
(Excerpt) Read more at campaign2012.washingtonexaminer.com ...
Yes, and we heard on Rush that if you can find a transcript of Santorum’s remarks, you find that isn’t what he said at all. He said that his positions were personal beliefs and that he had no intention of forcing his personal beliefs on others.
It depends what you mean by “libertarian.” Quite a few libertarians mean, “I’ll do whatever the hell I like.” I’m inclined to oppose that, too.
You can’t have a small-government, free society unless people are willing to discipline themselves. If they won’t do it themselves, then pretty soon the police will be doing it for them.
And for most people, self-discipline means religious conviction, usually Christian in American history and tradition, with a smattering of Jews and others who also have moral convictions.
When I think “libertarian” in a politician, I tend to think of Jesse Ventura or Ron Paul. No, thanks.
Freedom, yes. But freedom requires a certain amount of responsibility—to family, to neighbors, to country.
If Libertarianism was such a winning idea, shouldn’t Paul be running away with this election? Should the Libertarian party be a viable 3rd party option as well?
Sorry Philip, you are 100% wrong.
Obama does it all the time.
Free contraception is lecturing Americans about their sex lives.
"I don't want my daughter punished with a baby"
IS lecturing Americans about their sex lives.
Encouraging "safe sex" in schools and federal websites IS indeed "lecturing Americans about their sex life"
Forcing schools that allow student clubs to allow gay and sex based clubs, is also lecturing Americans about their sex life.
Lately the government is going 100% in the wrong direction of course.
I’m a member of Republican Liberty Caucus of Illinois, and I’m for Santorum. Feel free to check the Club for Growth and National Taxpayer Union’s scores, read about his position on TARP, wall street bailouts, Fannie-Freddie bailout, stimulus, etc., and compare it to Newt & Romney’s records.
Paul would be running away with it if he weren’t a cranky old man who used to put out a racist newsletter and a blame-America-first anti-Israel isolationist.
It is the strength of Paul’s economic and social libertarianism that he’s as popular as he is, getting as many votes as he does, with those other factors considered.
The independent/moderate version of libertarianism is to describe oneself as an “economic conservative and a social moderate (or liberal)”, and the GOP candidate needs a good share of those voters as well.
I am not a Paulista but you are right. If Ron Paul didn’t have the anti-Semitic, 911- truther, isolationist baggage he would have the nomination and the election in a landslide. When you combine conservatism and libertarianism you have a super majority. He is the closest anyone has come to doing it ... too bad about the nuts thing.
How do you explain the demise of Gary Johnson? He is about the only Libertarian with a solid record of accomplishment and is young.
Santorum AGAIN caught dumb in a no dumb zone.
Santorum never ceases to shock me. There are tons of pro-life libertarians. One of their goals is to stop funding of abortions at all levels including ending the funding within TITLE X, ya know the one that RS voted for...
Palin understands how important it is to appeal to libertarian-leaning conservatives who simply want government off their backs. Santorum, due to moral arrogance, lacks that perception completely.
Godspeed Newt Gingrich
None of the 3 serious candidates for the Republican nomination seem to understand this most simple and basic statement:
That government is best which governs least. - Henry David Thoreau
That single statement sums up the libertarian philosophy. It is NOT “everyone doing whatever they want” - that is anarchy, and no one sane would advocate for that. The basic idea is that government is instituted for certain very limited purposes, and has no damned business doing anything else. As I said, neither Romney, Gingrich or Santorum - based on their prior actions or words - seem to understand that. If they did, they’d be far more popular.
Of the 3, I’d be the least unhappy with either Newt or Rick. Rick seems the most consistently conservative, but any proper conservative HAS TO have a bit of libertarian in him. The very term “big government conservative” is an oxymoron, because someone in favor of big government is not a conservative, period.
Santorum has done a number of things that were completely wrong. He stabbed Toomey in the back and was an obedient Bushie. Nevertheless, I think he has learned something from being out of D.C. and is likely to reliable on most issues conservatives care about. RP has no chance to get the nomination, and Newt can’t be trusted. I’ll take Santorum. We could do a lot worse.
And you are a pro-life libertarian, correct?
Since I have never had a real libertarian, tell what the legal age of consent should be and how old a little girl should be before she can be in a porn movies I sort of think they are turds myself, as in liberturds.
“How do you explain the demise of Gary Johnson? He is about the only Libertarian with a solid record of accomplishment and is young.”
Because he’s a libertarian.
“Santorum never ceases to shock me. There are tons of pro-life libertarians.”
Maybe on FR but chances are, if there is a libertarian on the ballot, he’s for legalized heroin and hookers. Many libertarians hate religion and traditional values just as much as the government.
Libertarians are, IMO, just pseudo-anarchists who wrap themselves in the Constitution. You want a man who believes in liberty and the Constitution and believes in a society in which traditional values are sacrosanct? We should have pushed hard for Herman Cain, or gotten Jim DeMitt on the ballot!