November 30, 2020

American Savage: ‘Tricky’ Rick Santorum

There’s an old saying: If you’re young and conservative, you’ve got no heart and if you’re old and liberal, you’ve got no brain. Youth in the heart puts liberalism in the mind, it would seem. But age apparently saps the tree of liberalism. We know this to be true because, if it weren’t, the hippies would have turned this whole gig around, man, instead of copping out just to pay mortgages and buy neckties.

Colleges and universities are no different. They are cesspools of the liberal agenda, and Rick Santorum knows it. That is why he said something interesting in an interview with certified expert on everything, Glenn Beck.

Responding to a statement by President Barck Obama that all American children should go to college, Santorum responded, “What a snob.” He went further, referring to colleges and universities as “indoctrination mills.” This is what our higher education system is — nothing but a smoke screen for the liberal agenda. Sure, it might be the most extensive university system in the world producing scientists and doctors, but who wants a liberal doctor, anyway?

Santorum wasn’t finished. He told Beck 62 percent of youths who enter college with faith leave without it. Granted, he didn’t have a source for the painfully vague statement, but because Santorum regularly converses with God, we can be assured it’s probably within the margin of error.

There is no more divinely entertaining platform for any candidate to run on than to imply the singular endorsement of the Big Guy. The combination of humility to the will of God, and the hubris to presume it is a combination usually reserved for televangelists and professional athletes. But there it is, shining bright and big in a goofy-looking former senator from a state that is hard to spell.

Santorum likes to evoke frightening images and biblical passages to make his point. Santorum thinks higher education indoctrinates children by producing tiny liberals. He’s right about the result, but wrong about the cause. Youth produces liberalism, not for a lack of faith, but because of a lack of fear. We the youth have what some have called its final luxury: idealism.

When it’s gone, it’s gone. But for now, young people (of many faiths) aren’t having debates about gay people or birth control. We’ve finished those arguments (to say nothing of our enjoyment of birth control) and we’ve come out less judgmental and less certain of our own absolutism.

We have loans and jobs and rent to deal with, and the bedroom behavior of others just don’t seem relevant anymore. But “Tricky Rick” doesn’t know that, because he has the benefit of self-delusion. Santorum thinks he is being divinely called to the office of the presidency.

He also thinks women shouldn’t serve in combat and that gays are an abomination, implicitly making God into a partisan entity — a registered Republican. Rick equates faith to conservatism and, worse, to his own party.  He said in last week’s debate, “Obama doesn’t ordain our rights; God does.”

And if we’re having any trouble understanding God, we can just ask Santorum to clarify those tricky biblical passages endorsing child slavery, rape, incest and capital punishments for pickpocketers. Human rights are fine and good, but only God can really ordain our rights, right, “Tricky Rick?”

So, sure, the Constitution says we can practice any religion, but God wouldn’t want us practicing paganism or Islam. Santorum isn’t just subservient to God; he believes that Obama is pushing a non-Christian “theocracy” and blocking God from American life.

So, apart from implying that President Obama has the divinity to wage a power-struggle with God, Santorum is one of those self-ordained saviors here to show us the error in our ways.

Santorum wants to restore “God’s America,” which is confusing to us, the young Godless elitists. Call it the folly of youth or the tragedy of minds yet undeveloped, but there is something deeply hateful and discomforting about the God that Santorum seems to endorse.

Voters tend to get a little wary when candidates oppose things like more education. Though, in Santorum’s case, it is pretty clear: well-educated people are likely to find him laughable and unqualified, so we might as well paint them as heathens of the left preemptively.

"American Savag"e is a weekly column written by Journal columnist Collin Reischman.

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