The ugly truth about Mr. Santorum's liberal streak
By J.J. Jackson
What is a conservative? The answer has always been a simple one. A conservative is someone that believes in limited government. A conservative believe that said limited government is rightful and just when it protects the inalienable rights of all from infringement by others. These inalienable rights, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, are so precious to us conservatives that we regularly mock with all due ridicule anyone that tries to expand government and add further, false rights to the list.
Liberals often try to extend our inalienable rights. Hence why we and they butt heads so often. They try and argue that it is ok to take a life when it is merely inconvenient and not when it threatens another. They concoct myths that everyone has a right to funded retirements, health insurance, a house, an education, a car (maybe two), a big screen television, a cell phone and even an Xbox 360 or a Playstation 3. They even try to make us believe that we, as taxpayers, have a "right" to fund all this and have our wages garnished to that end. Liberals, even promote the notion that they, as liberals, have a "right" to never be offended by anything. And should they be so offended? Well, they gleefully punish anyone who does dare to do so.
There is clearly a big, bright line between conservatism and liberalism. One need not be a rocket surgeon or the sharpest crayon in the chandelier to recognize it. There are, however, some people, who get a little confused by the line. For some reason, reason that defies all explanation, these people do not see the line. People like, oh I do not know, Rick Santorum perhaps? Yes, definitely Rick Santorum.
Rick Santorum, a former Senator from my home State of Pennsylvania, loves to tell everyone how "conservative" he is. I swear you cannot go more than five minutes without Rick proclaiming his "conservative" credentials. Now yes, I will concede that compared to President Obama, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul he certainly can seem very much so. But Mr. Santorum is hardly a real conservative. Sure, he holds conservative stances on some issues. Other times though he crosses the blurry line his eyes just cannot see.
If you want a quick primer on Rick Santorum's tendency to act like a liberal and support unconstitutional actions, I suggest my article entitled "If Santorum Is A 'Conservative' We're In Trouble". In that article I run down a whole lot of things Rick Santorum has supported which fly in the face of conservative principles and am not going to rehash them here. Just know that to this day Mr. Santorum has never, not once, issued Constitutional justification for any of those things.
What I want to talk about today is Santorum's latest non-conservative crusade and inappropriately labeled as "conservatism". What am I talking about? Well, I am talking about Mr. Santorum's proposed crack down on pornography should he become President. Rick Santorum, the socially liberal Rick Santorum I remind you, threatens to use the power of the federal government to crack down on something he finds morally reprehensible. He even chastises the Obama Administration for, get this, not being liberal enough and acting far enough beyond the bounds of the Constitution to prohibit the "scourge of pornography". Further he justifies his stance by hiding behind unconstitutional laws passed by Congress which, "prohibit distribution of hardcore (obscene) pornography on the Internet, on cable/satellite TV, on hotel/motel TV, in retail shops and through the mail or by common carrier." Uh, pardon me Mr. Santorum. But what clause of the Constitution are you using to justify this proposed War on Porn? I honestly, to quote James Madison, "cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of" passing laws against pornography.
Of course, "obscene" is a pretty nebulously defined term in these laws. That leaves good liberals like Mr. Santorum to decide what is and is not "obscene" of course. I personally find Mr. Santorum's obsession with acting beyond the bounds of the Constitution to wipe out something he finds offensive as obscene. And I find it obscene even though I also find pornography obscene as well. Since Santorum's screed was posted on the internet, and if I were a crybaby liberal, would I be able to demand by his own promises that he take it down and be punished? Oh, of course not. Because, you see, his "obscenity" would be protected. It always is with liberals.
The difference between myself and Mr. Santorum however is that I hold to conservatism. I would never demand such a thing of Mr. Santorum even as he would demand it of others. Rick Santorum, on the other hand, is only dimly aware of what conservatism is. Thus, he would freely wield the power of the State in downright fascist ways.
In total, his rant against pornography sounds eerily similar to the spewing of radical, liberal prohibitionists of the early 20th Century who sought to use the federal government to wipe out a practice they too found objectionable. Just replace "pornography" with "alcohol" and he and they become indistinguishable. And we all saw how well the prohibitionist movement has worked out right?
For all his words, Rick Santorum has once again run to the smothering embrace of liberalism to find comfort. Liberalism promises to shield him from the very things he finds that he cannot handle existing. Liberalism, if he sells his soul to it, promises to eliminate said things. And he gleefully relinquishes such.
My challenge to Mr. Santorum, and to all people who want to take up the title of "conservative" is to actually embrace conservatism. That means embracing limited government. That means embracing the Constitution as the confines of that limited government. It means embracing individual rights. Stop becoming liberals when it suits you because you do not know how to deal with things that offend you.
Rick Santourm's liberal leanings would keep us upon the same slippery slope we have been put on time and time again and which has hastened the decay of this nation. He is blinded by zealotry. Ultimately, he is only slightly better than President Obama who is currently waging his own, personal war on the Catholic Church because he finds them offensive. He is only slightly better because, unlike President Obama, Mr. Santorum does from time to time stumble upon and promote real conservatism. But not this time. And not often enough.
Like it or not Mr. Santorum, the shoe of liberalism fits you like a glove. While the shoe of conservatism? Well, not so much. Stop pretending to be something you are not. I could probably actually respect you a little if you would just be honest. But to be honest on my own part, I would respect you even more if you would stop being such a damn liberal and take up conservatism as your actual banner.
Conservatism is a much more comforting bosom to reside in than the one liberalism offers. I guarantee it.
J.J. Jackson is a libertarian conservative author from Pittsburgh, PA who has been writing and promoting individual liberty since 1993 and is President of Land of the Free Studios, Inc. He is the Pittsburgh Conservative Examiner for Examiner.com. He is also the owner of The Right Things - Conservative T-shirts & Gifts. His weekly commentary along with exclusives not available anywhere else can be found at http://www.libertyreborn.com.