Rick Santorum Is What’s Wrong with the Republican Party

Rick Santorum ElectionFor some reason, Rick Santorum has announced he’s running for President. Again.

The former senator from Pennsylvania, who already ran an embarrassingly long and failed campaign for the Republican nomination in 2012, will run again in 2016.

This is hilarious, because no one is more wrong about the social trajectory of American than Rick Santorum.

I’m not going to list all of the scary or outright insane things he honestly believes, because Huffington Post already did that here. Just take a look at it and marvel.

This one is my personal favorite because it sums him up perfectly:

“The idea is that the state doesn’t have rights to limit individuals’ wants and passions. I disagree with that. I think we absolutely have rights because there are consequences to letting people live out whatever wants or passions they desire. And we’re seeing it in our society.”

Read the rest of this interview in USA Today from 2003 if you want more context. It does nothing to soften that quote. Suffice it to say, Rick Santorum is a religious zealot who should not be intellectually qualified for the highest office in the land. He has literally built his political career on a slippery slope.

The fact that Santorum obviously thinks he has enough of a chance to win so that he is running either shows dramatic lack of self-awareness or a dramatic misreading of the American voter, and probably both.

Here is why Santorum is wrong about, well everything: The country is moving left on social issues (even taboo ones), according to Gallup, and quickly:

Gallup Poll Social Issues

Source: Gallup

Of course, not everyone agrees with this, but we know that there are always people who are allergic to math. The United States in 2015 is a more socially liberal and fiscally conservative country, and yes, those two things reconcile.

But not in Santorum’s mind.

I’m more interested in why Rick Santorum is running, because it’s not because he thinks he can win – He cannot. But the delusion that he can – symptomatic of surrounding oneself only with what one knows and is familiar with – may be the driving force here (as it is with a large number of candidates for both parties).

The truth is that, while the country is moving to the center-left on social issues (slowly, but it is), the GOP’s candidates are moving right. Jeb Bush is trying desperately not to move anywhere, but everyone else without the financial backing he possesses is trying to pull the non-Wall Streeters away from him.

And so we will have a situation come primary season where the fire-breathers will char the party’s best general election nominee in an effort to get air time, and perhaps score a commentator contract (or renewal) with Fox News. The more Santorums, Perrys and Huckabees we have in the GOP race, the more the party’s brand gets damaged, thanks to guilt by association. And the more that brand gets damaged, the less likely it is hat they will get the White House.

In other words, they’re saying, “Never mind the country and its problems, I gotta get mine.” This is the very antithesis of public service.

Rick Santorum and other paleoconservatives with him in the GOP Clown Car are exactly what the Democrats want. They don’t have to actively campaign for anything – Just sit back and let the GOP primary candidates talk themselves to death.

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