Rick Santorum And The Anti-Intellectual, Theocratic Legacy Of The GOP

The Republican Party has been advocating ignorance for decades. They Reject the 98% of scientists who affirm that climate change is real and the result of human activity. They scoff at evolution in favor of Biblical affirmations that put the age of the Earth at only 6,000 years. They belittle Harvard graduates as elitists and revere candidates they think would make good beer drinking companions.

Now Rick Santorum, the current frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination, has said aloud what has only been alluded to in the past. At a forum for the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity, Santorum said…

“President Obama wants everybody in America to go to college. What a snob!”

Really. How elitist of Obama to suggest that all Americans have access to the same opportunities to improve themselves personally and professionally. What a pompous, exclusionary attitude. Santorum continued saying…

“There are good decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them. Oh, I understand why he wants you to go to college. He wants to remake you in his image. I want to create jobs so people can remake their children into their image, not his.”

Exactly. Heaven forbid that kids should be encouraged to learn things taught by college professors when all they are capable of is manual labor and assembly line work. Santorum is squarely opposed to kids having higher aspirations. He castigates Obama for wanting to remake kids in the image of someone who began poor, from a broken home, and rose to become president of the United States. But Santorum prefers the image of kids who skip school, get a job, and never achieve anything greater than their parents did. Never mind the fact that most parents sacrifice selflessly to give their kids the opportunity to reach their highest potential.

In Santorum’s world ignorance is the goal. It would have to be in order to persuade people to vote for him. And his followers are fully on board with this. They applauded enthusiastically at his “snob” comment. But this is a relatively recent position for Santorum. In is last campaign for senate, his web site told a different story:

“In addition to Rick’s support of ensuring that primary and secondary schools in Pennsylvania are equipped for success, he is equally committed to ensuring the {sic) every Pennsylvanian has access to higher education.”

Critics will surely jump on that reference as evidence of Santorum’s hypocrisy. But not so fast. He was only in favor of “every Pennsylvanian” having access to higher education, not every American. Screw the Kansans and the Carolinians. Obama has the temerity to favor people from Arizona to Maine earning college degrees. That is unconscionable, but it’s OK for PA.

This weekend also saw Santorum describing the parts of the Constitution that make him vomit.

“I don’t believe in an America where the separation of church and state is absolute. The idea that the church can have no influence or no involvement in the operation of the state is absolutely antithetical to the objectives and vision of our country… to say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes me want to throw up.”

Of course, I don’t know of anyone who says that people of faith should have no role in the public square. They can and do in great numbers. However, having “involvement in the operation of the state” is another thing entirely. It’s called theocracy, and it’s what you get when there is no separation of church and state.

The combination of viewing education as a character flaw and the Bible as an addendum to the Constitution is what defines the modern Republican/Tea Party. But it is not what this country is based on and it is not the path to peace and prosperity. And when discourse devolves to the point that the Constitution makes candidates wretch and advocating greater access to a college education makes you a snob, you know that a line of reason has been crossed.


8 thoughts on “Rick Santorum And The Anti-Intellectual, Theocratic Legacy Of The GOP

  1. I understand why Santorum doesn’t like higher education; they actually teach you things based on science and crazy stuff like that. What a total lunatic-fringe politician. If these people had half as much enthusiasm for the first amendment as they did the fourth we would not be having this conversation. Santorum knows he can not compete with Romney down here on earth. Santorum owns the bat-shit crazy wing of the Republican party, especially since Bachman, Cain, and Perry have dropped out.

    • I’m gonna assume you meant the 2nd amendment (bearing arms) as the one that the right is enthusiastic about – and yeah – it’s an odd set of priorities.

      • Yes, I did mean the second amendment. I went off the top of my head, was going to double check and did not.

  2. The fascinating thing is that at least 35 percent of the country will buy the theory that education will ruin you and that there should be a religious test for anyone who governs. We have some real problems and they need to be addressed.

  3. …”modern” Republican/Tea Party? Current, maybe, or today’s. But “modern”? It sounds awfully oxymoronic to me.

  4. Frankly, I find republican laws requiring vaginal probing of women disturbingly similar to the catholic church’s habit of protecting child molester priests.

  5. Not to mention the fact that he blatantly lied out hiss asshole about the Netherlands murdering old people. This guy is a fucking joke, one that actually makes me giddy to CONTINIOUSLY watch. Seriously, how great would a Santorum ticket be? AS GOOD AS PALIN I SAY.

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