Thursday, April 19, 2012

Santorum Bows Out...For Now

On April 11th, Rick Santorum suspended his campaign for the Republican nomination for President.  Santorum reportedly returned home Easter weekend because his daughter’s health had worsened.  The suspension was a surprising development that came eight days after Santorum’s primary defeats in the District of Columbia, Maryland, and Wisconsin.  After the primary results were announced, Santorum made a speech in which he declared that he was not going anywhere, that it was only halftime.  Santorum was expected to remain in the race at least until after the primary in his home state, Pennsylvania, on April 24.
Santorum was a long shot early on in the crowded Republican field, but became stronger as his opponents bowed out one by one.  Many initially perceived Santorum as a fringe candidate, the representative of the extreme right.
It is unclear whether the increased popularity Santorum enjoyed in the last few months was a true indication of support for his right-wing views or whether it was a product of anti-Gingrich and anti-Romney bias.  In addition, some states allow for all registered voters to vote in primary elections so Santorum’s increased support may have partially been a product of Democratic voters trying to prolong the Republican primary season.
On April 10, Santorum was interviewed by Dr. James Dobson, the founder of Focus on the Family.  Dobson also founded the Family Research Council, which has been branded as a hate group by the highly respected Southern Poverty Law Center for spreading disinformation (i.e., deliberate misinformation) about LGBT people.  During the interview, Santorum vowed to keep fighting for conservative values on the national stage and declared that his wife would have made a great first lady and STILL MIGHT.
Santorum has reported that he ended his campaign due to lack of funds.  He is currently soliciting donations to help defray debt from his campaign to be the Republican nominee for president.  Santorum reported that after his loss in the Wisconsin primary on April 3, his campaign debt increased to a level he was not comfortable with.
The popularity of Rick Santorum should scare all of us.  Here is a man that believes that the U.S. population should live under the archaic rules of the Catholic Church, rules that most American Catholics do not adhere to.  Santorum also enjoyed a great deal of support from conservative Christians who usually are reluctant to support Catholics.  Santorum wants to take this country back into the early 20th century, with draconian social measures.  I can only imagine that the rest of the civilized world is laughing at the U.S. once again, because a man with these values has a national platform for his views.  This is our country, and we need to wake up to the reality that the rights that we have fought so hard for are being threatened.  Are you listening?