Santorum Leaves the Presidential Race

Rick Santorum has suspended his presidential campaign, conceding the race to Mitt Romney.

Realistically, he did not have a chance to get the nomination. However, there were reasons–often spelled out in this blog–for continuing to fight all the way to the convention. While I do not know why he has decided to stop, it is quite possible that his daughter’s illness is weighing heavily on his mind. Then there is the fatigue, the feeling that no matter what happens the whole system was rigged from the beginning, and the absolute crap storm coming his way with all the negative advertising Romney had bought. These all no doubt played a part in his decision, though how much a part they played will become clearer as time goes by.

Will I support Romney in the general election?

That really depends upon him and the Republican Party.

The premise of this blog from the very beginning is that the GOP was the last best hope for the American political process, but that it was essentially broken. It preaches values and principles, but does not live by them. Too often, GOP candidates shill for votes by claiming to be conservative, Christian, or pro-life, but then when they get to Washington D.C., they simply do whatever they like. Here is what I wrote in 2009:

The GOP, from the very beginning, has always been a party of conviction, while the Democrats has been a party of sentiment. Compare the two earliest flag-bearers of both parties to see what I mean.

In the Democrats’ corner, we have Thomas Jefferson, the great champion of freedom, who romanticized and approved of the blood-soaked, tyrannical French Revolution, and who kept slaves until the day he died even while trying to put anti-slavery provisions into the Declaration of Independence. Though his political ideology was guided most of all by his moral beliefs, he knowingly slandered his political opponents, and may have had an affair with a female slave. While Jefferson is remembered for his stirring words, it needs to be kept in mind that, though he was proud of his moral consistency, ultimately he had no moral sense at all but was ruled purely by sentiment. He was led by what felt right to him at the time, rather than what was right. This is the heritage of the Democratic Party, and is still true of Democrats today. It is not a heritage of strong conviction based upon set principles, but a heritage of sentiment and wishful thinking, where stated political beliefs often contradict personal lives. People usually do not call Democrats hypocrites, whether they be Thomas Jefferson, Robert E. Lee, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter, or Barack Obama, because the whole point of the party has always been to look and feel good, to sound as though they are on the right side of history, rather than actually be on the right side of history. Hypocrites all of them, but no one cares.

In the Republicans’ corner, we have Abraham Lincoln, the great champion of freedom who actually freed the slaves and did not just talk about it. Nuff said.

The Republican Party is big enough to accept people who have less than stellar reputations as social conservatives, and this is only right. Most Republicans have no problem with Ruddy Giuliani, because he has never pretended to be anything he wasn’t (except when dressed up as a woman). This does not mean that most Republicans would vote for or agree with him, but it does mean that he still retains at least a modicum of respect within the party.

What the Republican Party cannot survive is cognitive dissonance–where people claim to stand for one thing, but have personal lives that belie this. For Democrats, this has always been par for the course. But Republicans are a different kid of animal. People both within and without the party demand more of them.

The context of that old blog post was adultery. However, replace this with the abortion issue, and then you will quickly see what the hang up is. I want to know what a candidate really believes, and what he will really do when he is elected. And if he believes differently than I and many other Republicans do, he should at least have enough respect for us to explain and defend his positions, and try to convince us that he is right, rather than just say anything to please us so that he can get our vote and get our support, and then do whatever he wants once he gets into office.

Newt Gingrich typified exactly that kind of attitude when he was Speaker of the House, which is one reason the GOP is in the shape it is in today, and one good reason why I have stood against his candidacy from the very beginning. He was the poster child for everything wrong with the GOP in the 1990s, and was one reason I and so many people started to look at the GOP with disdain. Then we have Ron Paul, who is neither a Republican nor a conservative, but who has spent much of his life lying and pretending to be both so that he can increase his mailing list and income, and further his son’s career. Finally, we have Mitt Romney, who stands for what, exactly?

While I did not agree with everything that Santorum was about, he at least stood for something. At least he was willing to fight for something. At least he was trying to engage the electorate with his ideas. At least he made an effort to be the same person at home and at the office as he was on the campaign trail.

Romney does not even try.

Frankly, I do not know whether I will vote for president come November, as a vote between the lesser of two evils is effectively a vote for evil. I do know that the best we can hope for is to elect better people at the local and national level, so that we can take back the ground that has been lost to us, and to serve as a counterweight to whomever is in office for the next four years.

If you had any hope that we could elect a president who would lead America out of the mess it is in, that hope was lost today.

It is now up to us, the American people.

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2 Responses to Santorum Leaves the Presidential Race

  1. Laurie says:

    I was a Santorum supporter and can’t stand our choices now. Wouldn’t it be fun to watch Sarah announce now??? Lol. I agree with most all you said but have to say this….unless Jesus is on the ticket, there is no perfect candidate. We still have a duty to choose between the two and in all honesty, even if it were just a piece of moldy cheese against Obama, the cheese would get my vote. Don’t quit the game just because your favorite guy wasn’t picked captain. Vote for whoever the conservative is and then work your local and state campaigns to make a real difference there! They should be making much more policy than the Pres anyway.

  2. JediJones says:

    You’re nuts. Newt Gingrich is one of the greatest leaders of the conservative movement ever. The conservative revolution he spearheaded stopped a president just as liberal as Obama, Bill Clinton, dead in his tracks for 6 years. I’m not sure what you expected him to do in Congress that he didn’t do when Bill Clinton was there ready to veto everything he wanted to. Newt offered a conservative Contract with America and voted on every single piece of it after being elected as he promised. Newt’s speeches now consist of absolutely brilliant, rock-solid ideas for reforming our government and stopping the imminent economic collapse. His sense of this country’s history and values go far beyond the understanding of most politicians and citizens. He is who we should all be voting for. There are still 19 states with 1,000 delegates. If Romney loses about half of them, he can be denied the nomination.

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