Today’s WTF: Thanks for the memories, Rick Santorum

Well, it was gonna happen sooner or later…

Rick Santorum has officially dropped out of the presidential race and is handing the GOP nomination to Mitt Romney. Seemingly spurred by the recent health issues faced by his daughter, Bella, Santorum decided that enough was enough. It is, as far as I can tell, the first sensible thing the man has said or done during the entire campaign.

I have to give credit where credit is due. Rick Santorum served a definite purpose over the past several months. He was undeniably one of the richest sources of parody-worthy material in the political world, with comments on everything from women in the military, to the “forced assisted suicides” of elderly people in the Netherlands, to John F. Kennedy making him “want to throw up” adding real comedic flair to the race for the presidency (albeit unintentionally). And, last but not least, who could forget his very own Google search issues, which I think must be a first in political history.

He also served as a wake-up call to intelligent people everywhere, and gave us all reason to understand that the threat of an extreme right-wing government is not just the stuff of nightmares, but an eminently possible scenario. His narrow-mindedness, his self-righteous arrogance, and his intolerance seemed downright villainous to people like me. But those same qualities endeared him to a great many other voters out there in the heartland, and garnered far more support than anyone imagined he’d get. His success, as sporadic as it was, exposed the places where bigots, religious extremists and plain old ignorant folk are dwelling, and it should be a chilling reminder to us all that it’s still important to participate in this process, to ensure that the wackjobs don’t take over.

Rick Santorum is probably a loving father, a caring neighbor and a swell guy to people in his own little circle of chosen acquaintances. As a politician, however, he represents and embodies the very worst characteristics of American society. He focuses on issues that divide us, and stokes those differences to reinforce the polarization of our political system, at a time when that polarization is standing in the way of legislative progress. He attacks and accuses, but does not offer positive alternatives or solutions. He distorts the facts, either unaware of or unconcerned about the dishonesty in his public statements. He beats the drums for war and for military expansion, with no regard for the cost in lives or dollars. He is incapable of rational discussion about anything that goes against his own personal faith, whether it’s contraception, gay marriage or abortion. And he has come across as an angry man, one for whom the world is an enemy to be conquered and forced into submission.

We are goddamned lucky that there wasn’t enough widespread support across America for Rick Santorum this time around. It is up to all of us who love this country to make sure that the time when someone like Santorum could find that sort of support never comes.

5 thoughts on “Today’s WTF: Thanks for the memories, Rick Santorum

  1. Chris, you have defined both the campaign and personna of Rick Santorum. Your post has relegated the former politician to the dustbin of American History. CONGRATULATIONS and Thank You!

  2. Pingback: Tuesday Night Video – Romney versus Santorum « polentical

  3. Awwwww… I hadn’t caught this news yet. Well, good he’s going to be with his daughter – I did hear that news. Wise decision. But, BUMMER! Every time he opened his mouth, something came out that was GREAT to blog about, whether it was satirical or venting with anger. Well…. back to Romney. He’s been pretty quiet here for a while.

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