I have strong concerns about Rick Santorum. I believe he shows a kind of intolerance toward dissenting opinion that is unacceptable in a president.
Santorum, for example, has suggested the devil is driving his opponents and compared Obama’s policy choices to the descent into Naziism.
This country faces serious peril. But the premise underlying American democracy is that we have at least some respect for our opposition, some acknowledgement that we might be wrong in some cases. Otherwise, why not a dictatorship?
A true conservative leader who will actually be an effective president must be someone who, like Ronald Reagan, vigorously promotes his principles while appreciating his opponents enough to be able to deal with them and in some cases bring them over to his view.
Santorum is a divisive and smug figure, convinced of the absolute rightness of his cause, and contemptuous of those who disagree with him. He’d be unable to advance conservative principles as president, because he’d be forced to work with people he thinks are evil.
I have a piece running today in Politico that describes why I think this about Santorum. Here’s an excerpt. I hope you have a chance to read the whole thing.
Santorum’s 2008 comments about the devil, which sparked a firestorm after they were uncovered last week by the Drudge Report, are alarming because he connected the devil’s work with Congress — and clearly, liberals in Congress.
Speaking at a Catholic university, Santorum argued that the devil launched his assault on America by first penetrating its colleges. Satan, Santorum said, had started there because he “understood the pride of smart people” — which is that “they were in fact smarter than everybody else.”
From there, Santorum explains, the influence of The Beast extended into society at large, which meant the devil could eventually get into politics — and did.
I know many of you will disagree. I’d love to hear what you think.