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Santorum Rejects Idea of Individual Rights

Of all the Republican candidates, Rick Santorum may actually be the most authoritarian and dangerous. In a 2006 interview with NPR, he actually rejected “this whole idea of personal autonomy.”

One of the criticisms I make is to what I refer to as more of a libertarianish right. You know, the left has gone so far left and the right in some respects has gone so far right that they touch each other. They come around in the circle. This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone. That there is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.

He wants government to be just small enough to fit in your bedroom. And your womb. And this notion that states have rights is absurd. State governments have authorities, not rights. Individuals have rights, and only individuals.

Comments

  1. lordshipmayhem says

    There are many things I disagreed with Pierre Trudeau on, but his comment about the government having no business in the bedrooms of the nation is one that I most certainly do. Rick, on the other hand, seems to think that human beings are all pawns to be shuffled around by his invisible, impotent, nonexistent sky-fairy, for ceiling cat’s amusement.

    Screw off, Santorum. The definition of your name was well-earned.

  2. MikeMa says

    I would have thought it might be difficult for Santorum to say anything more ludicrous but GOTP politics changes all that. They each are trying their best to one-up the crazy. That this idiocy is from 2006 only serves to show that Santorum is way ahead on the crazy game.

  3. slc1 says

    What’s most amazing about shitface Santorum is that, if his proposed law on abortion, which does not include an exemption for saving the life of the mother, had been in effect at the time of his wife’s terminated pregnancy (which, despite his protestations was a 2nd trimester abortion), she would have died.

  4. imrryr says

    That there is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.

    I’d nominate early Iceland as a possible example, but since all cultures change over time, I’m not sure what “succeeds at a culture” is really supposed to mean. I doubt Rick does either.

    I’d be less disgusted if it were santorum that was constantly in the news, instead of Santorum.

  5. gshelley says

    Are there any examples of societies that have had “radical individualism”, whatever that may be, that have failed as a culture?

  6. 'Tis Himself, OM. says

    The problem with individualism is it works in very small groups where everyone knows everyone else. But once the group gets too big for everyone to know each individual, which is around 200 people, then a hierarchy almost automatically ensues.

  7. says

    It is very Catholic of him to condemn individual rights. In 1832 the pope issued a bull* condemning this country for allowing freedom of speech and freedom of thought.

    How the church would police ‘thought’ I have no idea. For Santorum to police the behavior of even married couples (he wants sodomy to be illegal) would require cameras in every bedroom or perhaps a monitor with a clipboard in every home.

    The man is absolutely 100% batshit crazy.

    *Wish I could cite that. I had the reference once but lost it when my computer crashed.

  8. dingojack says

    Just a quick precis of Intrade today (vis-a-vis Mr Frothy)
    Head-to-head match up
    Obama: 53.469% vs Romney:
    Obama: 98.051% vs Santorum: 1.949% [Ombama leads by 96.101%]

    Chance of getting Republican nomination
    Romney: ca. 5 to 4
    Santorum: ca. 139 to 5

    Chance of getting nominated and winning the Presidency
    Romney: ca. 11 to 4
    Santorum: ca. 1427 to 1

    Dingo

  9. dingojack says

    oops
    head-to-head match ups
    Obama: 54.469% vs Romney: 45.504% [Obama leads by 8.992%]
    Obama: 98.051% vs Santorum: 1.949% [Ombama leads by 96.101%]

    Dingo

  10. exdrone says

    I highly recommend Fareed Zakaria’s interview on today’s GPS with Alan Simpson. With characteristic uncompromising candidness, Simpson rips into the craziness and pointlessness of the social conservative platform like Santorum’s. He reminded me that the old GOP was once focused on responsible fiscal conservatism and workable negotiated solutions. Simpson is head and shoulders above all of the current slate of GOP’s presidential candidates, and it’s sad to think that a politician like him would never have a chance at nomination because, based on his commentary, he would not kowtow to the nutjob base.

  11. D. C. Sessions says

    Screw off, Santorum. The definition of your name was well-earned.

    Which one? Have you looked up the verb form, “to rick?”

  12. D. C. Sessions says

    I love those “no society which has worn clothing has lasted” assertions. You can always make them true if you set the “long run” long enough.

    My favorite is “no society based on Christianity has lasted.” As for how high the bar is set, I’ll point to China and Egypt.

  13. peterh says

    The only circle I can find in all of the foregoing is the empty one between Santorum’s ears.

    @ #9:

    That Papal Bull condemned Freemasonry, so it must have been ok. S’matter ‘o fact, it was so very ok that it had to be “edited” twice by later Popes. /snick-snick

  14. hypatiasdaughter says

    Come now. It is pure hyperbole to say that the state would have to have video cameras in every bedroom.
    The way it works is that, due to unfortunate circumstances, random individuals would be exposed and made examples of, for the rest of us. Or some friend, neighbor or family member who had information would turn them in. Or secondary charges would be tacked on when people were investigated for another crime.
    This works perfectly – one not only imposes punishments on those caught but also creates a climate of fear and paranoia in the rest of the population.
    Plus, if EVERYONE was watched, the unfortunate predilections of the inner sanctum and their friends might get exposed. A spotlight exposes all; a flashlight shone in a few random bedrooms allows those who are running the show to hide in the dark corners.

  15. raven says

    That there is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.

    Actually there are quite a few, relatively anyway. One notable example is the USA.

    There are quite a few totalitarian societies that have collapsed in incompetence, war, and mass murder atrocities. Even his masters the Catholic church is suffering from this. They’ve lost 1/3 of their membership in the USA, 22 million people.

    Santorum really is an outrageous christofascist. Those rights he despises are all of our rights. This is the best the fundie xians could come up with? A Catholic Fascist.

  16. says

    Tis Himself wrote:

    The problem with individualism is it works in very small groups where everyone knows everyone else. But once the group gets too big for everyone to know each individual, which is around 200 people, then a hierarchy almost automatically ensues.

    Only if you’re assuming that individualism means not having any heirarchy or government, which is clearly not the way anyone else in this conversation is using that term. Individualism does not mean anarchism, it means that each person owns themselves and can determine their own actions as long as they do not harm another against their will or deprive them of their equal right to self-ownership.

  17. raven says

    That there is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.

    Actually there are quite a few, relatively anyway. One notable example is the USA.

    There are quite a few totalitarian societies that have collapsed in incompetence, war, and mass murder atrocities. Even his master the Catholic church is suffering from this. They’ve lost 1/3 of their membership in the USA, 22 million people.

    Santorum really is an outrageous christofascist. Those rights he despises are all of our rights. This is the best the fundie xians could come up with? A Catholic Fascist.

  18. raven says

    The key issues for the Tea Party/GOP seem to be nonprocreative sex, abortion, availability of birth control, and the evilness of science and scientists.

    These are irrelevant side issues. I’m sure even most of the fundies have sex and use birth control. Their abortion rate is higher than the general population. And their lives critically depend on science whether they know it or like it or not.

    Meanwhile we do have one major problem that we either fix or spiral into mediocrity for a few generations.

    Clinton: It’s the economy, stupid!!!

    Marx did get one thing sort of right. Economics is the basis of everything else. Or as Scrooge McDuck put it. Money isn’t everything, but without money, everything is nothing.

  19. MikeMa says

    Oddly, a company local to me agrees with the ~200 person limit for effective work. W. L. Gore has used a small number like that as the maximum plant size. (I believe their number is a little higher, around 250-400 last time I spoke to my Gore buddies.) Once the plant size is above that number, they build a new one.

  20. danielrudolph says

    When people talk about the left and right extremes being the same, they are talking about the authoritarians like Santorum. The Soviet Union was all up in people’s sexual business as well. I find it humorous he’s trying to depict support for individual liberty, pretty much the core concept of post-Enlightenment Westernism, as some sort of cuckoo radical idea.

  21. D. C. Sessions says

    Meanwhile we do have one major problem that we either fix or spiral into mediocrity for a few generations.

    Clinton: It’s the economy, stupid!!!

    That’s why it’s so important that we get rid of taxes on Job Creators, notably taxes on capital gains and other investment income. In fact, get rid of the income tax entirely and fund the entire government out of the payroll tax (capped at its current max.)

    That won’t run up the deficit because we can pay for it by shutting down Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Federal unemployment insurance, foreign aid, and other transfer payments to the lazy and undeserving.

    The economy will take off like a rocket.

  22. says

    I agree with everything except Santorum being the most dangerous. That’s a tough call.

    Yes, he’d try to eliminate contraception and abortion and turn the U.S. into a theocracy.

    But Paul (with whom I agree on many issues like drugs and war) would eliminate income taxes and all social programs, allowing our infrastructure to collapse and the poor to die on the streets.

    And Gingrich would haul judges off to jail if he disagreed with their verdicts and get rid of child labor laws.

    They all would like to cripple the U.S.’s ability to compete in the world market by stripping away education opportunities and investment in science.

    At this point, I’m almost more fascinated than horrified.

  23. Phillip IV says

    He does seem to have some problems with the concept of “individuality” in general. Notice how he avoids stating something as his own opinion, and instead uses “most conservatives hold” or “traditional conservatives view” to derive his statements? He’s been taken over by the authoritarian hivemind.

  24. harold says

    DC Sessions –

    We’re all familiar with the general idea that creationist claims are so often so absurd, that sincere claims and parody can be very difficult to distinguish.

    You have shown that at this point, the same is true of US right wing/”conservative movement” Republican economic claims.

    I interpret your comment as sarcastic, but virtually the exact same comment, but intended seriously, could be seen on any forum. Almost any internet forum that posts quotes from or links to “liberal” economists, even very mainstream ones, will instantly receive several comments similar to yours, but sometimes with a more angry or defensively scornful tone.

    Someone probably will think you are serious (unless they read this first). And why shouldn’t they? Your statement is exactly what is commonly heard, on a multiple times per day basis, from all Republican politicians (including Ron Paul), all self-described “conservative” pundits, and as I noted, millions of self-appointed defenders of the faith.

    This objectively wrong simpleton propaganda view of “economics” is not only widespread, but the millions who adhere to it are terribly proud of doing so, and use it as a dog whistle to identify the others to whom they can express other, more controversial, views about subjects like race, gender, and orientation.

  25. organon says

    “Rick Santorum may actually be the most authoritarian and dangerous.”

    Ed, that’s not fair in that it downplays some of his competition. Others have worked hard for this title, and this one should probably be declared a photo finish.

  26. llewelly says

    That’s why it’s so important that we get rid of taxes on Job Creators, notably taxes on capital gains and other investment income. In fact, get rid of the income tax entirely and fund the entire government out of the payroll tax (capped at its current max.)

    That won’t run up the deficit because we can pay for it by shutting down Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Federal unemployment insurance, foreign aid, and other transfer payments to the lazy and undeserving.

    The economy will take off like a rocket.

    That is to say, it will launch us into an inhospitable vacuum, and then run out of fuel.

    Hug your plutonium RTG to stay warm.

  27. says

    “Fascists seek rejuvenatation of their nation based on commitment to an organic national community where its individuals are united together as one people …”

    From Wikipedia’s page on Fascism.

    It has been said that when fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag carring a cross.

    Now we know who will be doing that.

  28. Aquaria says

    Edwin Kagin over at Blasphemous Blogging addressed Fecal matter in lube’s real problem, as long ago as 1999:

    Genital Based Morality

    Or, as he calls it, GBM.

    An excerpt that will sound terribly familiar to anyone who’s watched the conservatards go off the deep end into stupidity and fascism:

    Incredibly, the miserable monolithic moronic moral code of those ethical paupers who would destroy us and our democracy in the ARCW is based on genitals (not to be confused with gentiles). This is indeed curious in that sex (not gender–gender is a term of grammar), would be hard pressed to get along without genitals. Where there is sex, there are genitals. It’s god’s plan; “male and female created he them.” The god the stories say ordained procreation wisely gave created creatures the tools with which to procreate. These tools of god’s plan are the very genitals conjugally challenged sufferers of moralist madness abhor. Rejection of dreaded essential genitals is the center, the very essence, of their nutty notions of moral law. This idiotic and evil short circuiting of reason, this delusional deduction of dunces, may be understood as Genital Based Morality (GBM).

    GBM is an infantile system of primitive simplistic thinking, involving magical make believe, and is thus quite easy to understand. Abortion, homosexuality, pornography, prostitution, unmarried sex, oral sex, sodomy (maybe Gomorra), non-monogamous sex, “adult” videos, nudist clubs, nude beaches, nude dancing–anything that touches upon, views, uses, or has anything whatsoever to do with, genitals, is immoral and bad. See how easy it is. Further inquiry, reasoning, or evidence is superfluous and irrelevant. If it is genital, it is bad. Barbie and Ken must not have genitals lest they display the ultimate reality of being human, and thereby educate, confuse and corrupt little children who should be taught to believe the world works in ways other than it does. Legislatures and judges should let a relgiocrazy kill their kid by denying medical treatment, yet prosecute nudist clubs for permitting people to walk around in the uniform of the day of Eden. Steal from widows and orphans if you must, so long as you don’t do the dirty in forbidden ways, or watch others do it, or pay for it, or, god help us all, enjoy it. Rather think of England and canning apricots than be damned by those damned genitals causing forbidden thoughts or, in cases of extreme sin, actually giving their owner(s) forbidden pleasure. GBM subordinates every other consideration regarding personal and group thought and behavior to this prime (not primal) directive.

    Says it all about the modern conservaslimes.

  29. says

    Echoing raven and reverendrodney, Santorum is saturated with Catholic sophistry. He might as well run on the Vatican Party ticket. There is a unique orthodox Catholic style of authoritarian argumentation. It can be quite dense and it’s packed with equivocation, legalism, intellectual sleight-of-hand and hidden false premises. Arrogant bullying tinged with sadomasochism is at the heart of it.

    So Santorum is unapologetic about being in your bedroom because he wants to be there, subjecting others to the kind of sadomasochist, impulse-action-guilt vicious circle of torment that afflicts these types. I think they’re resentful and deeply envious of people who get to live without subjecting themselves to this form of disturbed personal torment. The defensive intellectual gymnastics that go along with the justifications for imposing it on others are pretty monstrous.

  30. says

    Father Robert Barron: [M]odernity loves the mythology of self-creation, you know, that we make ourselves by sovereign acts of the free will. That’s a great modern myth: Here I am, an individual with rights, privileges, responsibilities, and I can even create the meaning of my own life. Well, I’m glad the Catholic Church stands against that.

    Rick Santorum is a good little Catholic who is dutifully opposed to any notion of individual freedom. After all, “you are bought at a great price” and belong to Jesus, or—which is much the same thing—to the pope. So there!

    Santorum is on record criticizing the separation of church and state that JFK articulated so clearly in his Houston address to an assembly of Protestant ministers. He thinks Kennedy did “great damage” by not embracing church control of the state. Santorum manages to stand out as a nutcase among nutcases even in this year’s cavalcade of insane Republican candidates.

  31. says

    There was a Republican on Up With Chris Hayes a few months back who was saying similar shit; something about how he thought framing social issues in terms of rights was wrong, because he didn’t think people in social settings had “rights”, they had “responsibilities”. He then used to say he’s anti-abortion, because he didn’t think women had “rights” to their bodies, but rather “responsibilities” to… something (apparently not their already born family members, friends, etc. (and most definitely not to their own mental and physical health) since they can hardly benefit from an unwanted pregnancy going to term)

  32. Michael Heath says

    Dr. X writes:

    Santorum is saturated with Catholic sophistry. [...] There is a unique orthodox Catholic style of authoritarian argumentation. It can be quite dense and it’s packed with equivocation, legalism, intellectual sleight-of-hand and hidden false premises. Arrogant bullying tinged with sadomasochism is at the heart of it.

    In my journey from the land of fundie (which never took) to where I now concur with those who claim religion poisons everything, I regularly purchased First Things from 2004 – 2006. I was never Catholic but instead assumed that some intellectual heft must exist somewhere for Christianity to have survived 2000 years and maintain its hold, especially on so many people with substantial raw intelligence. I thought perhaps the content contained therein or references to intelligent content could be found within within its pages.

    Eventually I concluded its dialogues were primarily sophist and not compelling. Its editorials, by Richard John Neuhaus, reminded me of Newt Gingrich’s arguments, he was articulate in arguing his hatred and idiocy. I do think the content was far better than Neuhaus’ editorials which had me also wondering why any respectable person would want to be published there.

    I never joined or attended church since I was 18 so my subscription was based solely on curiosity. Your bringing up Santorum’s sophistry immediately reminded me of my time spent reading First Things.

    I’ve since given up thinking that there is any meritorious argument defending the practice of religion or that it can reveal objective truth. In fact I find it very safe to conclude that religion is the predominant barrier to people learning objective truth and become misinformed. Fox News and al Qaeda merely leverage the efforts of religion. However, I think that would be a surprising conclusion from an individual observer given how many people are swayed by it rather than science and academia. I think the assumption there is some intelligence backing-up religions premises is held by all but the most well-informed atheists/agnostics/not-religious people; an assumption for which I have yet to find evidence and now conclude doesn’t exist.

  33. abb3w says

    Most dangerous, possibly.

    However, even with the above, I don’t see reason to believe that Rick Perry or (now former candidate) Michelle Bachmann are any less authoritarian. And the only reason Newt is less authoritarian is because he’s so inconsistent on his positions (or perhaps, only consistent in self interest).

  34. StevoR says

    @18. hypatiasdaughter :

    Plus, if EVERYONE was watched, the unfortunate predilections of the inner sanctum and their friends might get exposed. A spotlight exposes all; a flashlight shone in a few random bedrooms allows those who are running the show to hide in the dark corners.

    For a second there, I read that as “the unfortunate predilections of the inner santorum might get exposed.”

    (Y’know I don’t think I want to know.. just wish Mr “stinkyfroth” didn’t want to know when it comes to everyone else. Dude the govt has NO right to stick its nose in other people’s sex lives. Full stop. No ifs no buts no maybes.)

  35. StevoR says

    Anyone care to bet that someone so seemingly puritannically repressed and obsessed by other’s sex lives as “stinkyfroth” Santorum has a lot of personal issues and secrets in that area himself?

  36. anfractuous says

    “That there is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.”

    And in cultures where they eat peas, 100% of their citizens actually die.

  37. organon says

    There were a number of comments I enjoyed. Especially this one:

    —————————

    edwardlocke says:

    “Fascists seek rejuvenatation of their nation based on commitment to an organic national community where its individuals are united together as one people …”

    From Wikipedia’s page on Fascism.

    It has been said that when fascism comes to America it will be wrapped in a flag carring a cross.

  38. dingojack says

    Raven – you claim that: ‘Catholocs have lost 1/3 of their membership in the USA, 22 Million’. (twice in this thread alone!) Do you have any source for that claim?
    According to this US Census spreadsheet, between 1990 and 2008 the number of adults self-identifing as ‘Catholics’ has risen by 11.195M (although, as a percentage of the adult population as a whole, they have declined from 26.222% to 25.076%, as a percentage of Christians they have increased from 30.421% to 32.986%).
    Dingo

  39. says

    Dingo,

    Raven’s numbers come from a 2008 Pew survey, mentioned here:

    http://ncronline.org/blogs/all-things-catholic/americas-religious-marketplace-real-catholic-problem-new-sales

    22 million is the total number of adults in the U.S. who count themselves as ex-Catholics. 1 in 3 raised Catholic are now ex-Catholics.

    The reason that the total number of Catholics in the U.S. has risen is the steep increase in the US Hispanic population.

    http://www.limitstogrowth.org/WEB-Graphics/HispanicPopulationGrowthGraph.jpg

  40. dingojack says

    Hmm…. Let’s see. Since 2008, 22 Million Catholics have self-identified as ex-Catholic (38.462% of the 2008 self-identifying population). In that time the Hispanic population of the US has risen from a little over 20 Million to a little over 40 Million (a rise of 20 Million), and this has kept Catholic numbers steady (or with a 1/6% decline to keep in line with years 1990 to 2008).
    But:

    [Greg] Smith [Senior Researcher for the Pew Institue]: People often assume that fewer Latinos leave Catholicism as compared to non-Latinos. There’s something to that, although the difference is not as large as you might expect. Among non-Hispanics who were raised Catholic, 66 percent are still Catholic. Among Hispanics raised Catholic, it’s 73 percent. That’s a statistically significant difference, but we’re not talking about night and day. Among those who have left, it’s just like the non-Hispanic Catholics — roughly half are now unaffiliated and half have become Protestants, mostly Evangelicals.

    So more than likely at least 14.6 Million are Hispanic ‘replacements’.
    Where did the other 6.447 Million come from?
    Dingo
    —–
    It’s not the that I doubt any commenter here, rather the figures. They seem rubbery to me.

  41. says

    That there is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.

    Actually, on this narrow point he’s kinda sorta right: in order for a society to exist, and to serve its people’s needs as effectively as possible, people really do have to temper their “individualism” a bit and be willing to cooperate when necessary for the common good. The problem is not that Santorum is wrong, it’s that he’s a fucking hypocrite, because he wholeheartedly supports an economic ideology that vindictively rejects the very idea of sacrifice for the common good (what do you think taxes are for?), and a moral ideology that elevates absolute power and exclusionism over a commonly shared set of values consistently applied to all.

    The simple fact is, we enhance our individualism, and our individual freedoms, by strengthening our civil society; and that requires some judicious sacrifice of individual freedoms. Libertarianism fails miserably because it ignores this obvious fact, and uses the rhetoric of individualism to deny us the benefits of civil society while enhancing the power and wealth of the most powerful and wealthy.

  42. amavra says

    could be just counting people who were ex-catholics when the 1990 survey was taken. sorry that was my only thought

  43. markholcombe says

    Santorum is actually correct, from within the Christian perspective. In the dominate Christian perspective humans have libertarian free will in deciding whether or not to “accept Jesus as their personal Lord and savior.” Simultaneously humans lack autonomy (self-determination). Jesus/Yhwh/Jehovah “has a plan for our lives” and he’ll make sure we’re miserable if we don’t follow it. As scriptural examples see the Jonah and Balaam stories.

    Christianity is a monarchical system. We are subjects in the kingdom of Yhwh/Jehovah/Jesus, not citizens. Yhwh/Jehovah/Jesus’ sovereignty is derived from his power. They claim he/them is worthy of worship because of his love and benevolence.

    (Now my head hurts.)

  44. markholcombe says

    I presented a paper on Christianity and individual sovereignty at a Philosophy conference several years ago.

  45. says

    Santorum is not against individual rights, but against collective rights. He believes that individually you have the right to believe everything he believes, and collectively people do not have the right to disagree with his beliefs.

  46. says

    @Dingo:

    So more than likely at least 14.6 Million are Hispanic ‘replacements’.
    Where did the other 6.447 Million come from?

    I don’t know for sure, but the 38.4% figure is for adults who were raised Catholic and no longer consider themselves Catholic. There are many Hispanic children currently being raised Catholic and they number among the 20 million, so I think the number of Hispanics who are ex-Catholics would be .61(20 million – number of Hispanic children currently being raised Catholic). Checking I see that 38% of Hispanics of Mexican ancestry are under age 18. The percentage of minors in other Hispanic groups is high but somewhat less than that.

    Hispanic immigrants aren’t the only majority Catholic immigrants. As of 2008, there are 1.8 million Filipino immigrants in the U.S and 1 million Haitians and 400,000+ Poles. And many African immigrants are Catholic. And there are stragglers from other countries, something like 300,000 Italian born living in the U.S.

    There’s also the converts from other religions–looks like maybe 2.5 – 3 million over the last 20 years.

    http://cara.georgetown.edu/staff/webpages/tidbits2.jpg

    I don’t know if all that fills in the entire 6.4 million gap in your calculation, but it probably takes a big bite out of it.

  47. juice says

    They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone. That there is no such society that I am aware of, where we’ve had radical individualism and that it succeeds as a culture.

    Criticisms of libertarianism (classical liberalism) often include this confusion of individual liberty with personal isolationism. When someone says that they want to be left to their own decisions and would rather not have interference by the force of government (as long as you aren’t violating someone else), some people will think or say that they want to do everything on their own. They don’t need any help, let’em clean their own water in their back yard and generate their own electricity in their garage. This is silly. Just because you don’t want yourself and others to be forced into a particular way of doing things doesn’t mean that you don’t think people should work together. This type of argument is either disingenuous or it comes from a mentality that supposes if the government isn’t doing it, then it won’t get done. IOW, if it isn’t done through force, then it can’t/won’t be done. Rick Santorum seems to be displaying this very mentality here.

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