Skip to comments.Santorum: A Massively Expanded Welfare State is ‘The Genuine Conservatism our Founders Envisioned’
Posted on 01/12/2012 4:58:10 AM PST by IbJensen
"I believe what I've been presenting is the genuine conservatism our Founders envisioned. One that fosters the opportunity for all Americans to live as we are called to live, in selfless families that contribute to the general welfare, the common good."
Posted by Jeff Emanuel (Diary)
Despite strident opposition from supporters who maintain that Rick Santorum is a true conservative in the mold of you guessed it Ronald Reagan, the already huge mountain of evidence that he is, at heart, a big-government conservative continues to grow. As Erick noted previously, in 2008 Santorum said:
This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I dont 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 shouldnt get involved in the bedroom, we shouldnt 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 cant go it alone.
Now, consider these two quotes from Santorums 2005 book It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, both of which are very telling:
What was my vision? I came to the uncomfortable realization that conservatives were not only reluctant to spend government dollars on the poor, they hadnt even thought much about what might work better. I often describe my conservative colleagues during this time as simply cheap liberals. My own economically modest personal background and my faith had taught me to care for those who are less fortunate, but I too had not yet given much thought to the proper role of government in this mission.
-Preface, p. IX; audio here
I suspect some will dismiss my ideas as just an extended version of compassionate conservatism. Some will reject what I have said as a kind of Big Government Conservatism. Some will say that what Ive tried to argue isnt conservatism at all. But I believe what Ive been presenting is the genuine conservatism our Founders envisioned. One that fosters the opportunity for all Americans to live as we are called to live, in selfless families that contribute to the general welfare, the common good.
-Conclusion, p. 421; audio here
Though the second quote is the money shot, as it were, the value of the first is that it sets the stage for Santorums exploration of the role of government in the book. As the second quote demonstrates, Santorum has not only concluded that it is the role of government to ensure that all Americans contribute to the general welfare, the common good by acting as the chief arbiter of charitable resources and their distribution.
This is wrong on several levels. While there is absolutely a role for government in creating and maintaining a social safety net (Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, etc.) for the population that cannot take care of itself (whether that should take place at the federal, state, or local level, and in what measure each, is a different discussion), Santorums instinct appears to be to use government to expand that safety net to all who may be in need or want of charity. Further, he accuses conservatives in Congress who disagree with a significantly expanded role of government in enforcing redistributive charity and welfare of being cheap liberals who havent though [enough] about the issue of the poor to recognize that making decisions about charity is clearly governments job to do.
Not only does Santorum argue for an expansion of the welfare state as the proper way to ensure that all Americans contribute to the general welfare, and not only does he dismiss criticisms that his view represents an extended version of compassionate conservatism or big government conservatism, but he actually claims that increasing the size and scope of government, and its role in growing the welfare state, represents the genuine conservatism our Founders envisioned.
Im not criticizing Rick Santorum for being concerned about his fellow man. However, instinctively turning to government to cure all that ails our society and individuals within it and calling that a conservative instinct shows a lack of understanding about the role of government itself within our society. Further, his belief that only government is able (and benevolent enough) to ensure that all Americans contribute to the general welfare in an acceptable manner reveals a lack of faith in, and understanding of, conservatism and conservative Americans. Were he to step outside of his more-government-is-the-solution bubble, he would learn, for example, that conservative Americans voluntarily contribute to the common good by donating to private charities at a very high rate much higher than liberals who, like Santorum, look to an ever-expanding government to take care of the poor using Americans tax dollars.
Santorum certainly isnt unique within the community of current and former lawmakers in his faith that government has the answers and the moral requirement to make fiscal decisions (including where charitable contributions are to be made, and in what amounts) for the American people as a whole. However, denying that such a belief is big government conservatism (if it is conservatism at all) is only surpassed on the absurdity scale by the claim that such a belief truly represents the genuine conservatism our Founders envisioned.
All of these options are well connected to Lobbyists ?
Perry and Newt are lobbyist pals .
The other options are worthless .
Why are we destroying the only conservatives left in this post with alot
Of half truths , lies etccccc from a blogger with an
Agenda and who is loose with the facts ?
This plays directly into the Left’s hands. Divide the conservative vote 3 or 4 ways while the conservatives continue to search for the “perfect” candidate (there isn’t one, and never has been), Romney is the only one left standing, Obama waltzes to a second term. Game, set, and match.
No one else headed up the Republican K Street Project. If you did that, there is no way in Hell you are an outsider.
Who are you astroturfing
You post a blogger rant with an agenda whose facts are
Dubious at best .
I don’t think he’s advocating ‘care’ in the sense of more welfare checks at all. For the life of me I cannot envision Santorum expanding welfare - ever. He might go soft on the status quo (and not one of the others would be diffent) but his ideals are far different than giving more power to the loving arms of a godless federal gub’mint.
The Federal government, in it’s proper role, should expand liberty by upholding and fostering the very principles at the base of the Tree of Liberty - that is, strong and free families. A very Western tradition. Upholding those ideas, in this age, need be nothing more than getting gub’mint out of those areas it shouldn’t be and upholding the laws and institutions that foster traditional families
I agree with you, however, that handing out welfare money ought to be a state right.
Sorry bud. Bible says to care for WIDOWS and ORPHANS. Show me 1% of those on welfare who are truly either?
If they cannot afford kids..they should not BREED. I’m so f’ing sick and tired of the welfare mentatility. Some groups just need to be let to die out...sounds harsh? So the hell what.
Either Perry and Santorum get behind Newt or it's a done deal for Romney, and Romney will NOT beat Obama.
A most excellent analysis.
W/ knees jerking all over this thread its good to see someone maintaining balance.
Depending on which link you go to, Santorums conservative voting record is not that great, between a weak 83 and a somewhat respectable 88 per cent.
That puts him below Newt. Below Perry. And gads, yes, below even Mitt.
My ONLY point in this is simply stating that “taking the slings and arrows” for social issues is admirable, but it DOES NOT MEAN ON BALANCE THAT YOU ARE NECESSARILY A GOOD CONSERVATIVE.
Santorum is only a C student conservative overall, yet his supporters insist he is THE CONSERVATIVE in the race. Nay nay.
Cut and paste, editing quotes, etc. is par for the course at Red State, the most dishonest conservative blog out there.
He is a ‘social” conservative—not a fiscal conservative. He is liberal on fiscal issues. It is sad that we don’t really have a fiscal conservative running. Newt may be one, but he has said things that raise doubt that he is one. Perry is more of a social conservative than a fiscal conservative as well.
Very very good insights. The progressive catholic church is infested with liberation theology type thinking, which has its roots in Marxism. Dorothy Day was the extreme wing of this thinking but elements of this corrupt theology has spread to many bishops/priests who then poison their flock, who think they are being compassionate.
In March of 1983 JP II specifically went to Nicaragua to address and try to correct this growing marxist movement in the Church. It had its manifestation in South America, but the intellectual roots were formed in Europe/bad Jesuit theology, etc.
True church teaching requires the idividual to perform corporal works of mercy and the OT actually seems to require the giving of alms for salvation, but this is the individual giving freely from his own goods, not the collective deciding for the individual.
This is very dangerous thinking here within the progressive church. I have no idea where Santorum falls along this progressive church leaning socialist spectrum - maybe he doesn’t subscribe to it at all - I am speaking generally....
Newt is the best option to take on the Kenyan, who has WAY more baggage than he does, and once the Kenyan’s murky past sees the light of day there will be a mudslide engulfing him.
Santorum talks a good game but his record is different. There are aspects of him that are far better than Mitt.
If Mitt becomes President he will attempt to turn the US into Mass. Choking gun control, govt run healthcare, regulations galore.
Santorum won’t do that.
Earth to HwyChile, the candidate with the second most votes it a fiscal conservative.
What about the injured, or have you forgotten about the good Samaritan?
Besides, there is more to taking care of our fellow man than just giving handouts. Good businesses take care of their fellow man by providing services (at a profit, of course) that he cannot do. National defense is taking care of our fellow man, as is a uniform law code. Volunteer firefighters help their fellow man, etc.
The welfare mentality has so corroded the modern culture that the left clamors for more and more "welfare", whereas the libertarian, Ayn Rand wing promotes ONLY self-interested capitalism. But a society that is at either extreme will not stand.
As long as people live together, we have obligations to one another to not make each others life miserable. The key is to balance the rights of the individual while promoting voluntary altruism, and to limit government interference.
How is either of the two quotes in this particular instance incorrect? I have not read his book but four and five sentence quotes are normally good at showing what an author means. So it would be helpful if you could provide more specific info.
Now consider the use of voting records to estimate conservatism. With the butt-loads of earmarks and last minute deals going on, there is, categorically, no legislation that comes from the hill that is NOT a pork laden, anti-freedom, piece of dung. That said, a singular bill may foster or diminish some particular virtue or ill of the Republic, but on the whole it is like consuming vermin and parasite laden food. It may nourish for the short term, but the negative load will eventually kill you in the end.
We, as Conservatives, must recognize that change must occur on the scale unknown in this country - possibly since its founding. Any candidate that is “electable” is not, by sheer definition, what is needed. Any candidate that is willing to go the whole way (and we need a full slate to do that) will invariably piss off a score of DC bootlickers many of whom will also be “conservative” PACs that have become institutionalized for their share of the crumbs.
Who, then, is the conservative? Mittens? No, that's a given. Newt? No, again. Look at him closely and you'll see he's nothing more than a third-way elitist. For my money, the most conservative (closest to Constitutional ideals) have already been killed off. For me, this leaves Mr. Santorum as the moral choice among many delusional, but ‘electable’ choices. Will he win? Nay, nay. We conservatives lose this election? You bet. No matter if BO takes a second term (most likely) and takes over the entire gub’mint or some jack-ass like the Mitten takes the WH we still lose through Jacobian tactics in the end.
We are going to lose, lose and lose again until we realize that principle and moral courage are the only things that count. It may very well be that we are no longer a people that can self-govern and, therfore, no longer fit for American freedom. If so, the electorate must change - not the principles or convictions. If we lose and, possibly, die because of sticking to these things - so be it. Better that than to live in a delusional world where black and white have no meaning and evil is become good.