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The Santorum Cringe Factor

Written By: Bill O'Reilly - Feb• 19•12

from dcbarroco.blogspot.com

Rick Santorum is a necessary character on the national stage. He is immovable on social issues that so many in the Republican Party, including me, would prefer to run as far away from as possible, both personally and politically. But he is doing the nation a service by raising issues that make so many of us cringe.

It would be a lie to suggest that sexual permissiveness in the U.S., through the proliferation of contraception and abortion, has not had adverse and unintended consequences.  But how many of us, men in particular, have the moral standing, indeed the chutzpah, to raise the issue?   I spent the 1980’s and a good chunk of the 90’s chasing girls, to a debatable degree of success, and I wasn’t seeking mixed doubles tennis partners.  Mixed drinks and coupling was more the idea – the concept anyway.  

Today, as a 48-year-old father, when I read about things like gender selective abortions and “half-abortions” – the in utero eradication of a single fetus in the case of twins – I want to lock myself in a closet and throw up or cry. Cold, clinical procedures like that make me fear that we are finished as a species – that we are poking in the eye with a stick our very Creator.

I feel that way, too, when considering that more than 60% of all African-American pregnancies, and more than 40% of all pregnancies, are terminated by abortion every year in New York City – almost a million in the past decade alone.  However one feels about the legality of abortion – there is no question the procedure will remain legal and readily available – those statistics have to make one feel…something.  To me that something is sickness and cowardice for not doing anything about it.  

Mr. Santorum is in the minority, too, evidently in opposing the assignment of women into combat brigades. He hasn’t explained his position on that well, in my opinion, but he has made it clear that it feels wrong to him, as it does to me.  And he talks about the unintended consequences of careers on motherhood, something women discuss amongst themselves all the time, but men can’t voice without sounding like Neanderthals.  So we don’t.

I can easily understand why women’s rights advocates attack any mention of these issues – they undermine decades of feminist successes – but conversations like these, already whispered in hallways, will eventually be aired, full-throatedly, and Mr. Santorum is the candidate willing to voice them. That’s all for the ultimate good, even if it’s bad for some in the Republican Party.

Rick Santorum is, in all likelihood, too socially conservative for this country.  He is too socially conservative for me, frankly. But he stands unbowed and unapologetic for a set of principles– whether we like those principles or not –and that’s an admirable thing.

When the Republican Primary comes to New York, I will not giving Mr. Santorum my vote. But he has earned my respect, even where I firmly disagree with him.

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2 Comments

  1. Hezi Aris says:

    Well said Bill; extremely empathic the response many people feel. Santorum has cut into the guts of man issues. Like ou, I have learned to respect his resolve despite his repertoire of position to extreme for my liking.

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