Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Keith A. Fournier

2/22/2012 (3 years ago)

Catholic Online (

Rick Santorum regularly reminds all of us that America is a Moral Enterprise and that freedom must be set free

Rick Santorum's view of government - and economics - is from below, with the family as the first government and the first economy. All other government must assist and not usurp its primary role. It must proceed from the bottom up. This is about more than "limited government", though it certainly is that. This is about good government. Can government be good? Yes,when freedom flourishes. Good in the sense of efficient, deferring to mediating structures first - and good in the sense of recognizing the moral foundation needed for a truly free society.

Rick Santorum

Rick Santorum


By Keith A. Fournier

Catholic Online (

2/22/2012 (3 years ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Rick Santorum, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, populist, campaign 2012, contraception, HHS Mandate, Republican, Democrat, liberal, conservative, presidential campaign, Michigan primary, Georgia Primary, Arizona primary, Keith A Fournier

WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - Finally, we might have it; a real Presidential campaign - with a real choice between two candidates with two very different worldviews. This election will also be a choice about who we are - and who we will become. It is a choice which addresses the foundation of our identity as Americans and the nature of true freedom.

President Obama is in full reelection mode. His campaign theme is that our Nation is divided between the "1%" and the rest of us; between the super rich and everyone else. His rhetoric purports to be "populist", peppered with the mantras of "fair share", and "fair shot". He adds that we should all be playing by the same set of rules.  However, his populism is top down; the federal government is the one to ensure that we are somehow all equal through wealth redistribution, legislative compulsion and coercion.

The Obama 2012 campaign wants to take on Mitt Romney in the General election. He is a perfect "uke" (ookie). The term is from the Martial Arts. It refers to the one used in class demonstrations to receive the strikes and techniques from the instructor. Mitt Romney looks as though he stepped out of "central casting" as a caricature of a "1%"er. The Obama reelection campaign believes he is suited for a campaign of caricatures and class warfare.  Romney is, from all indications, a good man. However, that is not why they want him to face him in the general election. He fits their narrative.

Rick Santorum strikes a very different image. He is also a populist. He is the grandson of an immigrant coalminer who communicates well with real folks because he is one of us. He does not pit groups against one another but speaks the language of a very different form of populism; one which calls for expanded economic opportunities for all in a free market. However, he recognizes that freedom is a good of the human person. He knows the market is truly free when it recognizes the primacy of "human capital" and expands to offer increased opportunity to all. 

President Obama is a big government candidate. He has presided over the largest expansion of Federal power in my lifetime. His solution to perceived needs is to expand federal programs. His concentration of governmental power favors the executive branch. He favors centralized federal economic controls. His multiplication of unelected Czars, a practice begun under his Republican predecessor, has placed the principles of representative democracy and separation of powers in jeopardy. The most blatant example of his misguided governmental philosophy is federalized health care.

Rick Santorum's view of government - and economics - is from below, with the family as the first government and the first economy. All other government must assist and not usurp its primary role. It must proceed from the bottom up. This is about more than "limited government", though it certainly is that. This is about good government.

Can government be good? Yes,when freedom flourishes. Good in the sense of efficient, deferring to mediating structures first - and good in the sense of recognizing the moral foundation needed for a truly free society. Santorum is not afraid to say that America is a moral enterprise. He may be mocked for doing so - but he stands on the shoulders of giants, including the American founders. 

During the last campaign, President Obama spoke of our obligation in solidarity to the poor. Yet, he refuses to hear the cry of the poorest of the poor, children in the first home of the human race, their mother's womb. He does not respect the fundamental human right upon which all other rights are founded, the Right to Life. His administration mouths the sophistry of those who promote abortion throughout all nine months of life. However, he does much more; he is their enabler in chief.

Rick Santorum is a champion of the Right to life. He also walks the talk. His Pro-Life record of public service is the strongest of any candidate who has ever run for the Presidency. His family life speaks even more loudly. During this Presidential campaign, the smile of his little daughter Bella Santorum, who has trisomy 18,spoke the truth of the Pro-Life message more eloquently than words ever could. America knows the truth about life. It is revealed in little Bella's smile.

We operate on our neighbors in the womb. We send sonograms of their movements in gift cards. We prosecute criminals who, in the course of another crime, kill them. Efforts to call Santorum's Pro-Life position "extreme" are failing. So, the opponents of the Right to Life are resorting to fear mongering. They want the American people to think that Rick Santorum is a religious "extremist". 

The recent efforts to denigrate Rick Santorum have nothing to do with the availability of contraceptives. One only has to go down to the corner drugstore and see whether contraceptives are available. What is at issue is the Federal Government seeking to compel the Church to dispense abortion inducing drugs, contraceptives and sterilization, against their conscience and deeply held religious beliefs, or face the punitive measures of the Federal Government.   

Rick Santorum's stalwart support of the Free Exercise of Religion - in the face of the recent unconstitutional HHS Decree - is rooted in his proper understanding of the facts. This is a First Amendment issue. His courageous response stands as one more contrast between his candidacy and the reelection campaign of President Obama.

Santorum understands that religious freedom is a fundamental human right. So did the American founders. They called it the "First Freedom." He also understands that the First Amendment, with both its establishment and free exercise clauses, protects religious freedom precisely because it is a fundamental human right. Finally, he believes that people of faith, religious institutions, and the ideas informed by religious faith are not a threat to liberty but help to secure its promise for all.   

President Obama has a jaundiced and severely limited understanding of the Free Exercise of Religion. He has an equally poor understanding of the Establishment Clause. He seeks to confine the practice of Religion, at least the Christian religion, to the four walls of a Church building. He is at odds with the American founders and the Western tradition in attempting to redefine the Free Exercise of Religion as a Right to Worship rather than a robust Right to practice the faith in the public square.  

This election has everything to do with how we will define freedom and how we will pave the path to our future. Authentic freedom must be exercised with reference to what is true and what is good. Human persons can only flourish when they choose the good. In an age that has mistaken a "right" to do whatever one wants as 'freedom," the former Senator from Pennsylvania affirms a freedom to do what is right, grounded on what is good, with a responsibility to one another and at the service of the real common good.

He reminds all of us that America truly is a Moral Enterprise and that freedom itself must be set free. Campaign 2012 may present us with two populist candidates with two different visions of freedom and the future. What a refreshing change that would truly be. 


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'

Copywriter 2015 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for October 2015
That human trafficking, the modern form of slavery, may be eradicated.
Evangelization: That with a missionary spirit the Christian communities of Asia may announce the Gospel to those who are still awaiting it.


More Politics & Policy

'We cannot succumb to fear': U.S. joins France in fight against ISIS Watch

Image of U.S. President Barack obama has decided to join forces with France in eliminating ISIS.


Following a meeting with French President François Hollande, United States President Barack Obama has proclaimed "total solidarity" with France. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - President Obama believes the declaration of solidarity, alongside his trip to Paris for ... continue reading

U.S. throws doors open to Syrian refugees - despite identity of Paris terrorist suspect as disguised refugee Watch

Image of It's not yet known how many more additional refugees the U.S. may take in beyond the originally state 10,000. Two senior administration officials say they are seeking ways to take in even more.


Even after it was learned that a key terrorist in the recent attacks in Paris, 25-year-old Ahmed Almuhamed, snuck into France after he was rescued from a sinking shop off the coast of Greece posing as a Syrian refugee, the Obama administration continues to ... continue reading

Supreme Court to hear arguments over Texas abortion clinic ruling Watch

Image of Lawmakers have put major restrictions of abortion since 2010, but none as far-reaching and strict as Texas' HB2.


A measure passed in the State of Texas, HB2 in 2013 has led to the closure of half of that state's abortion clinics. Now, the Supreme Court will hear arguments over the Texas law that has been among the most crucial in the ongoing national dialogue regarding ... continue reading

PUT TERRORISTS IN COLORADO? Law enforcement officials question Guantanamo Bay closure Watch

Image of Obama's Defense Secretary recently said that around half of the remaining 112 prisoners at Gitmo must be locked up


United States President Barack Obama has long promised to close Guantanamo Bay, a holding facility for suspected terrorists at a U.S. naval facility in Cuba. The question, as posed by dozens of law enforcement officials in a letter to the president . where do ... continue reading

What has the United States Government done with $5.9 billion? Watch

Image of American taxpayers gave the United States government $5.9 billion in foreign military financing last how was it distributed?


Each year Americans complain about paying taxes, much of which is distributed to foreign military aid. So where have all the funds gone? LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - According to the United States government's Foreign Assistance report, $5.9 billion was directed ... continue reading

You won't believe how Trump and Carson have become a disrupting force in the Republican Party! Watch

Image of Donald Trump and Ben Carson's popularity has other Republican presidential candidates sweating.


Republican presidential hopefuls Ben Carson and Donald Trump have disrupted Republican politicians and have many questioning where the United States is headed should either become the next American President. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Members of the ... continue reading

Fourth Presidential debate asks the hard questions Watch

Image of The Fourth Republican Debate gave presidential candidates several opportunities to shine -but who took advantage of the spotlight?

By Kenya Sinclair (California Network)

The fourth Republican presidential debate took place at the Milwaukee Theater Tuesday night. Candidates were asked the big questions ranging from how they felt about protester demands for a $15 minimum wage to the deportation of 11 million illegal immigrants in the ... continue reading

Court halts Obama's executive orders with Obama's own words! What were they? Watch

Image of Obama's own words were used to stop him from changing the law as he pleased.

By David Drudge (California Network)

A federal appeals court has used Obama's own words to halt his growing use of executive orders that allow him to rule by edict. Their decision specifically halts his edict that shields 5 million illegal immigrants from imminent deportation and that he does not have the ... continue reading

Social Security administration hits unbelievably new record in spending - You won't believe the numbers! Watch

Image of This latest figure represents a substantial increase from the $910,394,720,000 the Social Security Administration spent in fiscal 2014.


Hitting a record $944,143,000,000 in fiscal 2015, the Social Security Administration reached an all-time in spending. The inclusive payments for this bureau include payments for Social Security and disability benefits in addition to Supplemental Security Income ... continue reading

Obama's executive order gets blocked and why that's a disaster for thousands of Catholic families Watch

Image of President Barack Obama's plan to protect millions of undocumented immigrants falls flat.


On Monday night, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals found that a lower court did not "abuse its discretion" when it claimed President Barack Obama's controversial executive actions on immigration were unlawful. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Obama's executive ... continue reading

All Politics & Policy News


Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Subscribe to Catholic OnlineYouTube Channel

the FEED
by Catholic Online

  • The Miracle Prayer HD Video
  • BIGGER THAN ISIS - There's a hidden power behind ISIS and it's so big ...
  • Daily Readings for Saturday, November 28, 2015
  • St. Catherine Laboure: Saint of the Day for Saturday, November 28, 2015
  • Prayer For Courage HD Video
  • President likens Syrian refugees to pilgrims on Mayflower in ...
  • 'Black Friday' leaving bruises as shoppers trample each other for ...

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Daniel 7:2-14
2 Daniel said, 'I have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the ... Read More

Psalm, Daniel 3:75, 76, 77, 78, 79, 80, 81
75 Bless the Lord, mountains and hills, praise and glorify him for ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 21:29-33
29 And he told them a parable, 'Look at the fig tree and indeed every ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 27th, 2015 Image

St. James Intercisus
November 27: James was a favorite of King Yezdigerd I of ... Read More