Ann Coulter, I Am More of a Catholic than a Conservative, Just Like Rick Santorum
When liberalism loses its soul, it becomes libertinism. When conservatism loses its soul, it becomes libertarianism
Ann Coulter's criticism of Rick Santorum for being "more of a Catholic than a Conservative" makes me want to do even more to help people come to understand his positions. You see, I consider myself more of a Catholic than a Conservative. As for Ann Coulter, while she continues her act as a conservative political gadfly, more and more people are beginning to pay attention to Rick Santorum.
WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - On January 4, 2012, Ann Coulter - the incendiary, controversial, self promoting gadfly of a conservative columnist - turned her sites on Republican Presidential candidate Rick Santorum. Ironically, Coulter made a name for herself by allegedly being anti-establishment. That was until October of 2011.
Then, she surprised many on the political left and the political right - and many in between. She endorsed the Republican establishment's candidate, Mitt Romney, for the Republican nomination in 2012 very early in the primary campaign.
Rather than question what might have prompted such an endorsement, I want to discuss her efforts to harm the candidacy of a very good man, Rick Santorum. I believe they reveal bigger problems with serious implications.
In a recent column Coulter made comments which reveal something I have addressed before, latent Anti-Catholicism in some circles of the conservative movement. Before I continue, let me clarify something. I have zero tolerance for what calls itself the "liberal" or "progressive" political movement - the leaders of which have captured the other major American political party.
Oh, I know the political Party calling itself Democratic has its Catholic spokesmen and women. Many fill the chairs of the pundit class of the main stream media. However, many also sold their Catholic convictions for a bowl of political porridge like Esau in the biblical story. (Gen. 25)
They have rejected the foundational Right to life upon which is predicated any of their purported concern for the human rights of anyone else. They are morally incoherent.
In a recent column Ann Coulter wrote: "Santorum is not as conservative as his social-issues credentials suggest. He is more of a Catholic than a conservative.Santorum may not be a big spender as far as professional politicians go, but he is still a professional politician. In 2005, one of his former aides described him as "a Catholic missionary who happens to be in the Senate.
"The Catholic missionary was fantastic on issues like partial-birth abortion, but more like a Catholic bishop in his support for No Child Left Behind.Santorum cites his father's admonition to put any extra money in the poor box at church to explain his wanting to use the federal government to help the poor.
"You get only one or two big issues in a presidential campaign. But in the middle of the second Great Depression, Santorum is on the campaign trail saying, "The reason I ran is 'cause I think people know there is more than just a little narrow issue called 'jobs.' " - Actually, this year, it's pretty much just jobs."
Coulter's comments help explain why Catholics like me consider ourselves to be 'reluctant Republicans." She was derisive of Rick Santorum's concern for the poor. She mocked his insistence upon the connection between moral, social and economic issues. She was condescending and dismissive of his integrated campaign message.
Rick Santorum's affirmation of our obligation in solidarity - to do what we can to increase opportunities for the poor to participate in our free economy - is one of the reasons I find his economic proposals so compelling.
Santorum understands that freedom is a good of the human person. Further that he sees that the market economy, as promising as it is, requires the continual expansion of opportunities for participation. Many of us who are inspired by him are from blue collar backgrounds. Our ancestors did not come over on the Mayflower. We care about the poor and cringe when any candidate seems to lack concern for them.
However, we also now know that big government does a horrible job of providing care for them and that collectivism - be it of the right or the left - is anything but the solution. We want a candidate who speaks of opening up economic participation in the American dream to as many as possible. One who recognizes that the market was made for man, not man for the market.
Recently I heard Rick Santorum defend his proposal to increase the child tax credit in order to help parents, promote the family and grow our economy. He accurately explained the fact that a demographic winter is leading many Nations in Europe to do all they can to increase the birth of children.
He then persuasively argued that America needs to encourage strong families because strong families build a strong Nation. He is correct. The family is the first society, first economy, first school, first civilizing and mediating institution and first government. All other government grows out of - and must support and not usurp - the primacy of this first government.
In 2005 I wrote a review of Senator Santorum's book "It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good". Here are a few excerpts:
"The Author acknowledges ...
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