Strengthening traditional families would be priority for Santorum

Santorum 1Republican presidential candidate former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania would use the power of the presidency to strengthen traditional families. “Imagine if the president of the United States said that the number one priority in America, to make America heathy, is stable and healthy families, and that we were actually going to have an effort in this country to encourage churches, communities, businesses, the media and the popular culture to talk about how important marriage is,” Santorum said. “I’m not talking about the 2 percent of marriages the CDC calls ‘non-traditional marriages.’ I’m talking about the 98 percent of marriages that are traditional marriages that are falling apart in America. It’s hurting our country, it’s hurting our economy, it’s hurting our children, and it’s destroying our future.”

That was Santorum’s answer to a question about how a president can “turn things around” in the country, posed by one of about two dozen persons who turned out to hear him speak at Greene Bean Coffee Sunday afternoon, Aug. 2.

Santorum does not have a Greene County campaign chair, but was introduced by John Thompson, a member of the state Republican central committee. He said he has looked Santorum in the eye and knows him to be a good man.

According to Santorum, the last four years have been “cataclysmic” for the nation. He named changes in our culture, with the recent Supreme Court decision on gay marriage and the recent uproar over Planned Parenthood, and changes in national security, particularly Islam as a virulent enemy and the Iranian nuclear agreement. Santorum calls the Iran nuclear agreement “the greatest betrayal of a resent to the national security of our country in history.”

Santorum said he wrote the Iran Freedom Support Act 11 years ago which created the economic sanctions against Iran that the new agreement lifts. “I was a Johnny One Note on talking about the threat of radical Islam and particularly the threat of a nuclear Iran. For 12 years, I’ve been talking about this. If you want someone who understands this issue, I know what Iran is all about and let me assure you, they know what I’m all about,” he said.

He used his authorship of the legislation creating health savings accounts and ending cash welfare payments as evidence of his ability to get things done.

Santorum said he has been on the front line protecting families for 10 years. The recent Supreme Court decision “means that marriage has nothing to do with children. Marriage is simply about adults; it’s not about children. It’s whatever adults want because children don’t matter. And anybody who disagrees with that is irrational. That’s what they said,” Santorum said. “’You have no rational basis to disagree, and the only possible reason you disagree is because you hate people who are different.’ That’s why they found for changing the definition of marriage.”

“We know what’s best for our kids. We know what’s best for men and women. It’s to come together in healthy relationships, complementary relationships,” he said. He says every sociological study shows that the growing income gap in America, and the inability of people to rise is because of the “breakdown of the American family.”

Since gay marriage is now legal, children as young as first grade will have books at school that portray gay marriage. “They’re going to start educating our children to something that is statistically unhealthy, clearly an unhealthier lifestyle than a heterosexual lifestyle, and is against the value structure of the majority of people in this country,” he said. The Supreme Court is forcing values on the American people.

He said the Supreme Court decision is an “assault on religious liberty like you’ve never seen in your life,” and that there “is a real crisis coming up about who actually runs this country.” The Supreme Court acted outside the Constitution in allowing gay marriage, and that when the court makes moral decisions in undermines the basic fabric of society.

“Instead of the president dividing by putting rainbow colors on the White House, what we can do is talk about the children in America who are struggling because we have not had the courage to fight for their souls, and do what we can to provide a healthy environment for families in America,” Santorum said.

“This is a serious time and we need a serious candidate who has ideas about how we’re going to bring this country back and put it on the right path economically, morally, as well as from a security point of view, someone that has the experience to get the job done, and that’s why I’m running for president.”

Santorum talked for 20 minutes and took questions for another hour. In response to a question about over use of force by police, he replied that it is not fundamentally a federal question, but that “the source of the problem is that we have people in our society who don’t live good, virtuous and moral lives.” He said the level of misbehavior and disrespect is higher than ever before. “It comes back to families… Eighty-five percent of men in prison did not have a father growing up in the home.”

He talked about a decline in church attendance. “If you don’t have faith, and society -the popular culture- shaping the moral imagination and inculcating virtue in people, what will? What we have is a large group of people in America who don’t have access to virtue-shaping institutions that teach people how to interact with each other in a way that’s civil and social,” he said. Police are more challenged in dealing with those people.

His main focus economically is to make the U.S. the number one manufacturing country in the world.

He would reduce the size of every federal agency except the Department of Defense. He would reduce federal funding for roads other than the interstate road system. He would reduce the power of the US Department of Education by eliminating No Child Left Behind and the Common Core.

To a question about term limits, he said that while he was in the Senate, term limits for committee chairmanships were passed. “That had the impact of moving some members out after a period of time, but we couldn’t get term limits passed because not a single Democrat would vote for it in the House or the Senate, and to my knowledge, not a single Democrat would vote for it today. They’re not interested in term limits. What I have found in my brief exposure to Washington, DC, is they’re interested in one thing – power, and they want as much power as possible located in them. So they’re not going to walk away from any of that power voluntarily.”

 

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