Friday, January 6, 2012

Rick Santorum is Civilized and So He Must be Destroyed

Observers of American politics can see how the Left is completely bereft of ideas and arguments by the way they practice the politics of personal destruction as their only method of winning elections. One by one, from Sarah Palin to Rick Perry to Herman Cain to Newt Gingrich, the leftist media and the Democratic machine have attacked every Republican conservative candidate who appears to pose a real threat to Barack Obama. Flimsy accusations and ginned up charges characterize the crude, vicious, gutter-level attacks on conservatives. Rick Perry is not racist, Herman Cain is not stupid and so on. But such accusations are the only reasons leftists can think of to offer as a justification for re-electing Obama with his failed policies and clueless trashing of America's economy.

Now it is Rick Santorum's turn. It isn't because he is a bad person; it is just that his poll numbers make him a threat to win. Peter Wehner has the best commentary on the hate-filled hatchet job launched this week against him. The Left went after him - not for his economic proposals or his foreign policy ideas or his views on the issues of the day - no, they actually went after him for the way in which he and his wife chose to deal with the death of their baby 15 years ago. Yes, the best argument the Left has as to why Rick Santorum should not be president is that he didn't just throw his baby in the dumpster as, apparently, the Left thinks is the right way to do it.

First it was Alan Colmes; now it is Eugene Robinson of the Washington Post, who went on MSNBC to mock Rick Santorum for how he and his wife Karen dealt with the death of their son Gabriel. (A severe prenatal development led to his very early delivery, and Gabriel died two hours after his birth.)

“He’s not a little weird, it’s that he’s really weird,” Robinson said of Santorum. “And some of his positions he’s taken are just so weird, um, that I think that some Republicans are gonna be off-put. Um, not everybody is going to, going to be down, for example, with the story of how he and his wife handled the, the, the stillborn ah, ah, child, ah, um, whose body they took home to, to kind of sleep with it, introduce to the rest of the family. It’s a very weird story.”

You know what is really weird? Political commentators trying to gain some partisan advantage by mocking a family in grief. Now that is kinky. It betrays a basic character deficiency in a person who would stoop that low and it shows a poverty of logic and reason. They apparently have nothing intelligent to say about politics when it comes to conservatives. All they can do is attack the character of one of the most decent men in the race. Sad.

Wehner puts it in perspective:

On these comments I have three observations to make, the first of which is that spending time with a stillborn child (or one who died shortly after birth, as in the Santorum case) is commonly recommended. The matter of taking the child home for a few hours is less common, but they did it so that their other children could also spend a little time with the deceased child, and that is definitely recommended. For example, here’s the official page of the American Pregnancy Association (an association of health-care providers that treat pregnant women) about stillbirth. It recommends that parents spend time with the child, as the Santorums did, and the APA writes:

With the loss of your baby, your family members will also grieve. Your baby is someone’s granddaughter, brother, cousin, nephew or sister. It is important for your family members to spend time with the baby. This will help them come to terms with their loss. If you have other children, it is very important to be honest with them about what has happened by using simple and honest explanations. It is your decision whether you would like the children to see the baby. Ask for a Child Life Specialist at the hospital; these are trained professionals who can help you prepare your children for the heartbreaking news, and prepare them to see the baby if you wish.

This is basically what the Santorum family did. They also had a funeral, which is often done in these kinds of situations. It seems to be enormously helpful to people in a moment of terrible pain. So Robinson, like Colmes, was speaking out of a seemingly bottomless well of ignorance.

Robinson and Colmes are the weird, ignorant hillbillies, not Rick and Karen Santorum. Robinson and Colmes don't deserve to be on TV and in print and most likely would not be there if they didn't have the "politically correct" opinions and weren't willing to serve as the attack dogs of the Left. They are well-paid for what they do; one only wonders how they sleep at night.

Wehner is finished yet, however:

The second point is the casual cruelty of Robinson and those like him. Robinson seems completely comfortable lampooning a man and his wife who had experienced the worst possible nightmare for parents: the death of their child. It is one thing to say you would act differently if you were in the situation faced by Rick and Karen Santorum; it’s quite another to deride them as “crazy” and “very weird,” which is what commentators on the left are increasingly doing, and with particular delight and glee.

We are seeing how ideology and partisan politics can so disfigure people’s minds and hearts that they become vicious in their assaults on those with whom they have political disagreements. I would hope no one I know would, in a thousand years, ridicule parents who were grappling with unfathomable human pain. Even if those parents were liberal. Even if they were running for president and first lady.

This point is well-made. The Left talks about being non-violent but that is just talk. You can see the violence in their speech and the hate in their line of attack. The Left has the blood of millions of innocents on its hands while it calls us "war-mongers." This is hypocrisy on a grand scale.

The third point is it tells you something about the culture in which we live that in some quarters those who routinely champion abortion, even partial-birth abortion, are viewed as enlightened and morally sophisticated while those grieving the loss of their son, whom they took home for a night before burying, are mercilessly mocked.

It certainly does tell us something about our culture when you realize that this sort of animalistic ferocity does work in elections. But Wehner could have gone on to make explicit the point that our culture has been coarsened and vulgarized and hardened morally and emotionally by abortion itself. And that is really what lies behind these attacks.

The Santorum's baby, Gabriel, was born prematurely at an age when many babies are murdered. And so for them to show respect, tenderness and love toward such a child throws into stark relief the heartless cruelty of abortion, which is the sacrament of the religion of the Left - the ritual in which they worship the autonomy of the individual self and the primacy of the will to power. All the Santorums did was act in a normal, civilized manner toward their baby and that was enough to enrage the barbarians who celebrate killing as "necessary" and "their right."

It is worth reflecting on why it is that the Left believes that conservatives must not merely be defeated - they must be utterly and ruthlessly destroyed - and what that fact tells us about the enemy we face in these dark days.

1 comment:

Gordonhackman said...

Thanks for sharing this piece, Dr. Carter. I'm particularly struck by the following line from the article:

"We are seeing how ideology and partisan politics can so disfigure people’s minds and hearts that they become vicious in their assaults on those with whom they have political disagreements."

What particularly strikes me is how, as a conservative, I could just as easily be tempted to this kind of vicious behavior if I let my worst instincts take over me. I think it argues for less of a focus on politics as such, and more of a focus on restoring culture and tradition. I think we have an example of this in William Wilberforce, who wanted to not only abolish slavery (a political goal) but also to reform manners (a cultural goal).