Aside from the fact that he not only wears his theological convictions on his sleeve but also wants to enshrine them in public policy measures, former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum appears to be gaining popularity with a certain subset of voters because they actually see themselves in him.
Considering that Santorum consistently wins in areas which are sparsely populated, on the lower end of the income and education scales, dominated by religious fundamentalists, and culturally insular, one must wonder just exactly what his fans have in store for America. In terms of the national population, the vast majority of his supporters are such hardline social rightists that they are rendered as societal outliers. Perhaps this explains why their warm feelings for him are directly correlated to the absurdity of his rhetoric, which now includes banning pornography and, of course, railing against contraceptives.
Ironically, much of Santorum’s base sees itself as average people. No doubt this is why they dislike former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney to such a degree. Seeing him as a man of impeccable financial and social means, squarely within the mainstream of society, he becomes a persona non grata. If anything, the ongoing mess which the Santorum groupies are visiting on the Republican presidential primary process should prove once and for all that looking for a candidate that you would like to sit down and drink a cold one with is patently absurd.
Think of it this way; would you want an average fellow sorting through your income tax returns, sketching up a blueprint for your home-to-be, or simply teaching your child or loved one in school? I would imagine that the answer would be an emotive “Of course not!” So how, then, can searching for an ordinary candidate to be president be a winning strategy? Is the United States not deserving of an outright extraordinary occupant for the Oval Office; one who has accomplished so much that it is impossible to rergard that individual as merely ordinary? The answer, for critical or lateral thinkers, should be clear as day.
Focusing on how an aspirant for public office relates to you on a personal basis ultimately breeds the sort of dreck that is surrounding Santorum. No individual with good sense could possibly believe a man who lost his last reelection bid by a historic near twenty point margin to be suitable for the presidency. Especially after bringing up topics which the mainstream of America’s electorate has no interest in whatsoever, Santorum has revealed himself as a particularly unpleasant joke, though not one that does not present the real possibility of danger if somehow elected. It can only be hoped that, as the primary process wears on, a necessary amount of voters will come to understand this.