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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Rick Santorum’s Party: Against College But for State-Mandated Vaginal Probes

Published: March 9, 2012
Section: Opinions

During the past month—as it has become apparent that the economy is starting to recover, thereby buoying President Obama’s reelection chances—the Republican Party has gone absolutely off the deep end talking about social issues. In Virginia, the state Republican Party attempted to pass a bill requiring women to get an ultrasound before they could get an abortion, even if the ultrasound had to be done using a vaginal probe. The absolute hypocrisy of a political party that says they are for small government trying to legislate government-mandated vaginal probes is striking. While Virginia Republicans have scrapped this outrageous bill, Alabama Republicans have decided to pursue the same law. At the center of this social issue storm has been Rick Santorum, who has been leading the charge about changing the national discussion from the issues, such as unemployment and the cost of gas, to ridiculous topics such as access to contraception and President Obama’s theology. In a 2010 interview with caffeinated thoughts—an evangelical Christian news blog—Santorum was quoted as saying, “One of the things I will talk about that no president has talked about before is, I think, the dangers of contraception in this country, the whole sexual libertine idea … It’s not OK because it’s a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” Rick Santorum believes that every American who practices safe sex or woman who uses the pill is immoral. This of course is coming from a guy who wrote a book where he wrote that a woman’s proper place is at home, not in the workforce. Santorum also voices homophobic comments by comparing homosexuality to polygamy and bestiality. Now, one would think that a candidate who is against premarital sex between adults, contraception and working women would be just about the worst candidate imaginable for young voters. But no, there is more. Rick Santorum is also against college. He recently called the president a snob because of Obama’s view that every American should aspire to get some form of higher education, whether it is at a four-year college, a community college or a technical school. This means that Rick Santorum believes that any American who wants their children to go to college is a snob. Since it is likely that the majority of American parents feel this way, logically Santorum must believe they are all snobs. This means that many Brandeis students are snobs according to Rick Santorum because many of us expected to go college. We are also an immoral bunch in Rick Santorum’s mind because most Brandeis students believe women should be allowed to work outside the home and think birth control is a responsible thing to use. And, because most Brandeis students don’t believe homosexuality is equivalent to bestiality, in Rick Santorum’s mind our theology is all wrong. In short, Rick Santorum is against modernity, something that Brandeisians of all stripes believe in. The United States needs two serious political parties for our governing system to be effective. Right now though, the Republican Party has been taken over by ultra right-wing ideologues obsessed with legislating morality. It is telling that the mainstream Republican Party position on abortion has shifted from allowing exceptions for rape, incest and the life of the mother. Now, the new position for the Republican Party is no exceptions for abortion except if the woman is going to die. Our generation isn’t interested in fighting the culture wars like Rick Santorum is. It appears the Republican Party is heading toward another drubbing among young voters much like 2008. As older generations pass away, where is Rick Santorum going to find votes? That is a question Republicans must ask themselves as more members of the Millennial generation enter the electorate. Unless the Republican Party changes, political wilderness awaits.