The other day, while discussing current events over lunch with my parents, I gave them a warning: “Don’t be surprised if I end up serving a life sentence. If Rick Santorum becomes president, I might not be able to resist the urge to kill him.”
My old man didn’t miss a beat. “Don’t worry,” he calmly reassured me as if this were a perfectly normal conversation that every father and son has at some point. “We’ll visit you in prison.”
No American politician has inspired so much contempt in me as Rick Santorum. Before I go further, I’ll have you know that there are few journalistic sins that bore, annoy and piss me off more than the ones I’m about to commit: preaching to the choir and stating the obvious. But I would never go anywhere near such cop-out territory if I didn’t feel so strongly about the subject. I’m not even hoping to be informative. I’m just venting my guts out.
Most likely, most or all of you who are reading this already know why I’ve got it in for this schmuck. As if being a shameless money-grubber who thinks nothing of cheating taxpayers out of tens of thousands of dollars for his personal use isn’t enough, Santorum is also one of the most vociferous opponents of women’s and LGBT rights in American politics today. And having ascended to the top of the Republican candidate trash heap, he is now the most visible (for the moment, at least). He has rightly earned the distinction given to him by our country’s preeminent moralist (in my humble opinion), advice columnist Dan Savage. If you don’t know what I’m referencing, go hit up Google about it. I’m not sure I can get away with explaining it here on BNV. It’s not for the faint of heart…
If you overlook that stuff, he’s no different than the rest of the GOP competitors vying to replace President Obama. Hopelessly out-of-touch, ethically compromised bourgeois hustlers are a dime a dozen. The Romneys and Gingriches don’t particularly alarm me. Cats like that have been running the show for quite some time now, and although the lot of them are clearly sexist and homophobic, these prejudices have usually been considerably lower on their priority lists than economic interests and power consolidation.
What makes Santorum seem more threatening to me is the fact that his bigotry is the focal point of his agenda. If I understand correctly, abolishing reproductive freedom and reducing the entire LGBT community to second-class citizens are his primary motivations. Watching him climb up the primary polls has been a genuinely scary experience for me.
Okay, enough hyperbole. I’m well aware that the primaries are little more than theatre; only the most devoted rightists are participating, and this is in no way an indication of where anybody else stands. It’ll be a moot point in the end (knock on wood).
But I’m still pissed off.