Santorum stood up, stood out

Candidate got further than expected by promoting bygone set of values

In a year in which hardly any candidate has distinguished himself, Rick Santorum has.

With nonexistent name recognition, little financial backing and polling in the single digits, Santorum came out of nowhere to win the Iowa caucuses, then 10 other states.

Whereas many politicians today rely on a vacuous cult of personality, Santorum’s appeal was what he stood for. The success of his campaign came through the strength of his ideas and the depth of his convictions.

And while he inexplicably and awkwardly stumbled into the “extremist” trap that the media and Democrats had laid for him, Santorum shined in debates with his overtures for a return to the traditional American values of family, morality and liberty that have served the
nation so well for so long.

His campaign fell short in money and organization, which is part of the natural culling process of our political system. So be it. But even if he had prevailed to win the Republican nomination, there can be little doubt the national media would’ve been lying in wait to pounce on his conservative views and demonize him.

Alas, those views are perfectly in line with a large plurality of Americans, who describe themselves as conservative by a 2-1 margin over liberal. But another part of the culling process in American politics today is the ultra-opinionated “mainstream” media – which used to report, but which now openly take sides. It’s inevitable the largely liberal media would’ve done everything in their power to deny Santorum the presidency.

What a sad statement and state of affairs – that a still center/right nation is in danger of being led around by the nose by a liberal media. But there it is. Ultimately, we will get the kind of government we deserve.

By bowing out now, Santorum shows he can read the tea leaves well enough and set aside his personal ambition in the face of reality; frontrunner Mitt Romney is pretty much unstoppable – and has been for weeks, despite talk of months’ more blood on the floor and a messy brokered convention. Santorum also avoids the potential embarrassment of a loss in his home state of Pennsylvania April 24.

With no known skeletons and a race built on the issues, the former U.S. senator leaves with his integrity intact and a political future still possible.

Although the clock is ticking. It’s questionable how much longer this country will even entertain the possibility of electing a social conservative.

Good folks aren’t hard to find. We just need to know one when we see one.

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Rick McKee Editorial Cartoon