Opinion: Rick Santorum’s devil and angel on each shoulder

Seth Cohen

Seth Cohen

Seth Cohen is a senior magazine journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact him at [email protected].

Contrary to popular belief, Rick Santorum isn’t a fan of playing devil’s advocate. Granted, he’d use the same form, but with a different wording.

As we near Super Tuesday, the day where primaries and caucuses stretch to 10 states, including Ohio, the top two candidates who face uproar of votes and public appeal are Santorum and Mitt Romney. Santorum, however, believes his opponents are the molded image and personality of Beelzebub himself.

He’s never uttered a single word that he wasn’t confident enough to utter to the Senate.

In early February, according to Politico, Santorum suggested some of the “elites” running the country had fallen from purity.

“This is what happens,” he said during the Colorado primary, “when you give the elites power: the whole idea that power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

More recently, Santorum infamously ascribed a “hidden agenda” to Obama’s desire to allow everyone to attend college.

“I understand why Barack Obama wants to send every kid to college,” Santorum said. “Because of their indoctrination mills, absolutely.”

Come on, Rick. Many politicians have their opinions on what can worsen or strengthen the country, but I’m pretty sure persuading the youth generation to attend college is up there for a positive educational reinforcement. Unless myself, and the rest of the student body, are part of some sort of conspiracy plot, then maybe you’ve got something to talk about.

In late February, Santorum, a devout Roman Catholic, saw John F. Kennedy’s 1960 speech on the separation of church and state, a speech that made Santorum want to vomit — more evidence that he is the most socially conservative candidate to seek the Republican presidential nomination since televangelist Pat Robertson made his run in 1988. For those who didn’t know, JFK was also Catholic. The first Catholic president, might I add.

“To say that people of faith have no role in the public square? You bet that makes you throw up. What kind of country do we live in that says only people of non-faith can come into the public square and make their case?” Santorum said.

JFK’s speech wasn’t to say that people of faith have no role in this country; but that religious ideals have no role in the office of the presidency.

Religion rears a objective and one-track-mind when paired with politics, because when one person believes in something, it means the other person is wrong. JFK wanted to stress the conflict of interest between the two. When he was elected in 1960, many Americans were afraid he would submit to the Vatican.

Religion breeds a strong and powerful belief system, so when it comes to the United States as a neutral whole, we’re faced with a country that isn’t free. That’s the beauty of religious freedom: we can’t use it in politics, but for our personal choices at home or outside of office, it is more than acceptable (which is the way it should be).

Santorum’s sense of his own morality seems to be so certain and unyielding that he is intolerant of dissent. And as Politico writer Keith Koffler said about Santorum, “intolerance is intolerable in a president.”