Life, Liberty and Lies in New Hampshire
If you’ve ever been curious about the core of conservatism, all you needed to do is watch ABC’s New Hampshire Republican Debate, which was the first debate that took place over this past weekend on Saturday night. While frontrunner Mitt Romney managed to escape relatively unscathed, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul all battled for the number two position, as Rick Perry and Jon Huntsman found themselves at the back of the GOP pack once again. If you were hoping to find a lot of position changes based on this debate, you will be sadly disappointed. Nevertheless, this debate did provide some great insight into the social ramifications, the defense issues, and the so-called freedoms of conservatism. And take it from me, the hypocrisy was overflowing and erupting like volcanic lava.
First, let’s tackle the bold statement that was made by Rick Perry concerning the Iraq War. Now it’s unclear if Perry really meant to make this statement out of genuine concern or out of genuine political pandering, but it was quite the statement regardless. As Perry lambasted President Obama’s foreign policy of pulling out the American troops from Iraq too soon, Perry took it a step further by declaring that he would resend those American troops into Iraq to tie up some permanently loose ends.
Now that’s how you do it Rick, and you had better get ready to raise that debt ceiling a few more times for that foreign policy plan my friend, and maybe the House Republicans, led by House Speaker John Boehner, won’t play brinksmanship games with you about cutting spending. A few more comments like that, Mr. Perry, and we’ll have to start calling you a big government, big spending socialist!
If the U.S. is going to send troops back into Iraq every time a roadside bomb goes off, we might as well make it a state, and raise some oil revenue! Our dear friend Israel would just love that in a jilted lover kind of way. Unfortunately for Perry, this was another oops moment where he would have been better off having another brain freeze, because he is much more dangerous to his campaign when he speaks.
But the worst thing about the Republicans and their conservative ideology is this selective, biased, elitist brand of freedom that they all love to crow about. Candidates like Santorum, Gingrich, Romney, and Paul will routinely get up, like they did in New Hampshire, and talk about the Constitution’s guarantee to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Then, they will talk about how the big, clumsy government is getting in the way of that life, that liberty, and that pursuit of happiness, but it’s not really the government that’s getting in the way. It’s the personalized, bigoted philosophical ideologies that are getting in the way, thanks to pig-headed ideologues that push for overreaching, social conservatism.
Whether it’s Paul, Santorum, or Romney, how can you wear the pursuit of happiness on one sleeve while cutting the pursuit of happiness on another sleeve when the person wearing that sleeve just happens to be gay or abortion seeking? If you listen to these wannabe Constitutionalists, you’ll hear them constantly making the case for the 10th Amendment and kicking power back to the states, especially on a complex, social issue like gay marriage. But then they’ll do an about-face and throw their support behind a constitutional amendment to ban and or invalidate gay marriages, which doesn’t make any sense whatsoever.
If the 10th Amendment is such a great tool for legislative justice in regards to issues like gay marriage, then there should be no need for a constitutional amendment to be added to the Constitution. According to the exact rhetoric of Paul, Perry, Romney, and Santorum, which was displayed vigorously by each of them during Saturday night’s debate, the state and local governments are supposed to be better equipped by design to handle these matters.
But after listening to Romney and Santorum debating the meaningless possibilities of the government banning contraceptives, it is now clear that the vaunted 10th Amendment is no different from Gingrich’s liberal judges who do too much from the bench. Gingrich’s plan to haul liberal judges in front of Congress is no different from hauling the 10th Amendment in front of Congress whenever a state passes a law that conservatives feel is too liberal, which would invalidate the liberal judges and invalidate the liberal laws.
The Republicans talk about life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, but what they really mean is life as defined by them, liberty as defined by them, and the pursuit of happiness that they want you to have access to, as well as the happiness that they don’t want you to have access to. What Santorum needs to understand and accept is the fact that his definition of a family cannot and will not be everyone else’s definition of a family, and he has no democratic business trying use big government to try to ensure that it does.
Whenever Santorum’s version of a family becomes the only model, it’s no longer a democracy. It then becomes King Santorum’s court of life, liberty, limitations and lies. The pursuit of happiness is pure unadulterated freedom, and as long as that freedom is not harming someone or someone’s property and can remain within the bounds of the laws of the land it should be pursued through the Constitution, not persecuted through the Constitution based on witch-trial amendments.
So if you’re looking for a good reason to vote Republican, you might want to begin your search underneath a rock, because there are probably just as many, if not more, opportunities under there as you could ever hope to find within the filtered freedom promised by the GOP. Because regardless of all of the freedom laced rhetoric of these debates, one point still remains. Being promised freedom by the GOP is like being promised fair and balanced reporting by Fox News.