Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place.”     Frederick Bastiat

November 22, 2007

Rick Santorum: “More Compassionate Conservatism Please”

by Kevin

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum has apparently climbed out from the rock he’s been hiding under since he was defeated in 2006. In a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Rick Santorum believes that the key to victory for Republicans is to embrace Compassionate Conservatism, except he calls it “common good” conservatism.

What Rick defines as “common good conservatism” is the following:

What I call “common-good” conservatism not only relies as much as possible on private charities and faith organizations, market forces, individual choice and decentralized decision-making, but also sees a role for government in empowering the nongovernmental institutions of civil society that serve the common good.

For example, with the use of government vouchers, individuals are better able to choose a nonprofit service provider that is better for their families than a government program is. Similarly, taxpayers are at least as capable as Washington bureaucrats of choosing an effective charity that aids the poor in their communities. So why not eliminate most government grants and give a tax credit to individuals who give to poverty-fighting nonprofits? Unlike past conservative proposals, that measure would be aiming not to save money but to save lives.

Common-good conservatism creates the opportunity for services to be more effectively delivered to those in need, while helping to re-create a community, a place to reconnect. And for Republicans, it creates an opportunity to reconnect to the millions of Americans who think we don’t care.

The major problem is that the non-government agencies, when you ask them, do not want to deal with the paperwork and regulations that will come with government vouchers (which is why I’m skeptical of school voucher programs). Also, I would like to know how Rick Santorum will define “poverty-fighting nonprofits”.

The best way to fight poverty is through private charity and government getting out of the way of the private sector. Also when we’re talking about poverty, we have to break it down into two types of people: those who cannot genuinely help themselves due to disease, sickness, physical or mental handicap, etc. and those who will not help themselves. Those who cannot help themselves, most of the American people would agree that there maybe a role for government. I would argue that private charity can help most, if not all, of those cases; but clearly I’m in the minority on that particular issue. I can live with a safety net for those who cannot help themselves. However, to expect the government to take people who are clearly capable to taking care of themselves, physically and mentally, is not only insulting to the taxpayers, but only perpetuates the culture of dependence that some Welfare recipients have.

Also, Rick Santorum continually touches on “building a sense of community”. I’m also curious as to what kind of community Rick Santorum wants to build. Finally, why should government be in the business of “building communities”?

If Republicans definitely want to lose in 2008, they should start by taking Rick Santorum’s advise and finish driving out the fiscal conservatives who remain in the party.

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8 Comments

  1. I don’t understand why people don’t see the real problem here – the more things government gives, the more restrictions it places on what and how you can receive what it gives. Everytime the government mandates certain rules to receive a provided good, we lose our freedom. Simple as that.

    Comment by Adam — November 23, 2007 @ 4:02 am
  2. Compassionate Conservatism = Permanant Revolution

    Rick Santorum = AIPAC turd

    Comment by GeneG — November 23, 2007 @ 11:04 am
  3. GeneG,

    You always bring everything back to the Jews huh you anti-Semitic bastard.

    Comment by Kevin — November 23, 2007 @ 11:43 am
  4. ad hominem

    Sigh, spend and borrow Republicans.

    The United States should not interfere with Israeli affairs. These foreign policy lobbies really need to be counteracted and exposed like the 9/11 truth movement. The Armenian lobby made a mess with our relations with Turkey. I wonder how much damage these lobbies have caused the United States.

    Comment by uhm — November 23, 2007 @ 12:33 pm
  5. Kevin, you’re such a genius…surely you can show me the errors of my ways. Show me how Comp. Cons. is not related to Leon Trotsky and how Sgt. Rick isn’t in bed with the IDF.

    Comment by GeneG — November 23, 2007 @ 12:40 pm
  6. uhm,

    These foreign policy lobbies really need to be counteracted and exposed like the 9/11 truth movement.

    I disagree for the following reason. What the foreign policy lobbies are doing are legal under the Constitution and to oppose them just for opposing them doesn’t make sense. Sometimes AIPAC, the Armenian lobby, the Cuban lobby, the Chinese lobby, etc. are right on an issue, sometimes they’re wrong on an issue. I’m not going to issue a blanket condemnation of foreign policy lobbies.

    The United States should not interfere with Israeli affairs.

    I agree the aid needs to go (only 5% of Israel’s budget) for everybody’s sake. However, I think the United States should maintain the alliance with Israel and continue to work toward a final peaceful settlement between the Israelis and the Arabs.

    Comment by Kevin — November 23, 2007 @ 3:53 pm
  7. GeneG,

    Show me how Comp. Cons. is not related to Leon Trotsky

    Compassionate Conservatism is more like European Christian Socialism in that government funds are used to further Christianity through the services of the welfare state.

    Sgt. Rick isn’t in bed with the IDF

    How is Rick Santorum in bed with the IDF? I thought he was just an “AIPAC turd”. Really, prove he’s an Israeli agent.

    Or are you just Jew baiting and throwing discussions off topic again…..

    Comment by Kevin — November 23, 2007 @ 3:59 pm
  8. I don’t mean make them illegal but to uncover them and their agenda publicly. People can then decide for themselves if they support that agenda.
    The Arab lobby isn’t in our interest when Arabs from North Africa and Saudi Arabia are coming into Iraq and causing mayhem. Saudi Arabia indoctrinates it’s people into becoming radicals and spreads it across the world. We give them arms and threaten their enemies.

    I don’t believe there will be a peace between the Israelis and the Arabs. Whatever failures happen we are being blamed for it by dangerous radical Arabs. I think we either learn to mind our own business or take a page from the imperial playbook: Conquer and colonize. Some of the most successful Democracies of the world were colonies of Britain!

    I believe Americans have every right to give aid to other countries if they wish and they don’t need the government to do that for them. The same thing domestically. The federal government should not engage in social programs.

    Rick Santorum probably has other motives than love for Israel. I’m not sure if the Evangelical Christian lobby is in Israel’s best interest when it requires two-thirds of Israelis to die. I wonder how much power this doomsday cult has on our foreign policy.
    http://www.bestsyndication.com/Articles/2006/dan_wilson/current_events/08/080306_prophecy_israel_nightline.htm
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/123735

    Comment by uhm — November 23, 2007 @ 9:08 pm

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