Republican Convention 2012

Rick Santorum's RNC Speech, and the New GOP Platform Wrap Anti-Gay Rhetoric in the Flag of Small Government


Remember when the GOP of 2012 was going to be all about the economy? Because dang it, the voters want it that way? Well, that's mostly, sort of, a little true. The Tampa RNC theme is anti "you didn't build that." It's about small business and bootstraps and all of the things that Barack Obama ostensibly hates. Still, the always dependable social con Rick Santorum used his moment at the podium to to bat for traditional marriage. He noted:

"The fact is that marriage is disappearing in places where government dependency is highest. Most single mothers do heroic work and an amazing job raising their children, but if America is going to succeed, we must stop the assault on marriage and the family."

Please note the shiny new Republican Party platform is with Santorum. See the words under "Preserving and Protecting Traditional Marriage":

The institution of marriage is the foundation of civil society. Its success as an institution will determine our success as a nation. It has been proven by both experience and endless social science studies that traditional marriage is best for children. Children raised in intact married families are more likely to attend college, are physically and emotionally healthier, are less likely to use drugs or alcohol, engage in crime, or get pregnant outside of marriage. The success of marriage directly impacts the economic well-being of individuals. Furthermore, the future of marriage affects freedom. The lack of family formation not only leads to more government costs, but also to more government control over the lives of its citizens in all aspects. We recognize and honor the courageous efforts of those who bear the many burdens of parenting alone, even as we believe that marriage, the union of one man and one woman must be upheld as the national standard, a goal to stand for, encourage, and promote through laws governing marriage. We embrace the principle that all Americans should be treated with respect and dignity. [emphasis added]

Great! So two parents are better than one for kids, but the GOP also understands that sometimes things happen and parents parent alone. But, two gay people, one assumes, is the only thing worse than one gay person. 

The bolded sentence is a perfect microcosm of Republicanism — it's a call to restrict freedom in order to preserve freedom. And it's particularly insidious to the cause of small government, because the cry to restrict the rights of gay individuals (and potentially, single parents) is wrapped up in anti-dependency, anti-government language. 

Santorum even finished his speech with critiques of Obama's penchant for executive strong-arming, which a libertarian might dig if 1) the cited, totalitarian examples weren't Obama's lessening of deportations and his DOJ's refusal to keep defending the Defense of Marriage Act and 2) Santorum's speech wasn't a hysterical self-parody involving a refrain about clasping hands with the American dream. Santorum, see, has "shook the hand of the American dream, and it has a strong grasp."

In different sections of the platform, the GOP actually comes right out and says the dreaded words "same-sex." This is to say, the Obama administration had the audacity to let DOMA go. Mostly. There is also stated support for a constitutional definition of marriage.

Oh hell, if you need proof that the Republicans are no friends of small government, look no further than Jacob Sullum's heroic rant from yesterday.

NEXT: UK Journalist Busted for Outing Blogger

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. Santorum, see, has “shook the hand of the American dream, and it has a strong grasp.”

    And then The American Dream gave Santorum a squeezer in the public park bathroom and told him that it can be found in stall #3 most Saturday nights if its wife is out of town.

    1. Thread done.

    2. Oh, come one, Nutra Sweet. That tiny blurb is NOT the best that you can do. What ever happened to the degenerate of the kind Santorum hates who used to grace this site?

      I am disappoint.

      1. I’ve been taking a break from my hateboner meds. They were giving me taint palpitations and anal dropsy.

        1. So you are saying that isn’t why you were taking them?

          1. They are bad news. I thought it would be hating people while sitting in a bathtub on the beach at night, but it was far worse than that.

        2. You have an obligation to sacrifice your health for our disgusting desires for your horrific slashfic. It’s actually written into the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. You didn’t read it to find out what was in it, DID YOU? You had to pass it first.

          “Ladies, I’m a pacifist. I pass a fist. Get it?”

  2. People “for traditional marriage of one man and one woman” must find biblical heroes like Abraham, Solomon, David, Gideon, Jacob, etc. repulsive.

    1. That was the Old Testament. Back then, you could freelance it, and deal with God later, on a case-by-case basis. God was basically a stern father who would punish you if you were bad, but might let you skate on other stuff. Ever since Jesus came and died for our sins, there has been a new covenant with God. Now God doesn’t talk to us directly, or even really care what we do. He left Jesus as the final arbiter as to our human actions. The one simple instruction is to accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior, and then can you live in eternity. If Jesus says, “one man and one woman” then that is the final word.

      1. So, Jesus is a moral relativist?

      2. Did Jesus say that?

      3. Yet it’s funny because most Christian sexual morality is firmly rooted in Leviticus, not in the direct teachings of Jesus. But most of the book of Leviticus is downright daffy by modern standards. They pick and choose what they want out of the Old Testament as the “unchanging word of God.”

        1. I dunno, dude. Leviticus is pretty smart. I’m always careful to beat my slave girls after I bang them, for instance.

          19:20 And whosoever lieth carnally with a woman, that is a bondmaid, betrothed to an husband, and not at all redeemed, nor freedom given her; she shall be scourged; they shall not be put to death, because she was not free.

  3. Honk if you love REALLY TRADITIONAL marriage!

    One man, twenty women!

    Or in some cultures, one woman, four men!


    1. Polyandry is incredibly rare. There are like two cultures on the planet that have it.

      1. Who doesn’t want sloppy fourths forever?

        1. It’s usually a sharing arrangement amongst brothers, and the younger ones usually get shafted. All the children are “shared” in that they don’t theoretically know who the exact father is, though most of the time the wife tends to favor one brother and it’s basically known.

          Not exactly an arrangement that primates tend to like.

          1. Because nothing says stable relationship quite like tasting your brother’s semen when you go down on your wife.

            1. I’m going to go out on a limb and say that I doubt female-friendly foreplay is a significant part of primitive cultures’ sex lives. I could be wrong. Hell, I could be a Mongoloid. But I doubt it.

              1. Just because you think girls have teeth down there doesn’t mean everyone is so retrograde, Epi.

                1. This isn’t a documentary?!?

                2. Have you seen the movie Teeth? It’s pretty cool. IMDB rates it pretty low, but I liked it.


              2. You’ve never heard of Mangaia?

                In Mangaia, an island in the South Pacific, sex is actively encouraged. Mother’s are proud of their daughters multiple sex partners. The average “good” girl has had 3-4 boyfriends between the ages of 13 and 20 and ALL women learn to have orgasms. A boy of 13 years gets serious sexual instruction. He is taught, at this tender age, how to perform cunnilingus and how to bring his partner to orgasm (perhaps several times) before he has his own orgasm. After this theoretical training, he has sex with an older, experienced woman. She gives him the practical training required for his sexual future. She shows him various positions and teaches him how to hold back until his partner is on the cusp of orgasm (3).

                1. Heard of it? Epi actually sent me a picture of his mangina. I had to burn that phone.

                  1. Well I guess I’d better send you another one, then!

                    1. NOOOOO! I will have to trigger an EMP.

                    2. You’re going need a contra-terrine device to stop me, NutraSweet.

            2. SugarFree| 8.29.12 @ 1:35PM |#

              Because nothing says stable relationship quite like tasting your brother’s semen when you go down on your wife.

              Another example of why I come to H+R every day: Sugarfree’s absolute commitment to finding the most utterly vulgar and demented expression of an idea possible, then going *one step further*.

              You sir are my hero

          2. Just reading that makes me want to go kill my fucking brother. Fuck that guy.

      2. In other societies, there are people who live in de facto polyandrous arrangements that are not recognized by the law. Saskatchewan Canada is the only jurisdiction in North America to have “judicially sanctioned” polyandrous unions at a family law court level.[citation needed]


      3. Well, there’s the Kirkian culture, then there’s the Bondian culture. Yes, I think that’s it.

      4. They are very traditional cultures, however.

  4. Are those signs. . .are those signs in The Godfather typeface?

  5. Great! So two parents are better than one for kids, but the GOP also understands that sometimes things happen and parents parent alone. But, two gay people, one assumes, is the only thing worse than one gay person.

    As always – one gay person is fine, but two gay people is a parade!

    (At least as far as Santorum and the other neo-cons are concerned)

    1. Two gay women and me, though…

      I guess I must be a paleo-con…

  6. I happen to agree with the bolded sentence, I just don’t agree with using any kind of government force to help it along.

    More that half of my daughter’s friends out in public school have divorced parents. It’s disgusting.

    I want to bring back the old-fashioned “enforcement” mechanisms that don’t involve any government force. Things like shame and and criticism of bad behavior. When someone with kids tells you they got a divorce because “things just weren’t working out”, I want it to be normal to say to the person, “Well, you’re just a selfish prick, aren’t you?”

    Or, if some guy chases skirts, his friends should call him on it, and tell him to fuck off, instead of just saying that guys will be guys.

    Or, for people to write about stuff like this, and call a spade a spade without being called an insensitive hack. Let’s be done with this “anything goes, screw the kids” mentality.

    1. Good luck with that.

    2. Getting rid of marriage altogether causes the divorce rate to plummet.

    3. How about I tell you to fuck off?

    4. Yeah. So you guys don’t give a shit when some guy abandons his family and goes off to chase skirts. Nice.

      I call that guy a selfish prick.

      1. No one cares what you call anything, moral scold. Fuck you.

        1. I’m not sure I’d call someone moral scold, when he calls me an “asshole” for objecting to his church’s worldwide half-century-long systematic coverup of priests raping young boys while claiming to represent God.

          I’d call him an amoral scold, or an immoral scold, or a blind self-righteous scold. Something like that.

          1. Or just call him an asshole.

            1. I was trying for style points.

              Fail, I guess. 😛

          2. Oh, certainly self-righteous. But, to diverge slightly: how do you know that God isn’t a pedophile?

            1. That is the only valid point I have ever read, in defense of the Roman Catholic Church and its priests. Seriously.

              I didn’t think there was a good defense, but that’s a very good point. I don’t know the answer, so how can I condemn what they did?

              1. Eggzactly. They were just carrying out God’s will on those delicious little boy asses.

                1. I do think, though, that doing so probably required the initiation of force by the priests. So there is that.

          3. BarryD, you’re so disingenuous. It wasn’t your objecting to the sexual abuse tragedy that I called you an asshole for.

            It was your ugly collectivist bigotry that was asshole-worthy.

            1. ugly collectivist bigotry


              1. Ok, Warty. So you think I’m an ugly collectivist bigot. Evidence?

                Calling out and rejecting behavior that you find wrong is a basic part of association. Note, I’m getting at individual situations and not some collectivist application of the bludgeon of government force.

                And, I never mentioned anything about gay people, if that’s what you’re getting at. I want them to be responsible to their families as well.

                1. Calling out and rejecting behavior that you find wrong

                  That’s what we’re doing, you fucking moron.

            2. You must have me confused with someone else.

              Can you name that collectivist bigotry?

      2. You didn’t say “abandons his family” originally. You just said, “chases skirts.”

        But then you probably don’t want him chasing trousers, either.

        (I fully agree with you about socially stigmatizing bad behavior and hurting children, BTW.)

      3. What’s stopping you from doing any that now? Go nuts.

        Hell, you could outsource this whole thing to the murderous primitives in Afghanistan. They have no problems enforcing their moral code without any help from the gubmint.

        1. Ah, JW, you know, the non-initiation-of-force thing, you’ve heard of it?

          1. What about the non-initiation of being a harping, judgmental twerp?

    5. Have fun with being a dick, dick.

        1. I AM that small and fragile, so you guys being mean to me is crushing me to little bits.

    6. If one or more parents is an unconcerned douchebag, divorce is not a terrible thing for the child.

      1. Yeah. My parents got divorced and look how I turned out. Oh…

      2. Well, yeah. One of them is a douchebag. Let’s call them that.

    7. Re: LibertyMark,

      More that half of my daughter’s friends out in public school have divorced parents. It’s disgusting.

      Try homeschooling. Those “friends” will not be a good influence on your daughter as, very likely, their parents will use them as pawns for their own and petty power struggles.

      Last year, while I was shopping with my wife and kids at Walmart, I heard this young black woman, no older than 16 – I guessed – say to a bunch of her friends that she was going to ask for an expensive cell phone for Christmas because she was going to get enough from her “two daddies”… According to her mom. I assumed she meant her real father and her stepfather, although I wasn’t so sure her mom was actually married to either, just by her demeanor and the tone of the conversation. I felt sad for her.

      1. Maybe she read Dreams from my Fathers or something.

      2. OM, we had her in a private Catholic school and then we put her in public schools because we are cheap and lazy excuses for parents.

        And, the new high school she is now attending as a freshman is a huge and beautiful palace. That’s how we do it in Texas.

        It’s great to be on welfare!

  7. The bolded sentence is a perfect microcosm of Republicanism ? it’s a call to restrict freedom in order to preserve freedom.

    “I had to abandon the free market in order to save it.”

    I sense a pattern forming here…

  8. “Great! So two parents are better than one for kids, but the GOP also understands that sometimes things happen and parents parent alone. But, two gay people, one assumes, is the only thing worse than one gay person. ”

    Who is this assuming one of which you speak?

    “The lack of family formation not only leads to more government costs, but also to more government control over the lives of its citizens in all aspects.”

    Please point out what is false in this statement, Lucy. Cost and control do go hand in hand.

    1. Isn’t the point that allowing gays to marry will only increase the number of children with two married parents, thus strengthening families?

      Santorum’s worldview is contradictory. Gay marriage is a conservative concept. But conservatives most of the time don’t let conservatism trump bigotry.

      1. no, its about “normalizing” homosexuality so that children will lose any notion of traditional gender roles and so can be duped into becoming sex slaves to teh gay menace.

        Dont you even watch the news?

        1. I thought that was the Roman Catholic Church. Now you’re saying it’s libruls?

          I AM confused.

  9. God help us all. We are doomed.

  10. The bad effects of the sexual and divorce revolutions are so blatantly obvious by now that many progs have stopped denying them and are instead using them as debating points to push same-sex marriage. The logic is that gay marriage will promote stable relationships, the very thing that was undermined with the sexual revolution, etc., and that if they can be married they will be discouraged from extramarital sex, etc.

    In other words, we actually have people starting to agree about the damage to the traditional family and the harm to the Republic, quibbling at the edges about how this should affect the 2-3% of gays. A fascinating debate, to be sure, though not one where people are going to change their minds any time soon.

    The significant thing is that some progs and libertarians are slowly beginning to drop the unicorn-rainbow chatter about the wonderfulness of sex outside marriage and even (in their own peculiar way) taking up the banner for marriage. There is still a hard core of resisters, but these resisters are now facing off against fellow libertines, not just against Rev. Turnipseed of the First Reformed Baptist Family Association.

    1. Marriage as we know it is doomed. There wasn’t a moral crisis that caused increased divorce rates. (Geeze you guys explain a lot by invoking episodes of mass coincident poor personal behavior.) What caused increased divorce rates was the liberalization of women. The, uh, incentives to stay in a bad marriage began to fall away. I happen to think the idea of eternal pair-bonding to be ridiculous and unnatural. You can’t escape the fact that a free society in which both men and women are free will be a society in which marriage is less stable and prevalent. But marriage has always been an inherently patriarchal institution. Maybe that was incidentally good for the raising of children, but we’re not going to go back to a society in which marriage is less easily escapable, so we’re gonna have to figure out what works best for children in that unavoidable new reality. If you ask me, it takes a village.

    2. And the reason I have no choice but to support the “village” is because of the existence of children–something libertarians tend to completely ignore. And so do fire-breathing ant-welfare conservatives. They bitch about welfare moms pumping out children–but never say what we’re supposed to do about the children. Let them suffer for the sins of their parents? That’s just? That’s good for society?

      It is indisputable that children require a support network–indeed it is the inevitable result of humans’ peculiar biology. The “natural” source of this support was the blood-related tribal unit, i.e., the extended family. But that doesn’t quite fit the modern world, so I’m curious about what libertarians think we should do to address these realities. If you’re born to bad/incapable parents, man up and die, infant?

      1. Speaking of govt regulations, you have way exceeded your USDA-recommended daily dose of stupidity.

      2. the existence of children–something libertarians tend to completely ignore

        Contrasted with progressives who want to treat everyone like one and have government controlling every aspect of life like a helicopter parent on ‘roids.

        Also, no one I know truly supports Ant-Welfare. Ants are hard workers and do quite well.

        But thank you for yet again espousing the “Government As Parent”- George Lakoffism

  11. Those signs should totally have said, “HONKYS FOR TRADITIONAL MARRIAGE”

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.