Rick Santorum’s presidential bid isn’t funny, it’s terrifying

Let’s not lose sight of the disastrous realities of someone like Santorum being given a platform

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The Independent Online

Rick Santorum has announced that he is throwing his hat back into the presidential ring, and will be running for the Republican nomination. Hopefully, for many, the only response to this news is a giggle, as a reminder of the incredible efforts of columnist and gay activist Dan Savage in turning Santorum into the term for, well… er, Google it. 

But the very worst case scenario is that some voters will nod in agreement to some of his deranged claims.

Because while we can and should laugh at this raging homophobe’s comeuppance in popular culture, let’s not lose sight of the disastrous realities of someone like Rick Santorum being given a platform, and the vindication that goes hand-in-hand with a presidential nomination from the Republican party, however unlikely that may look now.

These are some of his most terrifying policy suggestions, which basically say that if you’re not male, white, straight, Christian, rich and ideally in the health insurance, oil or firearms industries, you really don’t deserve much protection.

All families should look like the Santorums, or be illegal

His so-called “family values” lead him to postulate that not only is contraception harmful to society and “a license to do things in the sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be”, but also “doesn’t work and is harmful to women” and states should be allowed to ban its sale entirely.

Santorum doesn’t think contraception should be widely available through public nor private medical insurance, and firmly denies there ever being a justification for abortion, even in cases of rape and incest: When asked to elaborate on this, he explained that rape victims should just “make the best out of a bad situation” and consider the pregnancy “a gift”.

His perception that all American families should be a carbon copy of his own bible-worshiping and constant baby-conceiving marriage goes even further. He wants to outlaw same-sex marriage, claiming that homosexuality is equatable to bestiality, and sodomy should once again become a criminal offense.

Eliminate immigration into the US

Despite his own father having been an Italian immigrant, Santorum thinks that legal immigrants should be discriminated against when it comes to applying for jobs.

Illegal immigrants seeking refuge in the so-called land of opportunity should be dealt with by putting up a physical border between the US and Mexico and increasing the National Guard. On the off-chance that someone does manage to get into the country, they’d be denied any sort of benefits, and deported at the first opportunity.

Ignore climate change and hope it’ll go away

Apparently it’s all a big conspiracy, there’s no such thing as climate change and no such thing as global warming, which is handy as oil companies would - under Santorum rule - be given free rein to “drill everywhere” regardless of consequences.

Fight Obamacare - it’s basically apartheid

Santorum “honoured” Nelson Mandela’s memory by comparing his 27-year incarceration for fighting apartheid to the Republicans’ fight to halt Obamacare.

According to Santorum, giving all US citizens access to healthcare, regardless of wealth and income is a complete travesty, just another way to increase the state’s control which constitutes a huge injustice. Much fairer to reserve the right to healthcare for those who can afford private insurance.

Give everyone a gun and make it impossible to sue manufacturers

According to Santorum’s confusing logic, the best way to limit gun crime is to make sure everyone carries a gun, like in the “romanticised wild West”. He opposes any form of gun control and in 2005 helped Bush pass a law which made it impossible for a citizen to sue a gun manufacturer for crimes committed with their weapons, removing incentive for the industry to support and comply with increased safety requirement

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