Rick Santorum and the Tenth AmendmentJanuary 5, 2012
Rick Santorum, in a Thanksgiving Family Forum, made the following remarks regarding the Tenth Amendment:
I'm a very strong supporter of the Tenth Amendment, but the idea that the only things that the states are prevented from doing are only things specifically established in the Constitution is wrong.
Our country is based on a moral enterprise. Gay marriage is wrong. As Abraham Lincoln said, states do not have the right to do wrong. And so there are folks, here who said states can do this and I won't get involved in that.
I will get involved in that because the states, as a president I will get involved because the states don't have a right to undermine the basic fundamental values that hold this country together. America is an ideal. It's not just a constitution, it is an ideal. It's a set of morals and principles that were established in that declaration, and states don't have the right, just like they didn't have the right to do slavery.
His "strong" support of the Tenth Amendment couldn't seem weaker. Upon declaring it, he confuses it on its face, declaring that states don't have the power to make laws that are "wrong". In fact, they certainly DO have the power to make ill-advised laws, laws Santorum wouldn't like, even laws God wouldn't like. The responsibility lies with the people, the citizens of those states to elect representatives who work toward the morality of the people of the state, the city, or the neighborhood. While many would argue that the people's morality should align with God's natural law and/or the Bible, it doesn't HAVE to, so long as the states stay within their boundaries and protect the God-given rights of all individuals, as described and outlined in the Constitution. Santorum is free as a citizen to profess his morals and ideals within his state and to fight for such laws, but as President, he is NOT free to do the same unless pursuing a constitutional amendment to make his views so at a national level.
From here, however, Santorum moves from "equivocal Tenth Amendment guy" to outright offensive evangelical, equating gay marriage with slavery as something states are not permitted to sanction because it violates the national morality. The very comparison wreaks of the very same absurdity as, for example, that of calling the state "murderers" for enforcing a death sentence against a murder convict, or, for another example, naming Presidents like George W. Bush or Barack Obama "war-mongers" for fighting known terrorists on their home turf. Any act carries with it a level of proportion. When Santorum holds up gay marriage as something so offensive, so blasphemous, so against the moral grain of society as to compare it with this country's absolute greatest failure as a people, slavery, he ridicules his own argument and makes a conversation impossible. He alienates even rational people who might otherwise agree with his position on gay marriage.
Rick Santorum may be a friend of Natural Law, an evangelical who stands for Christian morality as laid out in the Bible. The lengths he goes to make this case, however, are disturbing and irrational, and he is ready to trample individual liberty to put forth his own beliefs. He is no supporter of the Tenth Amendment.
Read more about it:
It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good
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