RICK SANTORUM DOES NOT BELIEVE IN DEMOCRACY

One of the great ironies revealed in the campaign by Republican candidates for votes in the Iowa Caucuses on January 3, 2012, is that while this is supposedly an example of the democratic process at work, some of its particpants seem to not believe in that very notion of democracy.

Rick Santorum in particular comes to mind with some of his recent statements of his own positions along with his criticism of President Obama, especially in the area of foreign affairs.

Take Egypt for example. Early last year its citizens took to the streets in a noisy but generally peaceful revolution in an effort to rid themselves of Hosni Mubarak, and were successful. Mubarak was in essence a dictator, though one friendly to the U.S.

As these demonstrations were taking place, Santorum was on TV lamenting them and praising the Egyptian government’s attempts to stifle them by oppressive means such as shutting off internet and cell phone services, the main means of communication for the protesters.

Here is video of his own words.

http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/4515025/fmr-sen-santorum-on-egyptian-protests/

On January 1 on Meet The Press host David Gregory pointed out the contradiction of Santorum touting democracy but criticizing the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt though they were elected democratically.

http://newsbusters.org/blogs/brad-wilmouth/2012/01/01/nbcs-gregory-defends-obama-mideast-policy-vs-santorum-defends-electio

Just today in Iowa Santorum said this:

“If you look at every European country that has had world domination, a world presence, from the French to the British — 100 years ago, the sun didn’t set on the British Empire,” Santorum said at an appearance in Sioux City, Iowa. “If you look at that empire today — why? Because they lost heart and faith in their heart in themselves and in their mission, who they were and what values they wanted to spread around the world. Not just for the betterment of the world, but safety and security and the benefit of their country.” 

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/02/rick-santorum-2012-british-empire_n_1179809.html

So Ricky wants world domination for some nations and laments the fact that former elements of the British Empire, like India, the world’s most populous democracy, exist today outside its realm.

Santorum’s 20 year old daughter Elizabeth has taken a break from college to campaign for her father. That is entirely admirable and, aside from the partisan nature of her job, is simply a great life experience for her. Her duties are myriad and she appears to be a well-spoken young woman.

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/01/02/rick-santorum-daughter_n_1179470.html

But one would assume she is reflecting her father’s positions when she speaks. After all, if she appeared to deviate from them the media would be all over such a gaffe. So I take it she merely expresses her father’s views when she says in regards to gay marriage and rights:

“It’s a policy thing, he thinks this is the right thing for America and the foundations of our country,” she said of gay marriage. “People are entitled to live the way they want, but to project those values and say those are the best values for our country are a different thing.”

Well those who believe in gay marriage and rights simply want to live the way they want without saying these are the values for an entire country. That is in contrast to Santorum who wants his narrow view of to be imposed on all. Doesn’t sound like democracy to me.

Unfortunately Santorum is not alone in his anti-democratic worldview nor is such a view confined to his own party. It is true that American foreign policy has often been contrary to the freedom values preached at the stump. We have backed oppressive dictators when they served our interests and deposed them militarily or by assassination or coup when they did not. Is the name Saddam Hussein familiar?

I could go on and on and especially how so many of our foreign policy leaders, advocates, and spokesmen are utterly opposed to democracy when a freely elected government may not kowtow to the desires of Washington. But Glenn Greenwald, a columnist for Salon.com expresses this much better and more completely than I can.

http://www.salon.com/2012/01/02/end_of_the_pro_democracy_pretense/singleton/

Among other hypocrisies Greenwald notes complaints about Iranian influence in South America even with duly elected governments. Because those governments don’t always toe the U.S. line their leaders are deemed despots.

The Post explains that Iran has now “opened six new missions there — in Colombia, Nicaragua, Chile, Ecuador, Uruguay and Bolivia — and has expanded embassies in Cuba, Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela”; Iran’s President, the article informs us, is now embarking on a trip to Venezuela, Ecuador, Cuba and Nicaragua. Other than Cuba, all of those nations are governed by democratically elected leaders. But many of them periodically defy American dictates and act against American interests; they are thus magically transformed into “despots.” By contrast, try to find any high-level American official using such a term to describe, say, America’s close friends ruling Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates. That is what is meant by “democracy” and “freedom” and “despots” when used in establishment American foreign policy discussions.

This article should be must reading for those concerned about how we treat other nations and react to the so-called “Arab Spring”.

Santorum is merely the most current blatant example of the pretense of favoring democracy while currying favor with true despots.

Alas, his contempt for democracy is not limited to him among all GOP candidates or all right wing Republicans or all Republicans or all conservatives. Instead it is pervasive in the conduct of foreign policy by our government, no matter the label of the party in charge.

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