Posts Tagged ‘Social Conservatives’

Rick Santorum and the GOP dilemma

February 24, 2012

Any political party depends on two kinds of people—the people who contribute the money, and the people who do the work.   Within the Republican Party, the hardest workers are the religious conservatives, the so-called religious right.

Mitt Romney and Newt Gingrich know this, and they catered to the religious right, but the religious conservatives don’t trust them.  Rick Santorum, on the other hand, is obviously sincere.  No politician would take the stand he takes, for example, on contraception unless he really believed it.   The religious conservatives trust him, but in gaining their trust, he may have alienated the majority of Americans.

Many Americans oppose abortion and gay rights, and others are ambivalent.  But contraception is another matter.   The majority of Catholics as well as the majority of the population generally take the right to contraception for granted.   If Rick Santorum is the candidate and contraception is the central issue of the 2012 Presidential election, the Republicans will lose.

The Republican dilemma is the result of the flawed U.S. system for nominating Presidential candidates.  Among all the Republican Governors, Senators and other national figures, there surely are some that would both be more electable and be better Presidents than the current crop.  But many of them probably didn’t want to subject themselves to the ordeal of campaigning and fund-raising, and now it is too late to get into the race.