Republicans Can Love Their Families & Be Smart Too

Politics & Views 15

Is Rick Santorum really still talking? Even more surprising, are people really still listening? Apparently yes, but not the "elite smart people."

At the Values Voters Summit, Rick Santorum spoke about the perceived chasm between intellectuals and the Republican Party -- one that he believes cannot be bridged and should therefore be embraced by GOP adherents. Instead, he advocated for a sort of political and social isolationism, withdrawing from culture and learning and turning inward toward church and family.

On one hand, I find this both amusing (is Rick Santorum really saying that Republicans aren't -- in fact, cannot be -- intellectuals?) and intriguing (does this mean all the Republican politicians will leave Washington and return home to their biological and church families?). But mostly I think it's sad.

More from The Stir: Democrats Trump Republicans in Representing America

Republicans can value education and knowledge and culture and intellectual curiosity, no matter whether they are devoutly religious and no matter how conservative their views might be. Granted, learning about the world -- historically, culturally, scientifically -- does necessitate a certain openness that woefully seems to be missing from some high profile Republican politicians and pundits. But plenty of intellectual Republicans do exist, and they're smart enough to know that an educated worldview includes sources beyond family, church, and Fox News.

Fortunately, not all Republicans are buying what Santorum et. al. are selling. The mostly conservative blog Outside the Beltway is likewise dismayed:

[T]here’s something about being intelligent, or curious about the world, or interested in something beyond the orthodox interpretations of history and the law that conservatives insist upon. You see it manifest itself in the rejection of even the rather obvious fact that humanity can have an influence on the environment around it and, most irrationally, in the very rejection of everything that biology, anthropology, physics, and cosmology teach us. For many on the right, it’s easier to believe in the stories written in a 6,000 year old book than it is in the evidence of just how amazing the universe around them actually is.

I grew up in a conservative household where the Bible had no place on the bookshelves among dozens of volumes about history, culture, and science. I'm confident that similar conservative households still exist. I wish more of those families would speak up among their party.

This post is part of a weekly conversation with our Moms Matter 2012 political bloggers. To see the original question and what the other writers have to say, see "How Do We Best Sustain American Values?"

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Procr... Procrastamom

The sad part was the audience cheering and clapping after he said it. Santorum just got finished basically calling them stupid, because they're Republicans and there aren't any smart people on their side, and they cheered! Talk about proving his point.

bills... billsfan1104

Always have to throw foxnews in there. Damn you liberals are afraid of one little channel.

Flori... Floridamom96

Oh, this is so funny. You didn't get that his reference to the "elite, smart people" was a derogatory reference to people like you because you believe you are so much smarter and better than people who don't see the world the way you do? Well, of course you didn't get it. You're such an intellect that it flew right over your head.

nonmember avatar Bill

As the head of one such conservative household, I can tell you that "our party" is definitely not the GOP.

I for one will be voting for a 3rd party -- ANY 3rd party -- this November. I wish more smart people would do the same.

Rhond... RhondaVeggie

Doesn't surprise me. I don't know where they went wrong but I know precious few intelligent people who would vote republican. The party has been overrun by idiots who think education is evil and who lack the ability to think for themselves. Not every conservative I know is an idiot but I'd say over 90% of the idiots I know are republican or right wing libertarians. The chances of having a rational argument with them are slim to nil because complex ideas like "not all republicans love fox news" go clean over their heads and they totally miss your point.

Flori... Floridamom96

You have all done a fine job of proving Santorum's point. Please do go on.

jagam... jagamama0710

I'm just so grateful he's not going to be the President. 

nonmember avatar Guest

Of course liberals are the "intellectual elite", they keep telling us how smart they think they are...

High school dropouts overwhelmingly vote democrat.

High school graduates overwhelmingly vote Republican.

An interesting thing happens when looking at those with college degrees, as you move up the scale from those with Bachelor degrees, those with advanced degrees start trending democrat again...

The piece of the puzzle that is deliberately overlooked is source of income. Among those with college degrees of all levels, there is a strong coloration between public/private sector employment and party affiliation. Members of teachers unions, for example, overwhelmingly vote democrat. Those with degrees who work in the private sector tend to vote Republican. For Federal employees, picking up a masters is a quick, sure fire way to partake of a pay differential.

Oh, and I am an atheist...

nonmember avatar Guest

If the liberals are so smart, why is it whenever OWEbama (or any other democrat politician) speaks, he adopts a tone, vocabulary, and resorts to simplistic one line assertions as though he were speaking to a six year old child?

nonmember avatar kevobx

A black man and a Jew, sounds like Jacob. A mormon and a catholic, these are labels of persons, who claim titles, searching for others birthrights like Esau. *Job 32:21 Let me not, I pray you, accept any man's person, neither let me give flattering titles unto man.

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