Book Review: It Takes a Family
Rick Santorum, a former State Senate staffer (I’ve lost track of what he’s done since), has written a terrible book, or terribly interesting, depending on your point of view. This may well be the first book that could be sold at fund raisers for both Casey and for Santorum as it confirms what Democrats fear, and what Republicans want: Rick Santorum is a solid defender of conservative Republicanism.
Much of the book falls into philosophical name calling of political beliefs. These conservative views that are not defended on grounds of empirical evidence, although conservatives would defend these views on faith (pun intended). This book argues that liberalism (read Democrats) has infested the news media, the entertainment media, and the shapers of educational policy and, in doing so, have destroyed our societal structure and made the middle class and lower class less off, and that it will be strong families that will be needed to save our society.
The book ignores that it is Democratic policies that will create strong families: policies such as family and medical leave that allow working parents to spend more time with their children, minimum wage increases that will allow many families to even fight rising above the poverty level, and protecting labor benefits, particular health care benefits, that will allow families, even high income families, survive devastatingly high health care costs. Few will, and no one should, argue that strong families are not important. Yet, strong families do not occur, as Santorum and conservatives think, by hoping they miraculously emerge. Santorum rejects the economic policies advanced usually by Democrats that will create the economic conditions for families to thrive. Instead, the “tax and spend” Republicans (pun intended) think that throwing a little bit of money towards the issue is the solution. This book heralds spending $300 million on a public education campaign boosting marriage (gee: before people ever see those commercials, I am sure this thought never occurred to anyone). I fear it is simplistic for Rick Santorum to think that will solve society’s problems.
Some highlights from this book are arguments that liberals want the freedom to do what they want (I thought that was libertarians), strong families need capital (Republicans love to talk about capital), that over 90% of the news media and Hollywood voted for Kerry (I missed that survey), “the government in the form of the social worker communicates loud and clear that it doesn’t believe low income minority couples can maintain a marriage” (I doubt many social workers do believe that), unelected judges are making society dangerous for children (I guess he supports electing judges), liberals will make marriage “nothing more than romantic and sexual coupling”, healthy communities exist when people rely on each other (Santorum should read a book entitled “It Takes a Village”), liberals “seem to think that if you would choose to go to a NASCAR race instead of The Vagina Monologues you are a completely unenlightened soul whose existence demands government oversight” (save your soul: watch NASCAR), and that we should have Moral Impact Statements on legislation.
This book makes numerous statements designed to enrage or spark discussion, such as equating the unborn child in Roe v. Wade with the slave Dred Scott. The strength of this book is that it boldly lets readers know where Rick Santorum stands. Some advise that Democrats stand back and let Rick Santorum self-destruct with his outrageous statements. This may be a mistake. Love him or hate him, people are going to admire that he follows the courage of his convictions. Democrats need to show the courage to argue back with him. Failure to do speak out may mean that the author prevails unchallenged.