Romney's apparent victory last night was in reality another step forward for Santorum's message of freedom. As I write this its being reported that Santorum may have won as many delegates in Michigan as Romney despite it being Romney's home state; he has campaigned without strong establishment support while being years behind on organization and faced with a main stream media that has enabled the left wing to determine the narrative. The odds are stacked against Santorum but I beleieve he continues to do well because he has a well rounded message where he blends his economic plan with his social conservatism. There is no economic freedom in this country without a healthy family and freedom of religion. Santorum's ability to weave together these two realities demonstrates why he stands out in this election and why I feel that I must support him. I would not continue to vote republican if I did not think I could further the Christian cause for the poor, by protecting the integrity of mediating religious institutions and the cause for the common person, laborer and parent.
I was raised a Catholic democrat in the northeast. Being a democrat was synonymous with being Catholic and I could not conceive of becoming a republican. President Reagan inspired many with his ideas but I could not see past his pioneering of no-fault divorce and his more global economic plan that I believed would deal a death blow to US manufacturing. I was not a Reagan democrat but a pro-life social conservative democrat, a Bob Casey democrat. Despite his liberal view on big government, I knew Casey was a solid Christian who understood the relationship between concern for the poor, the value of blue collar labor and social conservatism. Governor Casey was a fighter who fought for life without compromise. I was inspired by Governor Casey's book and over the years I too have learned to appreciate Reagan's contribution but I believe that Rick Santorum's message and vision is more comprehensive and built on a stronger foundation. Its that foundation that matters the most.
This campaign is bigger than Santorum and its bigger than the November election! We can win, even if Santorum were to lose the election, when we get the message about social conservatism and the economy accross to the republican establishment and Christian democrats. Its imperative that we keep Rick's message on faith, family and freedom in the public debate. Our future rests on our ability to sell this message to the public. This is why I will never vote for Mitt Romney. I will vote with the candidate that can communicate this message even if this requires a write-in vote for November. Thankfully, I have good reason to believe a write-in vote will not be necessary.
Well, Santorum has suspended his campaign but he is keeping his deligates vowing to fight on. He is still on the ballot and many continue to keep his campaign alive through their own grassroots effort. After all, that is how he got where he did, through our grassroots effort. We must and will keep the movement of Faith, Family and Freedom throughout this election season and beyond. In my opinion Santorum has changed the public debate for the long term and it is our duty, with his aid and the aid of other solid leaders, to ensure that Santorum's message continues to be heard.
Kathryn Jean Lopez has an excellent article where she makes the point about Rick Santorum's impact:
"Rick Santorum’s primary campaign represented a renewal of this healthy integration of faith in our politics. He spoke as one who has confidence in a Constitution that does not consider itself God but protects the dignity of man. He spoke with the authentic populism of one who as a public servant takes his vocational discernment seriously. At a time when the religion of secularism threatens to overcome our state — just as it has in many ways our culture — we’re better for Santorum’s run. We’re more American for it, if we — believers and non-believers alike — follow his lead in not only protecting but actually welcoming the flourishing of religion in America. Fifty years from now, Santorum’s repudiation of what was wrong with the Kennedy approach will be hailed as a game changer for the role of religion in American life — or as a warning we failed to heed."