He's the reject Republican presidential candidate who did his undergraduate work at Pennsylvania State University, got an M.B.A. from the University of Pittsburgh and a J.D. from the Dickinson School of Law...and who said in February that college is for snobs.
This past weekend he tried topping that piece of hypocritical anti-intellectualism by saying this...
"We will never have the media on our side, ever, in this country," Santorum said. [...]"We will never have the elite, smart people on our side, because they believe they should have the power to tell you what to do."So essentially the only people that Rick Santorum believes are going to be attracted to the Republican Party are dumb people.
While I don't necessarily disagree with those sentiments, I'm going to let the Booman explain exactly what Santorum is saying.
Forget about the 'elite' part of it for a moment. Let's focus on the 'smart' part of it. What Santorum is saying is that regular folks of average intelligence are the backbone of this country, and their values are traditional American values that are essential to making America a special and worthwhile place. And I agree with Rick Santorum about all of that.Folks, reading and watching people reject science and intellectualism is rather humorous as long as the guys who are thinkers and choose reason and scientific theory are still running the show. But when the obtuse take charge, like they did from 2000 through 2008, well, you remembered what happened.
Where I differ is on the implications of that observation. The values of regular folks are solid, but their grasp of facts may not be. We need scientists and experts to help us make good decisions. We need them to educate us. We need leaders to listen to them. When our values turn out to conflict with science, or our beliefs turn out to lack expertise, we need to defer to smart people.
Think about the vehicle we just landed on Mars. Does Rick Santorum have any idea how to land a vehicle on Mars? Does he know how his cell phone works? Can he rewire his house without getting electrocuted? Does he have any idea how the Google search engine works? If you dropped Rick Santorum into a time machine and delivered him to 1865, would he be able to make a light bulb or an internal combustion engine or create an antibiotic or cure Polio?
The truth is, almost none of us could do any of those things because we don't know shit compared to our scientists and experts.
Whether we are relatively smart or not, we don't know shit. So, we rely on our values to see us through. And that's fine. Most of our values make sense and have worked in human societies for thousands of years. But when people tell us not to eat wild mushrooms because they might be poisonous, we listen to them, don't we? Because they know better than we do. That doesn't make them more virtuous, and it doesn't mean that they know better than we do on every subject.
But to align yourself against smart people as if they are the enemy? That's crazy. Without smart people, Rick Santorum would be trying and failing to start a fire in some cave in the Kentucky mountains. So would most of you. So would I.
A political movement based on pride in being stupid is really stupid.
They aren't even running from accusations that they're dopey or doltish or out of sync with the majority of Americans. Quite to the contrary, they're embracing it.
That, more than just about anything else, should give everyone who is voting this November a clear choice.
On a somewhat related note, Fox News apparently had one of those non-elite, non-smart folks on their morning show the other day...
Bark Bark Woof Woof also has some comments on Santorum's statements.