Rick Santorum is Ignorant

Of all the Republican candidates running for President, Rick Santorum is probably the worst. Michelle Bachman is a close second, and Jon Huntsman is a close third. But Santorum has exhibited a special kind of ignorance in two debates. Ignorance of the history of the U.S. actions and foreign policy in the Middle East, and ignorance of the military. And I say a special kind of ignorance because it’s a willful ignorance. A modicum of rational thought would reveal the ignorance for what it is, and Santorum is clearly unwilling to bother with that.

At the CNN-Tea Party debate, Rick Santorum accused Ron Paul of blaming the U.S. for the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001. Which is ignorant in itself, but Santorum went on to say that

[…] we are not being attacked and we were not attacked because of our actions. We were attacked, as Newt talked about, because we have a civilization that is antithetical to the civilization of the jihadists. And they want to kill us because of who we are and what we stand for. And we stand for American exceptionalism, we stand for freedom and opportunity for everybody around the world, and I am not ashamed to do that.

Rick Santorum apparently is unaware of the meddling by the U.S. in the Middle East prior to September 11, 2001. For Santorum to suggest that terrorist actions against the U.S. are somehow wholly unrelated to U.S. actions in the Middle East—and make no mistake, that is exactly what Santorum is suggesting—is truly and willfully ignorant. The idea that the U.S. has been attacked merely because the terrorists think we’re religious infidels who stand for freedom takes a special kind of naiveté to believe. Apparently Santorum is either fully ignorant of the history of U.S. involvement in the Middle East since the end of W.W. II, or he is woefully unaware of the concept of unintended consequences.

And no, saying that terrorists were reacting to the effects of U.S. interventions in the Middle East is not a “blame America” stance. The terrorists alone are responsible for the terrorists’ actions. However, that does not mean the U.S. is not or should not be responsible for its actions. If you get encourage people to fight and then turn your back on them, you should not be surprised if they don’t like you and strike out at you later. Nor should you insist that they struck at you not because of anything you had done but because they hate your philosophy. That would be stupid. But this is exactly what Rick Santorum and the “they hate us for our freedoms” crowd are doing.

In the Fox News-Google debate, Santorum was astoundingly ignorant again. He was asked whether he would reinstate the “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” (DADT) policy regarding homosexuals in the military. And here is what he said:

Yeah, I, I would say, any type of sexual activity has absolutely no place in the military. And the fact that they’re making a point to include it as a provision within the military that we are going to recognize a group of people and give them a special privilege to, to, and removing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” I think tries to inject social policy into the military. And the military’s job is to do one thing, and that is to defend our country.

We need to give the military, which is all-volunteer, the ability to do so in a way that is most efficient at protecting our men and women in uniform. And I believe this undermines that ability.

[…]

I think it’s, it’s, it’s, look, what we’re doing is playing social experimentation with, with our military right now. And that’s tragic.

I would, I would just say that, going forward, we would, we would reinstitute that policy, if Rick Santorum was president, period.

That policy would be reinstituted. And as far as people who are in, in, I would not throw them out, because that would be unfair to them because of the policy of this administration, but we would move forward in, in conformity with what was happening in the past, which was, sex is not an issue. It is, it should not be an issue. Leave it alone, keep it, keep it to yourself, whether you’re a heterosexual or a homosexual.

Got that? Any type of sexual activity, says Santorum, has no place in the military. No place. In the military. Really? So, if you are heterosexual and in the military, you should then not be allowed to have sex? That may or may not be what Santorum meant, but that is what he said. Any type of sexual activity he said. Any type. Santorum is not just ignorant in this. He is clueless.

Apparently Rick Santorum thinks heterosexual members of the military never openly discuss or mention anything relating to sex. In actuality, of course, they do. Removing DADT, says Santorum, injects social policy into the military. He has it completely backwards. DADT is social policy that was imposed on the military. Keep it yourself, he says. Really? No one in the military should mention sex? Really? Would he allow heterosexuals in the military to date? Would he allow them to talk about their relationships? Just exactly how are people in the military supposed to eliminate all reference to sexual orientation? Again, Santorum is being willfully ignorant here. Expecting the members of the military to never mention things relating to sexual matters and/or sexual orientation is ludicrous. That he apparently thinks this was how things were done before the repeal of DADT is nothing less than willful ignorance.

In short, Rick Santorum is ignorant. This man should not be considered a serious contender for the office of President of the U.S. If you support him, stop. Stop now. Pick someone else. Santorum is not fit for the office. No one who willfully chooses to be so ignorant about these issues is fit to be POTUS.

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