Thursday, April 24, 2003

What the Hell Was Santorum Talking About?
By Alexander Marriott
UNLV Rebel Yell: April 28, 2003

A political firestorm is beginning to erupt around Pennsylvania Republican Senator Rick Santorum over comments he made during an interview with the Associated Press. His comments were in response to a question about the pending decision from the Supreme Court on whether the States or the Federal Government can regulate consensual bedroom activity, like sodomy. He said, "If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual (gay) sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery, you have the right to anything. Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does." What the hell was he babbling about?

First of all he seems to think there is no right to privacy from the government, even in the case of intensely personal dealings that don’t violate anyone’s rights. This is alarming. A Senator in a leadership position of the supposed “limited government” political party seems to think you can in one instance, keep more of your money, but in the very next moment seems to think he can know what you’re doing in your home, because, of course, he may not agree with it.

Secondly he is comparing things inappropriately. You have no right to adultery, which is why if you commit it you’re punished in divorce court for violating your contract of marriage.
I don’t see anything criminal in bigamy or polygamy, if a man wants more than one wife and the women don’t mind then why should I care? This works the opposite way as well, for any of you women who want more than one guy, or girl, depending on your preference.

Incest is a more interesting problem. If it’s consensual then that is disturbing, but in most cases it isn’t, therefore making it rape and already illegal. But if it was consensual then I’m at a loss as to what the punishment should be. Jail? But how would that address the problem? Another article perhaps.

The point is that Santorum was comparing things not necessarily similar and it was all in an attempt to deny a basic right like one’s privacy from the government. If there were no right to privacy, as some of Santorum’s defenders, like Rush Limbaugh, seem to be implying, then why must the police get a warrant to search your home? If there weren’t a right to privacy then they would just be able to bust the door down search your place or just camp out in your house to await your committal of any given bedroom law. He is also implying that you don’t have any real right to your property or your life, by denying privacy.

He mentions that the fabric of our society is being undermined, what does that mean? Well I don’t know what he meant, because like all politicians, he didn’t bother to define himself, but I thought the fabric of our society was liberty and freedom and respect for individual rights and the rule of just laws. Perhaps the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence misled me at some point, but I doubt it.

In the end Santorum is merely illustrating the problem within the Republican Party. They proclaim to stand for limited government and capitalism yet some of their leaders seem to think you have no right your own body or your own privacy. You can’t have a free society without privacy and the absurd idea that we somehow cannot do as we please in our houses, assuming we aren’t killing people, is insulting and saddening.

I expect this kind of overt admission of tyranny from Tom Daschle and Ted Kennedy, but for Santorum it was unexpected. You can disagree all you want with homosexuality as a lifestyle and the bedroom practices of consenting adults the world over, but to use your disagreement as the basis of having the state interfere and outlaw those practices is despotic.

I advise all people who engage in unpopular or “illegal” consensual sexual practices to arm themselves. If Santorum or anyone else ever comes to your house to arrest you for such an “offense” then they have sunk to the level of every totalitarian the world has ever had to suffer through and deserves nothing better than befell those butchers. Police Officers, if they are in any way principled, should quit if ever given such an order, to arrest people for “illegal” consensual sexual practices.

Luckily I think the Supreme Court will finally do the right thing and get rid of the sodomy laws. Santorum should either educate himself as to what type of government he lives in or resign and head for Cuba or North Korea where he can meddle in and ruin peoples lives all day long.

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