George Will Apparently Really Nostalgic for Rick Santorum

“Gallantry.” “Dignified.” Sorry, what?

santorum

Look, I don’t want to accuse George Will of losing it/mailing it in just because he’s a cranky 72-year-old white guy. But this column is weird. Syndicated in Sunday’s Inquirer, the decorated conservative Washington Post columnist penned an a propos of very little love letter to Rick Santorum, who appears to be gearing up for another presidential run in 2016.

Why the Santorum crush? Here’s one paragraph that’ll shed some light on why.

“At any given moment,” wrote George Orwell in 1948, “there is a sort of all-prevailing orthodoxy, a general tacit agreement not to discuss some large and uncomfortable fact.” Today that fact is family disintegration: 41 percent of American children are born to unmarried women, including nearly half of first births, 53 percent of Hispanic children and 72 percent of African-American children.

As the increasingly libertarian-oriented Republican party moves away from social politics and interventionist foreign policy, Santorum–who’s still firmly planted in the world of Bush-style conservatism–is getting skittish. Which makes him something of a hero to Will.

[He] may not strike many Republicans as the answer to the party’s problems with female voters and blue states. Nevertheless, there are gallantry and dignity [emphasis mine] in his steadfast determination to tack against the prevailing wind.

Those really aren’t words I ever thought would be uttered about Ricky, post-all the offensive and derogatory things he’s said in the last decade, but there they are.




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  • CJinPA

    You managed to snark attack two people without sticking around to address the point. From the excerpts you provide, it’s clear the issue wasn’t gay marriage, or the other topics that Santorum prompts eye rolls over. Statistically, the argument can be made that the shift to single-parent families has been disastrous for children and society. Yet to note this welcomes political blowback and Internet harrumphing. So, yeah, speaking the unpopular truth is gallant (“unflinching in battle”).

  • Simon vz-Wood

    CJinPA, thanks for the comment. I think gay marriage and social politics are precisely what Will is hinting at. He offers no real reason why we should trust Santorum to correct the social problems he identifies, leaving the reader to assume it’s Rick’s traditional ‘family values’ that’ll steer the country onto the right course.