Santorum: Agent of Darkness

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Rick Santorum is the textbook example of the politician who panders to his base. In this instance, the social conservatives.  And higher education is the latest target of his demagoging. Colleges and universities are liberal "indoctrination mills". They undermine faith. They persecute and punish conservatives.

Rick  says that he knows this from experience. "I've gone through it," he says. He survived the waterboarding of his brain at Penn State.

Santorum demonizes President Obama for subscribing to the values of a  higher education. Mr. Obama is a snob for doing so.   A snob, I imagine,  like Eustace Tilley , the  cartoon coxcomb on the New Yorker covers.   This is the red meat Santorum is throwing to his base.

It's an old strategy that appeals to  the anti-intellectualism  in human nature. The primitive  animus  against reason and learning. The flashbacks to  the  barbarians who stormed the gates of Rome.  To Socrates sentenced to die  by  drinking  hemlock.  To the burning of the ancient Library at Alexandria.  Calling  Obama a snob  is the  modern equivalent  of  deriding the 'brain trust' of FDR or that egghead of the 1950s,  Adlai Stevenson.

Americans are not so gullible.  They can  see through this philistine smokescreen.  They can  recognize a divisive ruse.  This is nothing less  than an all-out  attack on what makes our democracy the shining city on a hill: an informed citizenry.     Education, after all,  enlightens. Demagogues, including Santorum, prefer  the darkness of ignorance.

 

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