Quantcast

Why the Fiscally Conservative Tea Party Supports Big Government Rick Santorum

It seems that Rick Santorum is gaining more and more Tea Party support as we go forward in the Republican primary process. My question is, why?

The Tea Party was founded on the principles of limiting big government’s influence in our daily lives. Originally inspired by the government bailouts of the banks and Wall Street during the financial crisis, members of the Tea Party decided that big government was the problem and that the solution was to limit the size and scope of government.

The Tea Party had a major impact in the 2010 midterm elections. Without the Tea Party, it is unlikely Republicans would have regained control of the House and narrowed the Democratic majority in the Senate. Now in 2012, the Tea Party is backing Rick Santorum. But here’s the thing. Santorum is not a limited government conservative. Don’t believe me? Look at what Santorum said in 2008 about the role of government.

“This whole idea of personal autonomy, well I don’t think most conservatives hold that point of view. Some do. They have this idea that people should be left alone, be able to do whatever they want to do, government should keep our taxes down and keep our regulations low, that we shouldn’t get involved in the bedroom, we shouldn’t get involved in cultural issues. You know, people should do whatever they want. Well, that is not how traditional conservatives view the world and I think most conservatives understand that individuals can’t go it alone.”

To make things worse in June of 2011 Santorum attended a town hall meeting in Harrisburg, Penn. At the town hall meeting he spoke about his concerns about the libertarian and Tea Party movement attempting to “refashion” conservatism and he said, “I will vocally and publicly oppose it, and do my best to correct the record.”

If members of the Tea Party looked at Santorum’s record, they would see he is a big government conservative and proud of it. Erick Erickson of RedState.com even said that if Santorum had been up for election in 2010 that he would have been one of the main targets of the Tea Party and lost reelection to a Tea Party candidate.

So why is the Tea Party backing Santorum? My hypothesis is because the Tea Party is a back door movement for the social conservative movement. To the public the Tea Party is focused on limiting government and reduced spending, but behind the facade of limited government, the Tea Party actually wants the government in our personal business when it comes to social policy. When you look at the Tea Party that way, you can start to see why the Tea Party is backing Santorum now. He is their perfect candidate when it comes to their hidden agenda.

Santorum’s insistence on raising social issues at a time when the economy is down the gutter and when millennials are just entering the political world is a misstep. Millennials do not like conservative social policy because they are much more open to supporting issues such as gay marriage. Santorum found that out the hard way when he spoke to a group of college Republicans and was booed off stage because he compared gay marriage to polygamy.

When it comes down to it though, the relationship between Rick Santorum and the Tea Party is an odd one. That is unless I am right and the Tea Party is really a backdoor movement for conservative social policy zealots. If that’s the case, then Santorum is without a doubt their candidate. What do you think?

Photo Credit: flickr

Like us on Facebook:
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
New Response

Be the first to comment

Top Responses ()
All Responses ()
Load More Responses Show All Responses

Loading Responses

CLOSE | X

Do you agree that our
generation needs a voice?