I made my mind up in May that Rick Santorum is the candidate who has the message no one can beat. He can make the case for conservatism on poverty. I know because I’m a single mom of four living under the poverty line, and it was Rick Santorum’s answer to a question from a woman in New Hampshire about children in poverty that gave me my “aha” moment about Rick Santorum. (Watch starting about 9:30 in this video.)
Rick Santorum knows that the root cause of poverty is not the existence of wealthy people or the failure of government to “take care” of people, but rather the breakdown of the family. He wrote a book about it, It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, in response to Hillary Clinton’s book, It Takes a Village.
Rick Santorum is Catholic and what he writes and speaks about on the issue of poverty is a strong reminder not just to Catholics, but to all people of faith, that we need to do our part through charity and through promoting marriage and a culture of life instead of simply not caring about it and pointing people to the local social services office to get on the dole when their lives end up in ruins.
Catholic Charities has had a different idea about the “root causes of poverty”. Whenever you hear “root causes of poverty” in the context of Catholic Charities, you can be fairly sure that the Catholic Campaign for Human Development is involved, and much of what they have done to address the “root causes of poverty” has been to train the poor to do “community organizing” and blaming communties (transformative justice) for poverty while mostly ignoring individual responsibility.
From their website [Emphasis mine]:
The Catholic Campaign for Human Development is the domestic anti-poverty, social justice program of the U.S. Catholic bishops. Its mission is to address the root causes of poverty in America through promotion and support of community-controlled, self-help organizations and through transformative education.
You remember how Obama got his start in community organizing through the Catholic Church…don’t you? It was through Saul Alinsky’s model of community organizing.
“Obama learned his lesson well. I am proud to see that my father’s model for organizing is being applied successfully beyond local community organizing to affect the Democratic campaign in 2008. It is a fine tribute to Saul Alinsky as we approach his 100th birthday.” –Letter from L. DAVID ALINSKY, son of Neo-Marxist Saul Alinsky.
Obama helped fund ‘Alinsky Academy’: “The Woods Fund, a nonprofit on which Obama served as paid director from 1999 to December 2002, provided startup funding and later capital to the Midwest Academy…. Obama sat on the Woods Fund board alongside William Ayers, founder of the Weather Underground domestic terrorist organization…. ‘Midwest describes itself as ‘one of the nation’s oldest and best-known schools for community organizations, citizen organizations and individuals committed to progressive social change.’… Midwest teaches Alinsky tactics of community organizing.”
Alinsky is not a dirty word to people at CCHD. In other words, Rick Santorum is the anti-Obama when it comes to making the authentically Catholic (not to mention conservative) pro-family case for ending poverty. If you think Barack Obama isn’t shaking in his boots over this, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I’d love to sell to you. If Santorum is the nominee, it’s very possibly “game over” for the Alinskyites, and could even be “game over” for the Democrats having any hope of hanging onto the Catholic vote for decades to come. Santorum is the Republican Party’s John Kennedy…as long as “conservatives” will quit hammering him on social issues and just let the man SPEAK. Speech isn’t law, folks, and we need to let Rick Santorum bring moral leadership to America in order to reduce government. Why so few in punditry fail to see this, I will never know.
While Rick Santorum is the antidote for the Alinskyites, Mitt Romney appears to be completely lost on the issue of addressing poverty. He’s catching all kinds of flak, and rightly so, for this quote:
“I’m not concerned about the very poor. We have a safety net there. If it needs a repair , I’ll fix it. I’m not concerned about the very rich…. I’m concerned about the very heart of America, the 90-95 percent of Americans who right now are struggling.”
The message shouldn’t be “Let Them Eat Food Stamps.”
The message shouldn’t be that he’ll “fix” any holes in the safety net.
It’s supposed to be: Get them off food stamps, provide them with real educational choice, reform the culture of dependency, and get government out of the way so that businesses and entrepreneurs can thrive — and increase economic opportunities for everyone.
Catholic Online calls it a gaffe and questions whether Romney has the leadership we need:
Few Americans question the sincerity and integrity of Romney, but there is a clear perception that he is disconnected with the rest of the country.
It’s one thing to be a nice family guy who appears to have generally good moral character. It’s quite another to have leadership skills that enable one to make the conservative case that religious freedom (to preserve faith-based charities’ right to fulfill their specific missions), and preservation of the traditional family as the basic unit of society (most importantly by stopping the legal battle to change the definition of marriage) is the best way we can fight poverty in America and reduce the size of government.
I’m a divorced mother of four under the poverty line who is supporting Rick Santorum with every ounce of energy she has because he understands not only that people are hurting, but also what are the things in society that cause people to be in these situations to begin with. Not only this, he can put the kibosh on the community organizers simply by opening his mouth and explaining the REAL root causes of poverty in America. This is why every time “conservatives” tell Rick Santorum he talks about social issues “too much”, they are shooting themselves in the foot.