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March 31st, 2012

Does Rick Santorum really get it? With all the financial and economic turmoil in the country, all he seems to focus on is social issues.

The last few weeks of this campaign, the American people have really seen Santorum take charge in the polls.

But during this same time, they have been able to witness the politician side of him as well.

Some Republican voters in the primaries may welcome this, but it will not carry out to the general election.

On the campaign trail, Santorum, 53, has been the biggest advocate for social issues. In my opinion this has been the biggest mistake of his campaign. I have stated this in my previous column and will probably have to state it again, but the issue of campaign 2012 pertains to fiscal matters.

It does not do any good to campaign in states such as Arizona and Michigan, talking about birth control when these citizens are more interested in which candidate is going to give them an opportunity to work. Constantly referring to issues such as this often comes across as if the candidate does not understand what the common American individual has to go through.

The few times that he does make the economy an issue, it goes along with the status quo rhetoric common with conservatives. When I listen to him speak, it seems as though his thoughts on the economy are obsolete. What he says regarding these matters are what he believes the Republican Party voters will want.

Knowing that Santorum will probably not change the tune of his presidential campaign anytime soon, I feel that it would be appropriate for me to address what he does stand for.

In my opinion, what he wishes to see is a return to a time that cannot be brought back. It is a simpler time, one that was not necessarily awful when it came to the structure of the American family.

Those days have long past, and now we are in the 21st century. Yes, perhaps in some ways the things he preaches may be better. Quite frankly, I am too young to know and I have no interest in finding out for some time.

At the same time, I do feel that perhaps these feelings can only be shaped by personal experience, so it would be wrong for me to pass full judgment. Nevertheless, this would still fall along the lines of my argument that it is irrelevant to the issues of this election.

The one criticism that I do have with no regrets is Santorum’s attack on John F. Kennedy’s opinion regarding religion.

When Sen. Kennedy made his speech on this matter in September 1960, he was not advocating for complete a complete elimination of faith from politics. Instead what he meant was that no officeholder should implement a state-based faith. The fact that a man supposedly as smart as Santorum believes this makes me sick.

That being said, this is not a plea for the former Pennsylvania senator to change his emphasis to the economy. While I disagree with most of the words Santorum speaks, I can nevertheless respect him for sticking to his beliefs, no matter how absurd and outdated they may be. Despite this, the choice of Santorum would surely be devastating to the Republican Party.