Rick Santorum wants to protect our families and their children from “hard core” pornography but apparently doesn’t think they need any protection from potential financial ruin or from health threats resulting from man-made global warming.
Though his “war on pornogrophy” is perhaps more a creation of the news media Santorum has stated that he intends to “vigorously enforce … [the] federal obscenity laws” that are already on the books, implying of course that Obama is not. That may be true if for no other reason than President Obama rightly remains more focused on more serious issues that affect more people in more dramatic form than what Santorum feels pornography does.
Several days ago, Goldman Sachs executive director Greg Smith conveyed in a NY Times Op-ed that he had resigned his position there because of the “toxic and destructive” environment he found himself working in at one of the world’s largest and most important investment banks. Through deliberate deceit the culture at Goldman has devolved into a pattern of bilking their clients to enhance their own personal wealth. From chief executive officer, Lloyd C. Blankfein, and the president, Gary D. Cohn down to the junior analysts, Smith charges them with becoming “morally bankrupt”.
On a recent Bill Moyer’s Journal, former Citigroup chairman John S. Reed told Moyer’s that CitiBanks’ merger with Travelers Insurance in 1998 was a mistake that helped push our economy over the edge in 2008. Reed said “we got carried away with the enthusiasm. In the 90’s the [Investment Banks] took over, and they basically said to management, ‘We don’t care what you do. We don’t care how many private jets, houses, golf courses, swimming pools, whatever you have. As long as you keep the share price going. Share prices start going down we’re going to get rid of you. Even if you’re good’”
Like Greg Smith at Goldman Sachs, Reed indicated that accumulating personal wealth became the norm at Citigroup. Being personally rich “never crossed my mind as an objective” Reed told Moyers. The concept of “share value” replaced the concern for customers almost overnight. Wall Street became obsessed with originating and selling products in the financial markets that Reed said never should have been originated.
This financial pornography ended up ruining millions of lives and its impact will be felt for years. Yet Santorum, as well as the entire GOP presidential field, are on record, NOT to weed out the purveyors of greed, but to protect the financial industry from those government regulations established earlier to prevent financial institutions from bleeding the savings of the average American
There are many philosophical justifications for favoring the wealthy and powerful. The Gospel of Wealth, Social Darwinism, Manifest Destiny, God’s Will and “trickle-down economics” are but a few of the rationales.
These rationalizations are a sign of pathological narcissism, i.e., the overvaluing of oneself and the undervaluing of others springing from greed, insecurity, fear and the lust for power.
It represents the law of the jungle, not the law of a civil, democratic society. SOURCE
Using the Pornography Issue to Divert Voter Attention Away from More Vital Issues
“Every family must now be concerned about the harm from pornography” Santorum says on his website. As a parent it’s hard to disagree with this comment and there may or may not be as he claims a “wealth of research is now available demonstrating that pornography causes profound brain changes in both children and adults, resulting in widespread negative consequences.” Those consequences according to Santorum are its “toxic” affects on marriages and relationships, its contribution to misogyny and violence against women and its relationship to prostitution and sex trafficking.
I think it’s admirable for Santorum to combat what he and others perceive as a stain on the moral character of our society. But does this “moral stain” always have negative consequences? I’m not sure pornography doesn’t have its place for those who feel they need some sexual release who might otherwise find some outlet in sexual violence. Might there also be some value for couples to learn how to better fulfill their partner’s sexual needs, the absence of which could lead to strained marital relationships and ultimately divorce?
But, as compelling as this argument is, is it an issue that should even be raised at a time when families are suffering more from job loss, low wages and insufficient job opportunities and growth. And what about those “toxic” effects to their health as a result of air and water pollution from coal-fired power plants, discharges of carcinogens into drinking systems that stem from “fracking” natural gas sources or the threats from more violent storms from climate changes that are linked to a increasingly warm climate? This warming is in large part due to a rapid buildup of CO2 in our atmosphere from burning coal, oil and natural gas, generating a more intense green house effect.
Santorum and Financial Reform
After suffering our worst financial crisis since the Great Depression in the 1930’s the conditions that caused this disaster are still in effect. The legislation needed to keep greedy Wall Street speculators from using the hard-earned savings of families for risky ventures has slowly been removed over the last 30 years as financial special interests and their cronies in government have sided with “corporate citizens” over real people. The collapse of the economy back in 1929 was the direct result of unregulated investment firms taking risks with investor money without have sufficient capital to cover all loses if their ventures went south.
The legislation put in place in 1933 by the Roosevelt administration that would prevent this from happening again – the Glass-Steagall Act – was removed from the books through majority support of the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act in 1999 by both Houses of Congress and signed into law by President Clinton. Rick Santorum’s view on our economic crisis has failed to grasp the significance of this and other covert acts going on between the financial sector and our representatives in Congress.
Bizarrely Santorum has advocated for even fewer government regulations in this and other areas with the debunked view that unfettered free markets alone and lower tax rates for the wealthiest Americans will generate job growth and personal wealth. It is the classic example of Einstein’s theory of insanity – the endless repetition of the same experiments, in the hope of obtaining a different result.
Santorum voted with every other Republican and most Senate Democrats on May 6th, 1999 for the Orwellian-termed “Financial Services Modernization Bill” which included the Republican sponsored Gramm–Leach–Bliley Act that killed Glass-Steagall. He has made no reference in his campaign to reverse that decision.
Santorum and Rising Health Care Costs
Santorum’s position on deregulation carries over into matters that affect the public health. The move recently by the EPA to monitor CO2 output by outdated coal-fired power plants, despite the public’s approval on this, is opposed by this presidential contender. Though he states that he wants that agency to “refocus [on] commonsense conservation [to provide] safe and clean water and air”, Santorum strangely concludes that monitoring and preventing toxic waste into these life sources is somehow not a part of the EPA’s original focus. According to the American Lung Association “Coal-fired power plants produce more hazardous air pollution in the United States than any other industrial pollution sources.”
Santorum also wants to remove what meager health care reform the Congress was able to pass back in March of 2010 with what he euphemistically calls “market based healthcare innovation and competition”, those same ideas that have been in place for years and have failed to reduce growing health care costs in this country. There are some problems with the Affordable Care Act but without it
- many young adults unable to find jobs that provide health care benefits or decent wages to pay for it on their own would be unable to remain on their parents health care plans until they turn 26.
- Insurance companies could continue to redirect more than 15% of your premium dollar to go to their bottom line instead of covering your health care needs
- people who can afford it but who have pre-existing conditions would be denied coverage by private insurers
- insurers could deny to cover policy holders for treatments they dispute with a patient’s doctor are necessary
- insurers could continue to cap how much they will cover for long-term health care conditions
Santorum on Global Warming and Climate Change
Lastly there is the growing concern that the rapid increase of global warming resulting from our use of fossil fuels is impacting the catastrophic climate changes we’ve been experiencing over the last few years, killing thousands of people in this country and around the world in the forms of floods, droughts, tornadoes, hurricanes and possibly earthquakes. Those who are not actually killed by these events may develop life-threatening health issues from malnutrition, contamination and lack of potable water.
Despite the fact that we are just concluding “the winter that wasn’t” following the summer unlike any other, Rick Santorum, who has no experience studying climate change, is set to take the corporate sponsored position that global warming is a hoax. In so doing he ignores the scientific consensus that man-made global warming is real. Even an earlier climate skeptic who jumped on the bogus “Climategate” bandwagon has back tracked and concluded that the Earth’s surface really is getting warmer.
I want my children and their children to have a healthy perspective toward sex but I would like them to able to do so without worrying about a future where their income and job opportunities will suffer under corporate cronyism, their health be limited by for-profit insurers who care more about their share holders than their customers and surviving cataclysmic climate changes caused in large part because we supported policies that pushed for more drilling of oil and gas along with destructive practices of mountain top removal to provide dirty coal energy. Why then would I or any parent vote for a candidate who is likely to effect such negative conditions that our children and grandchildren will have to deal with?
“The moral principle of revolutions is to instruct, not to destroy”. -Thomas Paine, “First Principles of Government,” 1795.