Rick Santorum’s Doublespeak

Conservatives have always criticized liberals for their doublespeak. Much of what liberals claim they stand for usually turns out to be the opposite to what it says. The words mean one thing but when applied in practice, they mean exactly the opposite.

But it’s not just liberals. Conservatives – or what passes for “conservatives” – do it too.

W. W. at The Economist shows that it is no other but Rick Santorum who – just like the liberals – promises things that he doesn’t believe in. Santorum’s promise is “economic freedom.”

But when pressed to go to the details, Santorum reveals he has nothing like that in mind. In other places he claims that economic freedom is not about “pursuing stuff,” that is, about accumulation of wealth. He says that that is a “very narrow definition of freedom.”

We have an interesting situation here. Santorum envisions economic freedom which is not concerned with accumulation of wealth. But economics is concerned with exactly that: the production of wealth. In the economy, people try to serve the needs of other people in order to get their business. The more business, the more wealth. In a free economy, this is the main incentive for innovators and entrepreneurs to innovate and create new things and serve needs: to accumulate wealth. True, there are some who have different motivations. But wealth is what drives most people (even if they are going to give it away after they make it).

Only liberals expect that entrepreneurs and innovators will make any effort to meet the needs of the consumers without the promise of profit and wealth. And only liberals can imagine such a thing as “economic freedom” without accumulation of wealth. And Rick Santorum with the liberals.

There is a principle that in politics, it is consistency that wins long-term. If we keep tolerating Republican candidates who speak one thing and mean another, we won’t be able to fire Obama from his job. Rick Santorum self-contradictions and inconsistency already cost him his Senate seat when he lost with the worst loss an incumbent has ever had in the history of the United States. Do the Republican voters want to see another such loss, this time against Obama when it matters the most?