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February 21, 2012

Santorum: The Founders Didn't Intend "The Pursuit of Happiness" to Be About "Stuff" or "Pleasure;" The Definition of Happiness Back Then Was "To Do the Morally Right Thing" and The "Freedom To Pursue [God's] Will"

Once again, Santorum does not merely not have a libertarian streak, but speaks about liberty in a hostile and disparaging manner.

Apparently the Pursuit of Happiness just means that I'm free to live my life according to religious doctrine.

I'm glad that in an election primarily about Obama's failure to create a good environment for wealth-creation -- the creation of "stuff," and, in terms of disposable income and time off, "pleasure" -- we're going to be talking about how "stuff" and "pleasure" aren't that important.

The important thing is that we're on the clock 24/7, working for God.

So in that sense, we're all employed. Even if we don't necessarily wish to be.

Incidentally, I wouldn't claim that "stuff" was the sum and entirety of human existence. Even for a humanist/secularist, like myself, materialism is not the Answer to the Great Questions of Life.

However, let me posit the strange notion that perhaps a limited government, interested in maximizing citizen freedom by simultaneously limiting its ambit to only those functions it absolutely must perform, ought not to be in the business of insuring that each citizen make the right decision.

Freedom isn't just the freedom to make the right decision. Freedom is also the freedom to make the wrong decision. A government that only gives you the freedom to make the right decision isn't given you much freedom at all, and is assuming a paternalistic, daddy-says-so relationship to its citizens.

My problem... continues to be that every successful Republican candidate speaks about the energy, vitality, courage, and creativity of freedom, whereas every time I hear Santorum turn to the subject he talks up the fear of freedom.

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posted by Ace at 12:30 PM

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