20 January 2012

Rick Santorum’s OIP Derangement Syndrome

For this week’s example of OIP Derangement Syndrome I’m indebted to Nathan DeHoff for his pointer to this report by Charles M. Blow. Because without that evidence, I would have had trouble believing a major politician—even Rick Santorum—would come out strongly against education.

Before finishing a distant fourth or fifth in the New Hampshire primary, Santorum criticized President Obama this way:
I was so outraged by the president of the United States for standing up and saying every child in America should go to college. Well who are you? Who are you to say that every child in America go … I mean the hubris of this president to think that he knows what’s best for you. I … you know there is … I have seven kids. Maybe they’ll all go to college. But, if one of my kids wants to go and be an auto mechanic, good for him. That’s a good-paying job – using your hands and using your mind. This is the kind of, the kind of snobbery that we see from those who think they know how to run our lives. Rise up America, defend your own freedoms. And overthrow these folks who think they know how to orchestrate every aspect of your lives.
This statement exhibits OIP Derangement Syndrome in two ways. First, Santorum’s mind had obviously been unable to take in and repeat President Obama’s actual policies. For instance, in an address to Congress in February 2009, the President said:
I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship.
Not only did Obama say nothing against becoming an auto mechanic, he acknowledged that possibility when he spoke of “vocational training or an apprenticeship.” As the Wall Street Journal pointed out, American manufacturers like educated workers.

Santorum must have felt there was something wrong in Obama’s policy simply because it came from Obama. Under OIP Derangement Syndrome, his mind came up with a distorted version of that policy that enabled him to express his actual gut response to President Obama: “Who are you [my emphasis] to…run our lives”?

Santorum vocally opposes the power of ”this [my emphasis] president to think that he knows what’s best for you.” Of course, Santorum thinks he knows what’s best for us in a lot of ways, and he thinks the government should have to power run many parts of our lives. But to him “this president” is different.

1 comment:

Cathy DuPont said...

Like you, I was amazed at Santorum's comment. At the beginning of the election cycle when Santorum first became nationally known, I was thinking "here's a great candidate" but as time went on, his credibility quickly diminished in my eyes. As a Catholic, I didn't realize there was such a radical segment of the religion; however there are radical segments in every loosely organized groups.