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about V.P. Joe Biden (2010)
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by Gov. Mitt Romney (2004)
Dreams from My Father
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Book Reviews

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It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, by Rick Santorum


(Click for Amazon book review)

BOOK REVIEW by OnTheIssues.org:

This book is a response to Sen. Hillary Clinton's book It Takes A Village. Hillary's book is the liberal perspective on family values; this book is the conservative response. In Sen. Santorum's view, the phrase "It Takes A Village" really means big government (p.101). Santorum derisively describes the "village elders" who make the decisions in Hillary's "village" as liberals who want control of society. In contrast, conservatives focus on the traditional mother-father-children family unit, explicitly excluding same-sex marriage, of course, and apologetically excluding one-parent families.

Sen. Santorum provides an analysis of "moral capital" as lacking in current society, analogous to "social capital", which means society's institutions. In Santorum's view, de-emphasizing the family has caused the loss of moral capital, and hence decreases the morality of society in general. He also analyzes "intellectual capital" in his extensive education policy sections. Santorum's bigger-picture analysis, beyond family issues, is summarized by: "You can tell whether someone is a conservative or a liberal after only one question: Do you think the Sixties were good for America?" Santorum prefers the family values of the Fifties.

Santorum describes further why he wrote this book (p. 4), in addition to the response to Hillary's book:

"In this book, I hope to show that this all-too-common caricature of conservatives and their social policies by the liberal elite can be attributed to liberals' fundamentally different vision for America--a vision that is completely at odds with that of our nation's founders, and with the views of most Americans today. Liberalism is an ideology; conservatism is common sense."

Sen. Santorum is now running for President, but wasn't when he wrote this book in 2005, At that time, he was running for re-election in the Senate -- a race he lost to conservative Democrat Bob Casey. Santorum has not written a new book yet for the 2012 race, so this book has to serve as his policy outline for the presidential contest.

-- Jesse Gordon, editor-in-chief, OnTheIssues.org, August 2011

 OnTheIssues.org excerpts:  (click on issues for details)
Abortion
    Rick Santorum: FactCheck: No, female suicide & crime not worse under Roe.
    Barbara Boxer: Baby is born at birth, not at partial-birth.
    Hillary Clinton: Partial birth exceptions for life-threatening abnormalities.
    Rick Santorum: Scientifically, an embryo is human from moment of conception.
    Rick Santorum: 93% of abortions are post-conception birth control.
    Rick Santorum: Partial birth abortion allows killing baby if only toe is in.
    Rick Santorum: Partial birth abortion is not used only for abnormalities.
Civil Rights
    Rick Santorum: Same-sex marriage is unprecedented social revolution.
    Rick Santorum: Marriage Protection Amendment is last resort, but needed.
    Rick Santorum: Affirmative program for minority business-building.
Crime
    Rick Santorum: Broken homes increase delinquency, crime, and jail.
    Rick Santorum: Allow felons to vote again after 5 years crime-free.
    Rick Santorum: Support Prison Fellowship InnerChange Freedom Initiative.
Drugs
    Rick Santorum: Kids living with married parents less likely to use drugs.
Education
    Bill Clinton: 1990s: Campaign for school uniforms.
    Rick Santorum: Comprehensive sex ed has no impact on pregnancy or STD rates.
    Rick Santorum: One-time $500 contribution to every low-income child.
    Rick Santorum: 1990s: School uniforms happen to be a good idea.
    Rick Santorum: Family, religion, and schools: most fundamental institutions.
    Rick Santorum: Rich people already have school choice; give it to the poor.
    Rick Santorum: Home-schooled six children with wife Karen.
    Rick Santorum: Multiculturalism insists we teach about comic books.
Environment
    Rick Santorum: Nature is a subtle web of intricate connections.
Families & Children
    Hillary Clinton: OpEd: "It Takes A Village" really means big government.
    Rick Santorum: No-Fault Freedom: doing whatever we want damages society.
    Rick Santorum: Shotgun marriage wasn't all that bad in some cases.
    Rick Santorum: Pre-marital cohabitation makes 50% more chance of divorce.
    Rick Santorum: Covenant Marriage: do whatever it takes to keep together.
    Rick Santorum: Automatically awarding custody to moms celebrates sexism.
Health Care
    Rick Santorum: Sex outside of monogamy has consequences of STDs & abortion.
Principles & Values
    Rick Santorum: Liberalism is an ideology; conservatism is common sense.
    Rick Santorum: Church-state "neutrality" is not in US Constitution.
Social Security
    Jon Corzine: ASPIRE: America Saves for Personal Investment & Retirement.
    Joseph Lieberman: IDAs: 401(k)s for low-income individuals.
Tax Reform
    Rick Santorum: More child credit for larger families earning over $110,000.
    Ronald Reagan: OpEd: Common sense conservatives support supply-side.
Technology
    Carol Moseley-Braun: Fund reverse-commuting for distressed suburbs.
    Hillary Clinton: $90M grant for Children and Media Research.
    Joseph Lieberman: $90M grant for Children and Media Research.
    Rick Santorum: $90M to study effects of media violence on kids.
    Rick Santorum: Fund reverse-commuting for distressed suburbs.
    Rick Santorum: Good culture tells the truth, even if not G-Rated.
    Rick Santorum: Make "airplane" edited movie versions with advisory labels.
    Sam Brownback: $90M grant for Children and Media Research.
Welfare & Poverty
    Rick Santorum: Great Society barely budged poverty but fractured families.
    Rick Santorum: One Percent Solution: increase charitable giving to 2.5%.
    Rick Santorum: AmeriCorps "volunteers" do build social capital.
    Rick Santorum: Discriminatory to NOT give money to faith-based groups.
    Rick Santorum: Support time-limits for able-bodied welfare recipients.
    Rick Santorum: Promotes Individual Development Accounts set up by churches.
    Rick Santorum: Black entrepreneurship vanished with liberal welfare policy.
    Ted Kennedy: Welfare reform bill commits legislative child abuse.


The above quotations are from It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good, by Rick Santorum.
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