Rick Santorum haz a sad, ‘cuz librulz!

So apparently, Rick Santorum called President Obama a “snob”* because the President wants “everybody in America to go to college.” Now, I have no idea what the President actually said.  I rarely care what the President says — I care much more about what he does.  In fact, I care so little about what the President said about Americans going to college that I am not even going to go look it up and see what the hell Santorum is talking about.  Nevertheless, I’m fairly sure that Barack Obama did not say “I want everybody in America to go to college,” and even if he did say that, he likely misspoke and meant to say that he wants everybody in America to have the opportunity to go to college, which is a completely different thing.  The President is not an idiot — unlike Rick Santorum.

That would be the same Rick Santorum who has a bachelors degree in political science, an MBA, and a law degree — but who thinks college degrees should only be options available to Very Special Snowflakes™ like Rick Santorum.  But what is really remarkable about this story is that despite having three college degrees, Rick Santorum nevertheless remains a dangerously deluded idiot who does not understand what education even is.

Santorum on Saturday had told a crowd of more than 1,000 conservative activists in Troy, Mich., that “not all folks are gifted in the same way” and that “there are good decent men and women who go out and work hard every day and put their skills to test that aren’t taught by some liberal college professor trying to indoctrinate them.”

That’s right:  Rick Santorum thinks that a college education is the same thing as liberal indoctrination.  To be fair, I can see how he might have been a bit confused initially:  he attended a Catholic high school where “indoctrination” and “education” are, in fact, often indistinguishable.  But he only went there for a single year.  One would think that after a semester or two at Penn State, he’d start to catch on to the important difference between the two.  Nope:  Rick Santorum went to college for years and years and years, and the big takeaway for him was that college professors are liberals who indoctrinate their impressionable students with lefty propaganda.  (Who knew that math, science, and the humanities are being taught at American universities alongside a constant stream of Socialist proselytizing?  Although the Palace is of course quite pleased to hear of this.)

Riddle me this, O Frothy One:  if college campuses across the nation are hellish mills of liberal brainwashing, how is it that Rick Santorum — and countless millions of college-educated conservatives — somehow managed to escape them unscathed, with their Conservative Personality Disorder intact?

(That’s a trick question:  it answers itself.  The warped lens through which intractable CPD cases view the world cannot be corrected by education, because patients stubbornly refuse to acknowledge that they could be wrong about anything, ever — especially about their own religious or political indoctrination.)

Asked by [ABC’s George] Stephanopoulos on Sunday about the “indoctrination” comment, Santorum defended the remark, arguing that conservatives are “singled out” and “ridiculed” at most American colleges.

“I mean, you look at the colleges and universities,” Santorum said. “This is not something that’s new for most Americans, is how liberal our colleges and universities are and how many children in fact are – look, I’ve gone through it. I went through it at Penn State.”

“You talk to most kids who go to college who are conservatives, and you are singled out, you are ridiculed, you are — I can tell you personally. . . I went through a process where I was docked for my conservative views. This is sort of a regular routine…”

He felt “singled out” and “ridiculed.”  Now, I was not at Penn State in the late 1970s, so without corroborating evidence I have no idea whether this is actually true.  But I have no doubt that Rick Santorum believes it to be true, so in this instance let’s say we take him at his word.  The question is why?  Why would Rick Santorum be persecuted at a state college campus?

Ladies and gentlemen, I submit that what we have going on here is that Rick Santorum (or any other wingnut) goes away to college, and for the first time has his precious assumptions directly challenged — not by liberal college professors with an agenda, but by facts.  But because his fragile ego cannot withstand the thought that he might be wrong about anything, ever — and certainly not wrong about all that bullshit drilled into his head by assorted priests and various other @$$holes — he experiences “reality” as… a personal attack.  And to whatever extent Rick Santorum really was (verbally) attacked, singled out, and/or ridiculed, it was not because he is a conservative per se, but because he is wrong (or cruel, or narcissistic, or a flaming @$$hole) — and yet he refuses to even consider that he is wrong, much less accept that he is and why, and then change his views accordingly.

Stephen Colbert famously said that reality has a liberal bias.  But it can also be said that liberals have a reality bias.  When a normal, well-functioning mind encounters something new, something that directly contradicts previously held thoughts and views about the world, the healthy mind assimilates the new information, reevaluates and discards if necessary the faulty beliefs it held, and merrily moves on with life.  Not Rick Santorum.  No.  Any new information that contradicts whatever it is he thinks he “knows” simply has to be wrong, because he cannot be.  Thus, while others discover things about reality, like “transubstantiation is some seriously crazy-ass bullshit” or “women are people” or “unrestrained free markets are a really terrible idea” and then proceed to conduct themselves accordingly, the Rick Santorums of the world do not.  They not only hold their ground, they dig themselves in even deeper.  More and more bizarre rationalizations issue forth, and those people who dare to simply point out the complete and utter wrongness about reality are demonized as persecutors.

And of course, the great irony is that everything Rick Santorm thinks he “knows” is actually the direct result of… indoctrination.  By people just like him, who have no use for the reality checks that most of us rely on every day — and should absolutely demand in our political representatives.

I agree with Rick Santorum (I cannot believe I just typed those words) that a college education is not for everyone, and I would bet the entire Palace Treasury that the current President of the United States does, too.  But in Rick Santorum’s fevered mind, he is the only one who understands this.  And that is just one of many, many strange delusions under which he labors.  Look at this:

“You know the statistic . . . that 62 percent of kids who enter college with some sort of faith commitment leave without it. This is not a neutral setting.”

I have no idea where he got that statistic (I could not confirm it here).  But even if it were true that “62 percent of kids who enter college with some sort of faith commitment leave without it,” the conclusion that college is “not a neutral setting” most definitely does not follow from it.  As usual, Santorum has it exactly backwards:  religious indoctrination is not a neutral setting.  Reality, on the other hand, is uncompromisingly neutral:  the universe is completely indifferent to whatever it is we might desperately want to believe about it.  When kids who have been indoctrinated with all sorts of religious lies are exposed in college (or in the real world) to factual knowledge and learn how to critically evaluate ideas, it’s not exactly astonishing that a significant number of them (only 62%?! WTF?) would lose their childhood faith.  And that is a very good thing.  One thing it is not, however, is indoctrination.  Poor Rick Santorum:  he cannot even consider the possibility that anything his mommy or daddy or those nice priests told him over and over is not, you know, true.  

Of course whenever Santorum keeps talking things keep getting weirder still:

Stephanopoulos asked whether Santorum’s comments meant that he thought there was “something wrong with encouraging college education.”

“No, not at all, but understand that we have some real problems at our college campuses with political correctness, with an ideology that is forced upon people who, you know, who may not agree with the politically correct left doctrine,” Santorum responded. “And one of the things that I’ve spoken out on and will continue to speak out is to make sure that conservative and more mainstream, common-sense conservative and principles that have made this country great are reflected in our college courses and with college professors. And at many, many, and I would argue most institutions in this country, that simply isn’t the case.’

So reality is now an ideology.  LMAO.

That little rant is so chock full of FAIL I don’t even know how to begin to parse it.  Here is an approximation of what went through my head as I read it:

Stephanopoulos asked whether Santorum’s comments meant that he thought there was “something wrong with encouraging college education.” [Good question! Why, if I didn’t know better I might think that competent adversarial journalism was alive and well at ABC News!]

“No, not at all, [“Wait, actually, yes!  Yes, I, Rick Santorum, do indeed believe there is something very wrong with encouraging college education!  College education forces innocent young adults to change their minds about their childhood religion!  And as we all know, changing one’s mind is pure evil!  A sure sign of weakness!  A horrible moral failure!  The work of Satan!  Those college professors’ demonic spells did not work on me of course, but that’s only because I’M SUPER SPECIAL.  I’m just thinking of the children!“] but understand that we have some real problems at our college campuses with political correctness, [I just love that term: political correctness.  As if people in this country have no right to give voice to whatever crazy-ass political ideas they want to, and George W. Bush’s presidency is just a figment of my imagination. *eyeroll*] with an ideology that is forced [“FORCED, I tells ya!”] upon people who, you know, who may not agree with the politically correct left doctrine,” Santorum responded. [“And if conservatives don’t agree with something, obviously that should NEVER EVER be challenged with leftist dogma, otherwise known as ‘facts’ and ‘reason’ and ‘evidence’!”] “And one of the things that I’ve spoken out on and will continue to speak out is to make sure that conservative and more mainstream, common-sense conservative and principles that have made this country great are reflected in our college courses and with college professors. [Holy Mother of Dog:  as President, Rick Santorum will “make sure” that conservative principles — conservative principles!  hahaha! — that have made this country great run this country into the ground, or over the edge, or off the cliff, or whatever other perfectly accurate apocalyptic metaphor might suit your fancy, are taught in college courses by college professors.  I can hardly wait for the reeducation camps to spring up.  Hey!  Maybe they can use all those evicted Occupy camps?]  And at many, many, and I would argue most institutions in this country, that simply isn’t the case.’ [“Transubstantiation is TOTALLY REAL!  And also, TOTALLY AWESOME!!!  Women are most definitely NOT PEOPLE!  They don’t even have penises!  And unrestrained free markets are THE BEST IDEA EVER!!!!  Can you even believe these liberal elite college snobs do not agree with me?!”]

Well it went something like that anyway.

It’s sad, really — or it would be, if Rick Santorum and people like him did not run for office or vote.  That pushes the problem into the realm of dangerous, and this is precisely why I so vehemently disagree with Chris Mooney and other accomodationists who would argue that respect and reason are an effective way to deal with conservatives.  Reason is a complete non-starter for people who will never change their minds under any circumstances, and respect only validates their reprehensible views as respectable — for them, and even more problematically, for everyone else.  It is counterproductive, and the last thing we need.  Until more of us start singling out and ridiculing cruel and deranged @$$holes, their influence will not only persist, but flourish.  Rick Santorum is in fact being “singled out” and “ridiculed” right here in this blog post, because he is a cruel and deranged @$$hole, i.e., a hardcore, right-wing conservative.  And if he was indeed “singled out” and “ridiculed” at Penn State for being a cruel and deranged @$$hole, that is exactly as it should be.

Conservatism is not all that different than racism (or any other hateful and irrational ideology).  The world will probably never be rid of racists, but their influence has lessened to the point that a black man was recently elected President of the United States — a feat that certainly could not have happened a hundred years ago, and probably not even twenty years ago.  What has changed?  Well, it’s pretty clear that racists and racist viewpoints are no longer the everyday norm in our culture.  They have been marginalized.  Nowadays, racists are more often than not socially isolated, and sometimes fired from their jobs for saying racist shit.  They are pretty much left to wallow in their putrid thoughts, with only likeminded individuals, because most people just will not put up with it any more.  Racists are (generally) shut down, shut up, and rightly ridiculed for their nasty rhetoric.

I am not arguing that racism no longer exists in the U.S. or that it is not rampant in some communities — in fact I am saying exactly the opposite:  that racism still exists and unfortunately probably always will, but its influence has been markedly reduced.  The important thing to note is that this did not happen because people reasoned with and respected racists, who finally saw the error of their ways.  Hardly.  It happened because within our broader culture, we reached a critical mass of people willing to call out racist ideas as unacceptable, ridiculous and shameful.  It’s an imperfect model to be sure, but there are obvious lessons to be drawn here for anyone fighting the evils of conservatism.  A particularly daunting one is that we need a Martin Liberal King to emerge and help lead the way, and no one in the modern Democratic Party leadership is even remotely up to that job.

In the meantime, the Palace will keep fighting the good fight, against Rick Santorum and everything he stands for.  For the fact are these:  there is something profoundly wrong with conservatives, especially those like Rick Santorum.  And there is something profoundly wrong with everyone else if we treat the hideous ideology of these primates with anything like respect— or let them anywhere near political power.

__________
* The Palace does not consider the word “snob” an insult.  We are unapologetic, intractable snobs when it comes to certain things about which we know a great deal, and do not consider this a bad thing.  “Snob” is really just a euphemism for “elite,” a word which Rick Santorum throws about wantonly.  But neither he nor his followers would ever object to an elite snob neurosurgeon operating on their child’s brain.  On second thought, maybe they would.  They really are that fucked up.

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