Santorum: ‘We Have to Fight for the Principles That Made This Country Great’

March 15, 2013 - 3:13 PM

santorum

Former senator and GOP presidential candidate, Rick Santorum. (AP)

(CNSNews.com) – Former senator and Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum gave a poignant and philosophical address to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) on Friday, choking back tears as he related the recent suffering of his late nephew to the decline of traditional American values, and stressing that conservatives must “fight for the principles that made this country great.”

“I thought of Buddha’s first Noble Truth: To live is to suffer,” Santorum said, remarking on the recent death of his nephew. “[But] it’s not just doctors who seek to eliminate pain. For a hundred years the Left in government have made it their mission to have a government program to address almost every pain.”

Santorum's nephew died Thursday evening, Mar. 14. The circumstances of his death have not yet been disclosed.

“As their allies in education deny truth so there is no wrong and nothing to worry about, and their allies in Hollywood and the media promote a culture of titillation and violence that numbs our senses in an attempt to please us -- all of this has resulted in an epidemic of psychological and moral and spiritual pain and suffering,” he said.

Santorum said that Americans are suffering today because the modern, liberal ideology has “robbed us” of “the why of America,” arguing that as medical advancements have evolved to dull pain, so has modern politics evolved to dull the reasons for the country’s founding.

“The suffering is greater today [than 100 years ago] because our culture and our political leadership have robbed them of the ‘why’ of America, of the purpose,” he said.  “They have transformed the American dream that gave us purpose and hope and made suffering much less bearable.”

Santorum’s address focused on the fundamental reasons behind politics, arguing that conservatives must not lose sight of why they engage in politics or risk losing the “soul” of the movement.

“What does it profit a movement to gain the country, if it loses its own soul?” Santorum asked.

Santorum said that less fortunate Americans would always be tempted by offers of social programs and federal aid, not because they want money but because they want the help and compassion that aid represents.

“They don’t want federal money, they want your money,” he said, “not because they want your cash but because they want what comes and they need what comes with it: your caring, your mentorship, your love. All things government cannot give.”

Santorum made a call to return to a politics centered on traditional morality, saying that America was a “moral enterprise” and that conservatives should remember to fight for the moral and cultural values of traditional America.

“America, in essence, is a moral enterprise,” he said.

“We are the answer, because in part we are the problem,” Santorum continued. “We who have so much have to rededicate ourselves in our churches, in our families, in our communities, in our school boards, in or local non-profit organizations, and in every aspect of our lives.”

“We have to fight for the principles that made this country great,” he said.  “We have to fight for those who are suffering and being left behind.”