Leave Rick Santorum Alone!

Rick Santorum

Chandler Bing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

People who would never, ever vote for Rick Santorum keep telling me — a person who would never, ever vote for Rick Santorum why they think he’s unfit to be President.

 

It’s not his prejudice against gay people. It’s not his rejection of evolution and global warming. It’s not his anti-immigrant stances. It’s not even that he opposes any use of birth control, arguing that “it’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.” Which is just dumb. When women I slept with weren’t on birth control is when I started to get creative and do all kinds of things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.

No, my friends keep saying that Santorum is a crazy man we need to keep far away from the nuclear football because of this: After his wife who had been a neo-natal intensive care nurse gave birth to a premature baby that died two hours later, they brought the corpse home so their other kids could see their brother before they buried him. My friends are convinced that this proves that this church-going family guy is hiding some serious macabre, Rob Zombie gothic creepiness under his sweater vest. This guy, they are arguing, is way too into dead babies. Which is stupid. If there’s one thing Rick Santorum clearly loves is living white babies.

Before I had a kid, I didn’t get what the big deal was about miscarriages. The only thing I figured sucked about even a stillborn birth was that it was a lot of time wasted for a woman, and a lot of wasted time for her partner, who had to watch that woman get fat. What I didn’t understand was how long nine months is, and how the pressure of impending parenthood focuses your attention on someone you’ve never seen so much that he already is a real member of your family. I did not comprehend the loss of the expected. I figured you just came home from the hospital, told your other kids that it didn’t work out, and went right back to playing Chutes and Ladders together.

During the fifth month of Cassandra’s pregnancy she bled for two days. And I felt what damage losing our son might to do our relationship, to my optimism. I don’t how I would have handled it, but I’m sure it would not be well. I can’t handle letting go of much less important things. In fact, far creepier than what Santorum does: Cassandra and I each have encouraged Laszlo to sleep with the dirty, mangled favorite stuffed animals we had as kids. We might as well have given him a smallpox blanket.

What I don’t like about Santorum is that he can’t leave other people alone. He’s way too sure of his fundamental convictions. He believes that anyone not born into his circumstance of having a drive for heterosexual sex and yearlong caroling is just not bearing down enough. Although, in his defense, living Rick Santorum’s life doesn’t look like a lot of fun even for Rick Santorum.

If I’m going to protest Santorum’s inability to accept how others respond to situations different than his, I’ve got to accept how he dealt with situations different than mine. Maybe his whole family got a lot of healing from him taking that baby home. Maybe Santorum’s chest and stomach get a lot colder than mine, but his arms get much hotter. Or maybe he just really, really, really loved Chandler Bing. Or just maybe, he wears the sweater vests to cover up his heart, which got hurt too much. Though I’m guessing it’s the Chandler Bing thing.

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