Rick Santorum’s notion of “rational, reasoned thought”

Yesterday Rick Santorum spoke to a group of high school and college students at “College Convention 2012” in Concord, New Hampshire and engaged them in what he apparently sees as some kind of Socratic dialogue about same-sex marriage. Here’s the video.

ABC News summarized and quoted from the exchange. Here’s a bit of it:

As Santorum addressed a group of college students, one asked him how same-sex marriage affects him personally and why not have legal same-sex marriage as long as it’s not religious in nature.

Santorum answered that for “230 years marriage has been between one man and woman. So if you want to change the law … you have to make the positive argument about why.” ….

He called on a woman who asked, “How about the idea that all men are created equal, rights to happiness and liberty?

Santorum responded, “Are we saying that everyone should have the right to marry?”

Several members of the crowd loudly yelled, “Yes!” ….

“So anyone can marry can marry anybody else? So if that’s the case, then everyone can marry several people … so you can be married to five people. Is that OK?” Santorum asked.

It seems to me that Santorum is oddly obsessed with fantasies of group sex. He has made this comparison of same-sex marriage to polygamy repeatedly in the past. In this instance, when students told him his questions about fantasized group marriages were “irrelevant,” he actually lectured them:

“You know it’s important if we’re going to have a discussion based on rational, reasoned thought, that we employ reason, okay? Reason says that if you think it’s okay for two then you have to differentiate with me why it’s not okay for three, right?

That’s Santorum’s notion of reason and rationality? He sets up a bizarre straw man argument and refuses to deal with the question he’s being asked about how two people of the same sex marrying could hurt him. There are already laws against polygamy for heterosexuals in this country, and laws could also be passed against group same-sex marriage if groups of people begin agitating for the right to marry. But as far as I know that isn’t happening.

A little later in the discussion, Santorum explains why he believes marriage must only be between one man and one woman.

“I believe we’re made that way. God made men and woman to keep civilization and provide the best environment to raise children,” Santorum said. “I have no problem if people want to have relationships, but marriage provides a good to society. It’s unique because it is the union that causes children to be raised.”

Santorum added that “every child in America deserves” to know their mother and father.

“We deny children that birthright, then I think we are harming kids and society and not promoting what’s best,” Santorum added, before moving on to the next question.

That’s his idea of logic? Americans should behave according to Santorum’s personal beliefs? So if every child must know his or her mother and father, does that mean that Santorum opposes adoption? Well, he opposes gay couples adopting, but I haven’t been able to find his position on heterosexual adoptions.

After Santorum moved on to other questions, he displayed more of his “reasoned, rational thinking.”

…when a crowd member asked if he would adhere to the conservative pillar of state’s rights in cases when a state legalizes gay marriage and medical marijuana.

“I think there are some things that are essential elements of society to which a society rests that we have to have a consensus on,” Santorum said. “That’s why I believe on things as essential as ‘what is life’ and what life is protected under the Constitution should be a federal charge, not a state by state.”

He then admitted he was not familiar with medical marijuana laws, which led the crowd to press him on how he came to developing his views on issues he was unfamiliar with.

“Well I form that opinion from my own life experiences and having experienced that,” he said. “I went to college too.”

So no states’ rights if the issue is one that involves Santorum’s “beliefs,” apparently. After the town hall with the students ended, Santorum told a reporter his goal in the exchange was “to engage them to get them thinking about why they’re thinking the way you’re thinking.”

Huh? WTF does that mean? All I can say is that this man’s thinking processes seem to me to be not only illogical but also deeply disordered. This, combined with his obvious hypocrisy and corrupt behavior should disqualify him–even from becoming the nominee of the Republican Party, much less President of the U.S. Thank goodness most Americans probably won’t be as receptive to Santorum’s “reasoning” as Iowa Republican caucus voters were.