Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Rick Santorum's It Takes a Family 15

I finished Rick Santorum's It Takes a Family: Conservatism and the Common Good.

In my latest reading, Rick Santorum reaffirms a point that he made earlier in his book.  Up until now, I have not gotten around to mentioning this point in my posts on Santorum's book, but I consider it to be important.  Rick Santorum states on pages 423-424:

"The corrupting of our moral and cultural capital by the village elders has had devastating effects on the poor.  The cultural artifacts of the village elders teach us the lie that there are no negative consequences and no alternatives to the self-centered pursuit of pleasure...Here too the poor suffer much more than the village elders, simply because they usually don't have strong families and networks to fall back on and have fewer resources to recover from the consequences of their actions.  When a son of the Bigs lives the self-indulgent life the village elders prescribe and ends up with multiple addictions, there is always rehab and a second, third, and fourth chance.  When the son of the poor single mom does the same thing, he ends up either in a gang, on the street, in jail, or dead."

I'll let that quote stand, without commenting on it.

Overall, I enjoyed this book.  That doesn't mean that I agreed with all of it, and you can read my posts to see where I agreed and disagreed.  The positives of the book: Santorum's inspiring anecdotes about people who do the right thing (i.e., helping the poor, choosing to clean up their lives to become responsible parents, etc.), his down-home advice about parenting, the conversational style of his book, his concern about the entertainment media (without going overboard and favoring flat stories), and the times that he tries to understand liberal arguments and either acknowledges that liberals have valid concerns or offers fairly decent counter-arguments.  The negative: his us vs. them mindset, as he stigmatizes the so-called village elders.

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